How Often Should I Take ED Pills?
By The Rex MD Editorial TeamAugust 28, 2020
Jeff Toll, MD
It's a common question we get at Rex MD: how often can I take my erectile dysfunction pills?
For the most part, the answer is as often as you need – within reason.
How often can I take ED meds?
Most ED medications, like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra) are taken in the hour before sexual intimacy. That means that these ED meds are taken "on demand" rather than daily like most chronic prescription medications.
For most men, they'll likely be using these medications every few days.
But for many guys, there may be more than one opportunity daily (ahem).
For that, these three medications all suggest maximum use of ONCE DAILY in their FDA approved prescribing labels. For safe use, don't plan to be popping pills multiple times daily.
Here's a look at Viagra's (sildenafil) FDA-approved prescribing label. You can see that the manufacturers suggest maximum dosing frequency of once daily.
One exception is Cialis Daily, a lower dose of tadalafil that's designed to basically keep you primed and ready for action by taking this pill every day. For some men, it's a really effective way to combat ED, and if that's a better fit for your lifestyle, consider this a compelling option.
Here's the Cialis (tadalafil) label from the U.S. FDA., where you can see the multiple doses they've had approved, the different settings beyond ED, and the recommended dosing instructions. Again, their on-demand doses of 5, 10, or 20mg are not to be taken more than once per day.
How quickly do ED pills work?
All of these well-known medications are designed to work quickly.
How Quickly Viagra Works
Sildenafil, or Viagra, takes 30-60 minutes before its effects to take hold in the body. But that can be longer if you've just eaten a large or fatty meal, and your overall health and metabolism can change that timeframe as well.
In the graphic below, taken from the Viagra prescribing label, you can see how sildenafil works in the body. The chart shows the blood concentration of sildenafil over the hours following its use. Sildenafil blood concentration peaks in under 2 hours and falls off quickly after. No wonder Viagra is used when you need it! There's also a note about how a fatty or large meal can slow down Viagra's absorption. These kinds of studies analyze what's called the pharmacokinetics of sildenafil.
How Quickly Cialis Works
Tadalafil, or Cialis, is recognized for having a longer onset of action than sildenafil. For some men, that's attractive given that the window to begin intimacy may be a little wider. And, tadalafil doesn't have the same interaction with food that sildenafil does: expect no delays from taking it on a full stomach.
It's important to understand that these ED medications don't work magically - it still takes some sexual stimulation to get things started. And for many guys, it may take more than one try with the same medication. If you're a new user, give your medication a few chances to work, and try different timing techniques.
That's the beauty of Rex MD. Medications are affordable and the process is simple – our patients have the flexibility to try new things without going back to the doctor's office multiple times. Get started with a free ED consultation from Rex MD.