Viagra VS Cialis VS Levitra : A Comprehensive Comparison

Viagra VS Cialis VS Levitra : A Comprehensive Comparison 1

Here you will get a comprehensive comparison of 3 erectile dysfunction medication : Viagra VS Cialis VS Levitra.

Cialis ,Viagra and levitra are both PDE5 inhibitors used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. all the medicine only work when a man is sexually aroused.

The effect of Cialis lasts for around 36 hours(1.5 days) compared with only 4 to 5 hours for Viagra and Levitra. Food does not affect the activity of Cialis, whereas food may decrease the effectiveness of Viagra and Levitra. Cialis can be used once daily, at a smaller dosage, and is also effective at treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Dosage of Cialis may need to be reduced in men with liver or kidney problems and risk of interactions may be higher than with Viagra and levitra.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a male sexual disorder causing significant distress in the sexual relationships of the patient. Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil) are the various pharmacological drugs which belong to a group called Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

These drugs have been approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Although the main function of all these drugs remains the same, there are some differences in their chemical nature and action.

It is important to understand these differences so that the best possible choice of drug can be made as per patient’s requirements.

Functions

Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are the available brand names of pharmacological drugs sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil respectively. They belong to a class of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors, and all of them have similar functions.

They help in smooth muscle relaxation and improve the blood flow throughout the body. Thereby the blood flow to the penis also improves leading to a lasting erection during sexual activity. When taken before the sexual activity, these drugs act almost immediately.

In general, the drug manufacturers recommend taking the drug 30 minutes to 1 hour before sexual activity, but the specific timings depend on the drugs chosen.

  • Viagra is to be taken 30 minutes to 1 hour before sexual activity and the effect lasts for about 4 hours.
  • Levitra starts acting quicker than Viagra but effect lasts for almost same duration.
  • Cialis is given as once daily use at same time, regardless of sexual activity timing; its effect lasts upto 36 hours. Hence, Cialis is preferred for long-lasting action.

Dosage and administration

  • Viagra: Recommended dosage is 50mg. It can be raised upto 100mg as per requirement. It is given orally approximately 1 hour before sexual activity. Action lasts upto 4 hours.
  • Cialis: Recommended dosage is 2.5mg (may be increased upto 5mg). It is given orally as a once daily use, to be taken at the same time every day, regardless of the timing of sexual activity.
  • Levitra: Recommended dosage is 10mg (may be increased to 20mg), to be taken orally 60 minutes before sexual activity.

Side-effects and interactions

It is similar for all the drugs. The drug manufacturers recommend to avoid taking PDE5 inhibitors along with grapefruit or its juice, as it interferes with their action. Nitrates also interfere with these drugs, and hence avoided. Drug-specific side effects & interactions are discussed as follows:

Viagra

Side effects: stomach pain, headache, facial flushing, nausea, diarrhea, congestion, color blindness or blurred vision.

Interactions & warnings: Drugs taken for pulmonary hypertension may interact with Viagra causing blood pressure levels to drop to unsafe levels. Studies show that Viagra could increase the risk for skin cancer.

Cialis

Side effects: facial flushing, headache, low blood pressure, dizziness, congestion, chest pain.

Interactions & warnings: Should not be taken along with anti-hypertensive medications as it lowers the blood pressure to unsafe levels. Cialis is also indicated in benign prostatic hyperplasia and such patients with coexisting BPH should avoid taking additional alpha-blocker drugs.

Certain antifungal drugs and antibiotics should be avoided while taking Cialis.

Cialis is to be taken under doctor’s prescription, and the doctor may caution its usage if there is any history of stroke, heart disease, liver/kidney diseases, sickle cell anaemia and gastric ulcers.

Levitra

Side effects: congestion, headache, facial flushing, indigestion, stomach ache, back pain, dizziness, color blindness.

Interactions & warnings: If the patient is already weak and debilitated from certain health conditions like heart disease, he is advised to avoid sexual activity as it may put an added strain over the heart. In such cases, Levitra is contraindicated.

As with Cialis, Levitra is also avoided along with other antihypertensive medications due to risk of dip in BP to unsafe levels; alpha-blockers are to be avoided in BPH patients taking Levitra; certain antifungal and antibiotic drugs are avoided with Levitra.

Doctor’s prescription is necessary to use Levitra and one may be cautious of using it in various health conditions like heart disease (including arrhythmias), stroke, retinitis pigmentosa, hearing problems, gastric ulcers, liver/kidney diseases, abnormally shaped penis and blood problems like sickle cell anaemia.

Consult a doctor when there is a lasting erection beyond 4 hours with these medications. These drugs may sometimes cause Priapism, which is a painful and prolonged erection. Also, medical attention is needed if sudden loss of vision/hearing is noted with the use of these drugs. One must stop taking these drugs immediately in such conditions.

Cost and availability

Generic versions of Viagra, cialis and levitra are available which are FDA approved. These are usually cheaper than the respective branded versions.

Viagra is available since 1998 and is considered to be the best-known drug for ED worldwide. It is extensively sold by pharmacies and widely used.

Cialis is available since 2003 and is widely available. It is a cheaper alternative to Viagra.

 Levitra is available since 2003, but is not available widely.

Conclusion

PDE5 inhibitors are commonly used for symptomatic treatment of ED, although they cannot cure the disease. These drugs improve the performance during sexual activity. The choice of drug depends on the individual requirements.

Cialis is suitable for patients with both ED and BPH; it helps in better erection as well as improved urine flow. Moreover, it can be taken as once daily dose so that he is eveready for sexual activity, thus giving him the sexual freedom.

Whereas Viagra and levitra are better for those who don’t have regular sexual activity but have occasional plans. One must be aware of the side effects and interaction of these drugs.

It is also emphasized that these drugs don’t provide sexual stimulation and the person needs a sexual stimulation to have an erection.

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