Generic name: tadalafil [ta-DAL-a-fil]
Brand Names: Adcirca and Cialis are brand names.
Drug Classes: Agents for arterial hypertension and agents for impotence are two types of drugs.

What is tadalafil?

Tadalafil softens the blood vessel muscles and sends more blood to certain parts of the body.

Tadalafil, sold as Cialis, is used to address erectile dysfunction (impotence) and the signs of benign prostatic enlargement (an enlarged prostate). Adcirca is another name of tadalafil that is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension and improve both men’s and women’s ability to exercise.


Do not take tadalafil if you are also taking a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems. This includes nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate, and some “poppers” and other illegal drugs. Taking tadalafil with a nitrate medicine can cause your blood pressure to drop quickly and badly.

When taken with tadalafil, some drugs can have unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Tell your doctor about all your present drugs, especially riociguat (Adempas).

If your erection hurts or lasts longer than 4 hours, you should call your doctor or go to the hospital right away. A long erection, known as priapism, can hurt the penis.

Get help from a doctor right away if you feel sick, have chest pain, or feel dizzy while having sex.

If you suddenly can’t see, stop taking tadalafil and call 911 right away.

Before you take this drug

If you are allergic to tadalafil, you shouldn’t take it.

If you take tadalafil with certain other drugs, your blood pressure can drop quickly and severely. Don’t take this medicine if you also:

  • riociguat (to treat high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries); or
  • a nitrate drug, such as nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, or isosorbide mononitrate, for chest pain or heart problems, or a fun drug, such as amyl nitrate or “poppers” made from nitrite.

Some tadalafil can stay in your bloodstream for at least 2 days after each dose. If you have liver or kidney problems, it can stay there for even longer. Don’t use nitrates at this time.

Tell your doctor if you have ever:

  • heart sickness or trouble with the heart’s beat;
  • a stroke or heart attack;
  • chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, or low blood pressure;
  • pulmonary hypertension (unless you’re taking tadalafil for this);
  • pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, which causes the tubes that bring blood from the lungs to the heart to get smaller;
  • if you have liver or kidney disease or are on dialysis;
  • vision loss or retinitis pigmentosa, an eye problem that is passed down from parent to child;
  • a bleeding disorder;
  • a blood cell illness such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia;
  • a physical problem with the penis, like Peyronie’s disease, or an erection that lasts more than 4 hours;
  • a sore in the stomach; or
  • problems with your health that make sexual behavior dangerous.

A small number of people who take medicines like tadalafil (Viagra or others) have lost their sight all of a sudden. Most of these people already had eye problems or risk factors for blood vessel problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, smoking, or being over 50 years old. It’s not clear if the drugs really caused the person to lose their sight. Tadalafil has also been linked to sudden hearing loss. Stop taking tadalafil and call your doctor right away if you start to lose or have trouble hearing or if your ears start to ring.

If you are pregnant, do not start or stop taking tadalafil without talking to your doctor first. When a woman is pregnant, having pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) can cause both the mother and the baby to have heart failure, a stroke, or other health problems. If you get pregnant, you should tell your doctor right away.

If you are taking tadalafil, it may not be safe to nurse. Ask your doctor if there is any danger.

Women shouldn’t take Cialis.

No one under the age of 18 is allowed to take Tadalafil.

How do I take the medicine tadalafil?

Most people only take tadalafil once a day. Follow all of the advice on the package of your medicine. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller doses, or for longer or shorter periods of time than is suggested.

You can take Tadalafil with or without food.

Don’t split or break a Cialis pill. Take it all in.

If you have trouble getting an erection, take Cialis right before you go out, but not more than once a day. It can be taken up to 36 hours before going out with a partner. Cialis can help you get an erection when you feel sexually aroused. You can’t just take a pill and get an erection. Do what your doctor tells you to do.

If you are taking Adcirca for pulmonary artery hypertension, do not take Cialis for erectile dysfunction.

Keep at room temperature and away from heat and moisture.

What will happen if I don’t take a dose?

If you only take tadalafil when you need it, you probably won’t be on a set plan.

If you normally take tadalafil every day and forget to take it, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, don’t take the one you missed. Do not take more medicine than usual to make up for the dose you missed.

What happens if I overdose?

Get help from a doctor right away or call 1-800-222-1222 to reach the Poison Help line.

What not to do

If you drink alcohol while taking this medicine, your blood pressure can drop, which can cause you to feel dizzy or even pass out.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may cause side effects when taken with tadalafil. Don’t use anything with grapefruit while you’re taking this medicine.

Tadalafil side effects

If you are allergic to tadalafil and have hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, call 911 right away.

Stop having sex right away and call for help if you feel sick, have chest pain, or feel dizzy. You could be having a side effect that could kill you.

Stop taking tadalafil right away and call your doctor if you:

  • feeling dizzy and like you might pass out;
  • an erection hurts or lasts more than four hours (a long erection can hurt the penis);
  • changes in sight or quick loss of sight;
  • ringing in the ears or quick lack of hearing;
  • Signs of a heart attack are pain or pressure in the chest, pain that moves to the jaw or shoulder, feeling sick, and sweating.

Some common side effects of tadalafil could be:

  • headache;
  • flushing (feeling warm, red, or tingly);
  • sickness, stomachache;
  • stuffy nose; or
  • Pain in your muscles, back, arms, legs, or back.

This isn’t a full list of all possible side effects, and there may be others. You should talk to your doctor about any side effects. You can call 1-800-FDA-1088 to tell the FDA about side affects.

How does tadalafil interact with other drugs?

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking and any new ones or ones you stop taking.

  • medicines to treat impotence or high blood pressure in the lungs;
  • an antibiotic or a medicine that kills fungi;
  • antiviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C;
  • medicines used to treat high blood pressure or a problem with the prostate;
  • seizure medicine.

This list doesn’t have everything. Other drugs, like prescription and over-the-counter meds, vitamins, and herbal items, may combine with tadalafil. This medicine guide does not list all of the possible drug conflicts.

For more details

Remember to keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, to never give your medicines to other people, and to only use tadalafil for the reason your doctor told you to.

Talk to your doctor or other healthcare source to make sure that the information on this page applies to your situation.

Medical Disclaimer

Copyright from 1996 to 2023 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01.

About the Author: Daniel