What's More Popular: Cialis or Viagra?

By The Rex MD Editorial Team

October 12, 2020

Viagra may be the most recognizable ED medication on the market, but since 2003 when the world received its second and third powerful erectile dysfunction medications Cialis and Levitra, men have been asking the same question over and over: what's the most popular and effective ED medication?

The answer may surprise you.

How Viagra And Its Counterparts Work

With four major drugs and a variety of different doses available, it can be hard to know where to begin. 

Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil) and Stendra (avanafil) all work by the same mechanism of action: phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibition. These PDE5 inhibitors, and the lesser known udenafil, all work by blocking an enzyme in the body that helps to cut down on blood flow. They're basically removing speed bumps on the way to increased blood flow in the penis, and the erection that comes with it.

PDE5 inhibitors are incredibly effective at helping men with erectile dysfunction get an erection, and now that sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil are all available as cheap generics, they're more common than ever. But they're all a little different due to slight differences in their molecular structure.

What's Most The Most Popular ED Med And Why?

Most Rex MD customers purchase Viagra or Cialis. They're widely considered the two most popular of the PDE5 inhibitors: Viagra because it was the first ED medication ever approved, in 1998, and Cialis because it – famously – helps you get an erection any time over the next 36 hours.

Most people think of Viagra first when they think of ED meds. But when compared head-to-head, what does the research say? Do more guys actually prefer Viagra?

Most Guys Prefer Cialis Over Viagra

Men AND their partners prefer Cialis to Viagra when compared head-to-head.

A 2017 analysis that compared Cialis (tadalafil) against Viagra (sildenafil) directly helps to make clear why Cialis is the commanding favorite. The final analysis looked at 16 studies and included a group of 5189 patients with a mean patient age from 36.9 to 56.2 years.

In this review and another one like it in 2015, the majority of patients and their partners preferred tadalafil over sildenafil

Here's the conclusion:

Tadalafil and sildenafil have been shown to exhibit comparable efficacy, safety and satisfaction for the treatment of ED, and tadalafil dramatically improved the psychological outcomes. The adherence and persistence rates for tadalafil and sildenafil were equal. Furthermore, both men and women preferred tadalafil to sildenafil for the treatment of ED. Thus, tadalafil may be a better choice for ED treatment.

But why? What makes more guys like Cialis over Viagra?

Cialis Lasts Longer

Cialis is known for how long it lasts. Viagra can be taken anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours before sexual intimacy, and while Cialis is usually recommended 60 minutes prior to sex, its effects can last for up to 36 hours! You can take Viagra on a Friday evening and expect to be ready for anything during an entire romantic weekend getaway.

Men who take tadalafil feel less timing pressure, less urgency, and have to do less planning before and during sexual encounters compared with those taking sildenafil.

Cialis Might Be Better for Mental Health

Using tadalafil over sildenafil, according to researchers, also improves psychosocial and psychological outcomes for couples. Because men have less to worry about with timing, guys who were comparing the two reported better overall satisfaction with their treatment. Tadalafil improves sexual confidence more efficiently than sildenafil.

Cialis Has Fewer Side Effects Than Viagra

Viagra is widely considered the most effective ("it works!") of the ED meds, partly because it works so quickly. But there's some evidence that Viagra has more side effects than its competition.

Sildenafil had the highest rate of overall adverse events and tadalafil had the lowest overall rate of all adverse events in one analysis, while the 2017 analysis found that the overall adverse event rate of tadalafil is similar to sildenafil, although their side effects differ. There was no difference in the rate of headache, stomach pain, or nasal congestion between tadalafil and sildenafil, while tadalafil patients experienced more back pain and less facial flushing than sildenafil.

For men who prioritize powerful effectiveness, Viagra may be the place to start. For men who want to optimize tolerability and effectiveness, tadalafil may be the right choice.

Cialis Is Cheap

Thankfully, tadalafil and sildenafil are both cheap and easily accessible these days. That's because they're both available as generic drugs from multiple drug manufacturers. When these drugs were first approved twenty years ago they were quite expensive because they were still branded: Cialis and Viagra respectively, for as much as $90 per dose! 

Now you can find tadalafil affordably from telehealth companies like Rex MD. It's as easy as completing an online order and virtual visit with one of our board-certified physicians. If approved, your order will be in the mail and shipped to your door in discreet packaging. All for as littles as $10/dose. 

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Disclaimer : This article is for information only and should not be considered medical advice. Always speak with your doctor about your health and the benefits or risks of any treatment or intervention. This information should not be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice.