Cialis is a widely-used and reliable treatment for erectile dysfunction. It is very easy to take and produces effective results in a majority of cases. It’s now also available as a generic treatment, called Tadalafil.

Like all medicines for ED though, it needs to be taken correctly to ensure that it has the desired effect and improves erectile potency.

For those who are taking Cialis for the first time (or even those who have used it before but aren’t sure they have done so correctly) here is our complete user guide.

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Cialis directions

Cialis is provided as an easy-to-swallow tablet. This should be taken orally, with a glass of water. The tablet can be taken either with food or without, but note that some PDE5 inhibitors have reported slower response times when taken alongside a big meal.

Excessive alcohol use may also affect its function.

Take your Cialis or Tadalafil tablet at least half an hour before engaging in sexual intercourse. According to the Summary of Product Characteristics, the medicine will usually remain effective for up to 36 hours.

Cialis Daily is taken in the same manner, but at the same time every day. This provides erectile potency 24 hours per day, and can be used by men who anticipate engaging in intercourse two or more times per week. 

These uses (as a weekend pill or a daily pill) differentiate Tadalafil from other similar drugs, such as Avanafil, Sildenafil and Vardenafil (which are taken on demand and have an active duration of around four to five hours).

It takes around 30-60 minutes for Cialis to kick in, but may take slightly longer if you use it after eating a large meal.

You can find more information on the speed of this medicine compared to other options on our ED treatments reviews and results page.

How often should I take Cialis?

Because it lasts for up to 36 hours, the directions for Cialis state that it should not be taken more than once a day, and you may be advised by your doctor to wait for 24 hours after the effects have worn off before taking another dose. 

Cialis Daily is taken once a day (as is Tadalafil Daily).

Does Cialis provide sexual stimulation?

No. All Cialis does is facilitate the chemical mechanisms in the body which permit blood flow to the penis and make an erection possible. 

For Cialis to produce an erection, the person using it will still need to be sexually stimulated. It is not an aphrodisiac, and will not provide stimulation on its own.

Can I use it recreationally?

No. Cialis is a prescription medicine licensed in the UK for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, as well as benign prostatic hyperplasia, which are both classified as medical conditions. 

Only those who have been diagnosed with these conditions by a qualified physician are eligible for a Cialis prescription.

Cialis should not be bought and taken recreationally, and should not be taken by anyone who has not been prescribed it.

What dosage should I buy?

There are several dose of Cialis available for both varieties (weekend and daily pill).

Cialis is supplied as a 10mg or 20mg pill.

Cialis Daily is available to buy as a 2.5mg or 5mg pill.

Tadalafil, the generic, is available in the same doses.

The dose your doctor prescribes for you will depend on whether you have used it before, and if so, whether that dose produced sufficient results.

Before using Cialis

Make sure you read the leaflet that comes with it. It’s not suitable for everyone, and it’s important you know about any contraindications for Cialis in case you find out, at a later stage, that you have a medical condition that precludes use. 

Check the use-by date on your Cialis box too. Normally, pharmacies will supply medicines that have at least a year left on the usability. If it’s out of date, or short-dated, or if your box is damaged in any way, let your pharmacist know. 

You can find out more about what to expect from the drug on our Cialis FAQ. This has information on choosing the right dose, and how tadalafil works in the body.

Page last reviewed:  29/09/2021