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Cialis vs. Levitra: The Battle of the Best Erectile Dysfunction Medications


Cialis vs. Levitra - Is one medication better than the other for erectile dysfunction? Here, we explore the difference between Cialis and Levitra. How do Levitra and Cialis work? Both medications are FDA-approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men, so shouldn't they be the same?


As a physician, I often get asked about the differences between various medications used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Two of the most popular ED drugs are Cialis and Levitra (excluding Viagra, of course). While Cialis and Levitra are similar in a number of ways, there are also some key differences that patients should be aware of when making a decision about which one to use.


Cialis and Levitra - How They Work


Let's begin with the way the drugs are similar. Cialis and Levitra are both PDE5 inhibitors, which means they function by relaxing the blood arteries in the penis, allowing for higher blood flow and, eventually, an erection. Both are given orally, generally approximately an hour before sexual activity, and have been demonstrated in clinical trials to be beneficial in treating ED.


How the Two ED Drugs Differ


However, there are some significant distinctions between the two medications that patients should be aware of before deciding which to use.


Duration of Action


When comparing Cialis and Levitra, one of the most significant contrasts is their respective durations of effectiveness. While Levitra's effects tend to wear off within a few hours of taking the medication, Cialis remains active in the body for up to 36 hours. This extended window of effectiveness allows patients to take the medication without the added pressure of timing their sexual activity just right. For men who value the ability to engage in spontaneous sexual activity, without the need for excessive planning and scheduling, this can be a particularly advantageous benefit.


In contrast to Cialis, Levitra's duration of effectiveness is significantly shorter, with effects typically lasting only between 4-5 hours after the medication is taken. As a result, patients may need to plan their sexual activity with greater care, taking the medication closer to the time they intend to engage in sexual activity.


Dosage Strengths


Cialis and Levitra also differ in the number of available dosage strengths. Cialis is available in 10mg and 20mg strengths, while Levitra comes in 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg strengths, affording patients more options for dosing.


It is essential to remember that the maximum recommended dosage for both medications is 20mg. Patients must adhere to their physician's guidelines regarding dosing and should never exceed the recommended amount.


The onset of action for Cialis and Viagra are similar, but may be significant for some men.
The onset of action for Cialis and Viagra are similar, but may be significant for some men.

Onset of Action


Though both medications are ingested approximately one hour before sexual activity, the onset of effectiveness varies between Cialis and Levitra. Cialis generally takes around 30 minutes to start working, while Levitra should be taken at least an hour prior to sexual activity. This disparity can be a critical factor for men who prioritize the ability to engage in sexual activity soon after taking the medication.


Side Effects


Although both Cialis and Levitra can cause side effects, the nature and severity of these side effects can differ between patients. Common side effects of these medications include headache, flushing, and stomach discomfort. Notably, Cialis has been associated with an increased likelihood of back pain, while Levitra is more frequently associated with nasal congestion.


As with any medication, it is crucial to inform one's physician of any other medications being taken, as both Cialis and Levitra can interact with other drugs. Patients must disclose all current medications to their doctor before starting treatment with either medication.


Levitra is significantly more expensive than Cialis.
Levitra is significantly more expensive than Cialis.

Cost


Lastly, the cost may be a factor when deciding between Cialis and Levitra. Though both medications can be costly, the expense may vary based on the pharmacy filling the prescription. Typically, Levitra is more expensive than Cialis. As of 2023, Cialis is available for as little as $6, depending on the pharmacy. On the other hand, Levitra costs around $50 to $60, with some pharmacies charging as much as $150.


It's important to note that the above prices are cash prices, meaning that it refers to the cost of the medications without insurance. You should check with your insurance company to see if they will cover the cost of erectile dysfunction medications. If they will cover ED meds, your individual out-of-pocket expense may be much cheaper.


Conclusion


In conclusion, both Cialis and Levitra are viable options for treating erectile dysfunction. Nevertheless, it is crucial to consider the differences between the two when determining which is best suited for a patient's needs. Cialis's effects last longer and take approximately 30 minutes to take effect, whereas Levitra's effects are shorter in duration and start working within an hour. Additionally, Cialis is more likely to cause back pain, while Levitra is more likely to cause nasal congestion. It's important for patients to discuss with their doctor which medication would be the most appropriate for their individual circumstances.


Here at Black Tie Health™, we offer preliminary men's health consultations via telehealth for only $99. During these consultations, we can discuss treatment options, write prescriptions, and order tests - all of it done online. We can also help you with information on which dietary supplements are likely to be best for your specific medical situation, as well as provide you with recommended dosages.


Telehealth appointments can be made using the "Book Now" button below.





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