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How Does Tadalafil work?

  • By: Dr Sophia Miller
  • Jul 02, 2021
How Does Tadalafil work?

The mechanism of action of Cialis (tadalafil) involves the following:

  • During the penile erection process, blood flows to the penis because of the relaxation of the penile arteries and smooth muscles within the penis. This response is associated with the release of the chemical, nitric oxide and this action stimulates the synthesis of the substance, cGMP.
  • Those with erection problems have difficulties with the penile erection process because of impaired blood flow to the penis
  • cGMP relaxes the smooth muscles and assists in blood flow to the penis
  • The inhibition of the enzyme PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5), by tadalafil, increases the amount of cGMP in the smooth muscle cells
  • Sexual stimulation is required for the release of nitric oxide in the penis and therefore the therapeutic action of this medication would not be possible without sexual arousal
  • The use of this medicine, together with sexual stimulation, can effectively improve blood flow to the penis and hence, treat erectile dysfunction
  • In addition to inhibiting PDE5, this therapeutic is known to increase PDE 11 (and more so than other ED medications), which is found in the prostate, liver, skeletal muscle, kidney, pituitary gland and testes. It is not well known how the effects of this inhibition affect the body but it has been suggested that this action can be related to sperm quality.

Please read further to find out information such as: how quickly tadalafil works, how long tadalafil works or how tadalafil works for women, read ahead.

How Does Tadalafil Work to Treat ED?

Tadalafil works to improve the flow of blood to the penis through the above mentioned mode of action. It is thought that the action of tadalafil tablets result in certain side effects, such as facial flushing.

For example, the therapeutic action of this medication influences the flow of blood through the dilation of the blood vessels and this subsequently causes facial flushing. However, there are other ED medicines that are thought to be associated with a greater incidence of adverse effects than this erectile dysfunction treatment and this may be due to their functioning, for example:

  • Tadalafil pills are known to inhibit PDE6, an enzyme found in the eye but this action is more extensive for other ED tablets, such as vardenafil and sildenafil. It is for this reason that those who use these sexual dysfunction medicines see a bluish tinge or have heightened sensitivity to light
  • Tadalafil is also known to inhibit PDE1 which is found in the brain, vascular smooth muscle and the heart as well. Sildenafil and vardenafil are thought to inhibit this enzyme more than the aforementioned therapeutic, which could be a reason for the facial flushing side effect.

How Long Until Tadalafil Works

Understanding how fast tadalafil works allows users to optimally time their dosages. This medication can be felt in as little as 30 to 45 minutes, however, some dosage forms, such as jelly based products, may take a lot less time to be felt. These liquid based forms have been reported to take as little as 15 minutes for the onset of effects. The speed at how fast tadalafil works can also be affected by physical traits, such as how large, tall and old a patient is. 

Additionally, underlying medical conditions and any medications or foods that you are taking can also play a role in how quickly tadalafil works. For example, people with liver or renal problems may need to wait longer for the medication to work. Also, taking this medication with certain others, such as alpha-blockers, nitrates or other blood pressure treatments can significantly raise the risk of side effects.

If the effects of the medication are not present after waiting past the documented onset time of the chosen dosage form, users should never take more dosages. When doubling the dose, there may be a risk of adverse effects.

Some side effects of this medication include:

  • Headache
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in the limbs
  • Nausea 

Always discuss the intended use of a medication with a doctor before starting a new treatment and ask about how long until tadalafil works for your individual case. 

How Long Will Tadalafil Work For?

Tadalafil lasts for the longest period of time among all the PDE5 inhibitors. This duration of action has been reported to be as long as 36 hours when used for the management of erectile dysfunction symptoms, and longer in some cases. 

How long tadalafil works is not the same for every person and can be less or more depending on the following:

  • Age: the physiological changes that occur as you age can have an effect on the pharmacological action of this erectile dysfunction medication. This means that senior men are cautioned when using these pills as the reduced kidney and liver functioning (which occurs as you get older) may affect the elimination of the therapeutic ingredients from the body. If allowed to accumulate in the body, these medicinal ingredients can cause severe health complications.
  • Dosage: a higher dose can generally prolong the therapeutic action of a medicine but it is recommended that you adhere to your advised dosage so as to reduce your chances of developing side effects. Adhering to the recommended dosing schedule can also minimize your risk of developing tolerance to the medicine.
  • Metabolism: this refers to the breakdown of medicine. Those with slower metabolisms will normally process the medication at a much slower rate than those with faster metabolisms, and in general, if the rate of metabolism of the pharmacologically active metabolite is increased, this will typically reduce the duration of action.

How long tadalafil works can also be affected by weight and height, as larger people may have more blood capacity and require special advice from a doctor for a personalized dosage amount.

Does 10 mg and 20 mg Tadalafil Work Differently?

The functioning of this medication is not dependent on any tadalafil dosage. This means that these erectile dysfunction pills will work in the same manner no matter what dosage you may take it at. However, there are certain consequences of taking larger amounts of this medicine and these include:

  • It changes more than your ability to achieve an erection: this therapeutic works to inhibit the PDE5 enzyme in the penis, hence administering high dosages of this medication can affect the functioning of your penis. Moreover, the PDE5 enzyme is not only found in the penis but in the tissues, kidneys, lungs, platelets and brain as well. This means that high doses of this therapeutic can affect these areas of the body as well.
  • It remains in your system for longer and is eliminated at a much slower rate: larger amounts of the medicine can stay in your system for a longer period of time and this can influence the rate of drug elimination. It is harmful for the accumulation of pharmacologically active metabolites in the body.
  • It increases your chances of tadalafil side effects: it is widely known that the incidence of side effects is dose-related in most situations. This means that the more medication you take, the greater your chances of experiencing one or more adverse events.
  • Additionally, the larger doses may have an effect on how fast tadalafil works, with larger doses having a faster onset.

How Tadalafil Works for Women

There have already been studies which have assessed how quickly tadalafil works for women and how efficient it is for female sexual dysfunction, a condition that affects 40% of women. As for how quickly it takes for the effects to begin, it would be exactly the same as when male patients would take it as the tissues in the genitals of both men and women are similar.

This medication can treat three of the four female sexual dysfunctions.

These are:

  • Sexual pain disorder: Documented as pain during sexual intercourse. This can be due to the patient not being able to relax and become naturally lubricated during sex.
  • Sexual arousal disorder: Recognized as difficulty becoming aroused during sexual activity even when sufficient physical or visual stimulus is present.
  • Orgasmic disorder: Characterized by difficulty or inability to reach orgasm during sexual activity. This can be attributed to either psychological or physical factors.

Sometimes, especially when the condition is related to circulation, doctors may suggest combining medication with other treatments, such as physical therapies like yoga, or cognitive behavioral therapy.

Buy Tadalafil to See How It Works for Your Sex Life!

The best way to determine if a medication is useful is to try it for yourself. You can easily buy tadalafil online and review the customer appraisals to find out how effective this medication is for the treatment of ED and other medical conditions as well. These user surveys can also be convenient for deciding which brand of tadalafil to buy.

You can choose to either buy generic Cialis or buy tadalafil in the branded form (the biggest difference is the cheaper tadalafil cost of the generic version. Whichever form you choose to buy, you will find that this medication is both efficacious and safe, as well as has the longest duration of action of all the medicines in its class.

Dr Sophia Miller
Medically Review by:

Dr Sophia Miller

Dr Sophia Miller was born in New York City, USA. As a young woman, she was always interested in science, specifically; chemistry and she was determined to pursue a career in the field.

Checked: 15th March 2023
Review Due: March 2024

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