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    Side effects and warnings of Cialis

    On this page
    1. What is Cialis?
    2. How does Cialis work?
    3. Cialis side effects
    4. Common Cialis side effects
    5. Uncommon Cialis side effects 
    6. Rare Cialis side effects
    7. How to avoid Cialis side effects
    8. Avoid recreational drugs
    9. Check prescription medicine interactions with Cialis
    10. Can you drink alcohol with Cialis?
    11. Who shouldn’t take Cialis?
    12. Other erectile dysfunction treatments

    Cialis is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). It’s thought to work for around 80% of men who use it, making it a very effective treatment for the condition. 
    Sometimes Cialis is referred to as the ‘weekend pill’, as it can last for up to 36 hours. 
    In this article we’re going to look at the potential side effects of Cialis, from the most common to the rarer ones. 

    What is Cialis?

    Cialis, as mentioned is a treatment for ED. It contains the active ingredient tadalafil, which is an effective solution to erectile problems. Cialis is the branded version of the treatment, tadalafil. It contains the same active ingredient and works in the same way to treat ED.    

    How does Cialis work?

    Cialis works by increasing the blood flow to the penis, allowing the user to gain an erection. Cialis can be prescribed in doses of 2.5, 5, 10 and 20mg tablets. This means the likelihood of developing side effects may be reduced by taking a smaller dose. 

    Cialis side effects

    Like with all medications, there is the risk of side effects when taking Cialis. Side effects can occur in some men, but normally in less than 1% of cases.

    Common Cialis side effects

    These affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people

    • Headache
    • Indigestion
    • Stomach cramps
    • Back pain
    • Flushing 
    • Nasal congestion

    Uncommon Cialis side effects 

    These affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people. 

    • Nose, throat and sinus infections
    • Stuffy nose
    • Back pain, muscular pain and fatigue
    • Pain in legs and arms
    • Penile bleeding
    • Chest pain
    • Redness/rashes on the neck and face
    • Coughing
    • Excessive sweating

    Rare Cialis side effects

    These affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people. 

    • Feeling faint
    • Loss of hearing
    • Feeling you may want to vomit
    • Sensation of feeling numb/tingling in the face, hands and feet
    • Eye pain - blood vessel clotting, blurred vision, pink eye, temporary blindness
    • Diarrhoea/loose stools
    • Increased or decreased blood pressure
    • Migraines
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Inflammation of the oesophagus
    • Angina
    • Continued or painful erections
    • Vomiting/stomach acid coming up the oesophagus
    • Skin rashes
    • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
    • Seizures
    • Pounding heart
    • Joint pain
    • Feeling dizzy/sensation of spinning
    • Neck pain
    • Abnormal liver function
    • Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
    • Fluid retention
    • Feeling tired/low in energy
    • Watery eyes
    • Temporary, short term memory loss
    • Dry mouth
    • Burning/painful stomach
    • Itchiness
    • Drowsiness
    • Heart attack

    How to avoid Cialis side effects

    Avoid recreational drugs

    Recreational drugs can interact badly with Cialis, and therefore increase the likelihood of developing side effects. Drugs like ‘Poppers’ and ‘Room Odourisers’ can be particularly bad as they contain nitrates, which can cause a dangerous interaction with Cialis. If in doubt, consult your doctor to discuss the effects further.

    Check prescription medicine interactions with Cialis

    A number of prescription medicines may increase the chance of side effects occurring when taking Cialis. Cialis affects the cardiovascular system, and therefore medicines which treat heart and arterial conditions may make you more susceptible to experiencing side effects. Similarly, taking nitrate-based medicines, alpha-blockers can also put you at risk.

    Can you drink alcohol with Cialis?

    Having a glass or two of wine or beer shouldn’t impact how Cialis works, but you shouldn't drink too much. Drinking too much alcohol can also increase your chances of getting a headache or getting dizzy, increasing your heart rate, or lowering your blood pressure. 

    It’s worth bearing in mind that drinking lots of alcohol can hinder your ability to get an erection in the first place. So, drinking lots might make it harder for Cialis to do its work. 

    Who shouldn’t take Cialis?

    Cialis is a safe ED medication for lots of men. However you shouldn’t take it if:

    • You’re allergic to any of the ingredients 
    • You’re taking any form of organic nitrate or nitric oxide donors (these are usually used to treat chest pain)
    • You’ve had a heart attack in last three months
    • You have serious heart disease
    • You’ve had a stoke in the last six months
    • You have low blood pressure
    • You have uncontrolled high blood pressure
    • You’ve had a ‘stroke of the eye’ (NAION)
    • You’re taking riociguat

    Cialis also might not be suitable for you if:

    • You have sickle cell anaemia
    • You have cancer of the bone marrow
    • You have leukaemia
    • You have a serious kidney or liver problem
    • You have a penis deformity. 

    If any of the above relate to you, you should speak to a GP before taking the treatment. And if you’re using our online service, it’s very important you declare any of these conditions during the consultation. 

    Other erectile dysfunction treatments

    There are a variety of medications that can be prescribed for erectile dysfunction, these include:

    Outside of medications, there are other options like penis pumps and constriction rings, which can help with ED. If your ED is caused by stress or anxiety, counselling may help you. There are also devices like vacuum pumps and constriction rings that can be trialled. 

    References
    https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.7431.pdf
    https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/7430/smpc
    https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/tadalafil/
    https://pi.lilly.com/us/cialis-ppi.pdf

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