The active ingredient in Cialis is tadalafil which falls into a group of medicines known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5i).

Manufactured by Lilly, it was originally licensed in 2002 to solely be used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

However, following further research, authorisation was obtained for Cialis to be used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate or BPH).

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

BPH is a condition usually diagnosed in older males; whereby the prostate gland is larger than it should be.

The enlarged gland impedes the urinary tract, causing symptoms such as a feeling of needing to frequently urinate, difficulty passing urine and problems fully emptying the bladder.

The condition is most commonly found in men over the age of 50 years and is not usually a major cause for concern, although it may require treatment.

BPH is the most common cause of lower urinary tract symptoms in men. The condition occurs due to an increase in the number of prostatic cells. The reason behind this increase is still unclear.

However, scientists think it is linked to hormonal changes men experience as they get older.

Management and treatment

Not everyone diagnosed with BPH will require treatment.

There are certain lifestyle adjustments that may have a positive impact on symptoms.

These might include reducing the amount of alcohol and caffeine being consumed, introducing regular exercise and stopping drinking in the hours before going to bed.

Men who describe moderate to severe cases of BPH may require prescribed medication to work alongside the above lifestyle changes.

BPH symptoms can prove difficult to live with and be detrimental to the person’s quality of life. This is especially prevalent if the condition impacts the person’s sleep pattern.

Cialis and BPH

Until recently, treatments for BPH were limited to alpha blockers and 5α-reductase inhibitors.

However, in 2012 tadalafil 5mg was also granted a marketing authorisation by the European Union for classification as a BPH treatment.

This means that tadalafil can be prescribed to patients presenting with the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

How does Cialis work to treat BPH?

The mechanism by which tadalafil works to reduce the size of the prostate is not fully understood. However, the PDE5 inhibitor has been found to relax the vascular supply to the prostate and bladder, which in turn reduces the amount of blood being sent to the area.

The prostatic cells receive less blood and this is thought to be the reason behind the reduction in BPH symptoms.

You can find out more about how Cialis works on our information page.