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How do you get the Maximum Effect from Cialis?

If you’re one of 30 million American adults suffering from erectile dysfunction (male impotence) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), you’ve likely heard about medications or pde5 inhibitors like Cialis, Viagra, Levitra, vardenafil, and Stendra, which can effectively treat these common conditions and common side effects. Cialis is the only erectile dysfunction medication that is approved for daily use at a low dose, as opposed to being taken only in advance of sexual activity. Cialis’ “staying power” - the drug lasts up to 36 hours - makes it one of the most popular prescription medications available to treat erectile dysfunction, also known as ed treatment or treatment of erectile dysfunction, but also one of the most expensive.  If you’re ready to make the investment in Cialis but want to make sure that the medication works as effectively as possible, there are several things you can do to make sure you get the maximum effect from Cialis. 

Reduce Your Erectile Dysfunction Risk Factors

Erectile dysfunction, which is the opposite of priapism,  occurs when a man has difficulty getting and/or keeping an erection long enough for sex, erectile function is limited or non-existent. Some men suffer from erectile dysfunction only occasionally, while others may never be able to get and maintain an erection. The condition is caused by a limited blood flow to the penis, which prevents an erection from occurring. Erectile dysfunction is extremely common, affecting over 30 million adults in the United States alone, because there are many factors and conditions that contribute to it. Depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, pulmonary arterial hypertension, high cholesterol, indigestion, obesity, prostate cancer treatment, and spinal cord injury can all cause erectile dysfunction. Additionally, some medications used to treat high blood pressure, myeloma, heart disease, rapid heart rate, and depression can also cause erectile dysfunction. The first step you should take to make sure you get the maximum effect from Cialis is to modify elements of your lifestyle that may be contributing to medical conditions that cause erectile dysfunction, such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight by reducing portion sizes, eating whole foods, and making healthy choices
  • Quit smoking and the use of other tobacco products
  • Increase physical activity to help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol 
  • Manage your diet to avoid obesity and diabetes
  • Work on reducing stress in your life. If your stress cannot be reduced by removing yourself from stressful situations (let’s face it - that’s not always an option), then learn to manage your stress through mindfulness practices like yoga, meditation, walking, etc.
  • Address underlying psychological issues by considering seeing a therapist. This may also help address sexual performance anxiety due to erectile dysfunction.

Eat for Success

When we talk about eating for success, we don’t mean just watching your portions or eating whole foods, although both of those things are important, too! Specifically, it’s recommended not to consume any high fat meals when taking erectile dysfunction, because the high fat content can make the medication take longer to work. If you take your Cialis at night, you’ll want to avoid fatty or heavy meals like a steak dinner, burger, or lasagna for at least two hours prior to taking your medication. If you’re especially concerned with getting the maximum effect from your medication, don’t eat fatty meals at all on the day you take your meds, but if you must eat a heavy or high fat meal, do it in the morning or at lunch. Heavy and high fat meals divert blood to the digestive system rather than the penis, which can make it take longer to get an erection. 

Choose the Right Medication

You may have your heart set on taking Cialis as your medication of choice for erectile dysfunction. After all, there’s something to be said for being able to take a medication daily and have sex spontaneously, or having a medication that lasts up to 36 hours. However, all erectile dysfunction medications have different chemical compositions and produce different results. It’s important to tell your doctor about any health problems you currently have or have had in the past when seeking medical advice, as well as talk about all medications you’re taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication, vitamins, supplements, and herbs. Cialis may be the right medication for you, or it may not be based on your goals, lifestyle, and medical history. Make sure you talk to your doctor about what you hope to achieve by taking the medication. 

Check Your Medicine Cabinet

Prior to talking to your doctor, make sure you double check your medicine cabinet and have a complete list of all medications that you’re taking. While some medications, such as nitrates like nitroglycerin and isosorbide, and recreational drugs called “poppers” that contain amyl or butyl nitrate, can have dangerous interactions with Cialis and should not be taken together at all, other medications and supplements interact with Cialis and make it less effective. For example, medications like phenytoin, fosphenytoin, carbamazepine, and rifampin, and supplements like St. John’s Wort, can make the body process and eliminate Cialis faster, meaning you may not get a full 36 hours of effectiveness out of your prescription. You should continue to take your medication as prescribed, but it may help to take them at a different time of day from Cialis to help with effectiveness. Remember, Cialis lasts up to 36 hours, so you don’t have to take it right before sex.

Give it Time
Cialis, just like sildenafil,  is the longest lasting of any of the existing erectile dysfunction medications on the market today, but it also generally takes longer to work than medications like Viagra, Levitra, and Stendra, so be patient. While it is generally recommended that Cialis be taken 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity, it may take up to 2 hours for the drug to take effect. If this is something that concerns you, remember that Cialis lasts up to 36 hours, so it can be taken well before intercourse may occur to ensure effectiveness. When you take your Cialis may be affected by other medications that can interact with the drug, so make sure to give your doctor a complete rundown of your medical history and any prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, supplements, and herbs you may be taking.

Talk About Upping Your Dose

When your doctor prescribes you Cialis, just like sildenafil, for the first time, you might rush home, excited to try it and ready for a miracle. If the medication doesn’t work right away, don’t get discouraged. Doctors generally prescribe Cialis at the 10 mg strength for patients who are new to the drug, but you may need a higher or lower strength to achieve your desired results. It’s very important that you do not make changes to your dose without talking to your doctor first, but you should know that you have options. Remember, Cialis has been proved to be extremely effective in fighting erectile dysfunction - it just may take some time to find exactly what you need. Patients who take Cialis for daily use are generally prescribed the 2.5 mg daily dose but may have the option to move up to 5 mg if needed.

Be Patient

Erectile dysfunction medications, also known as ed drugs, like Cialis work by boosting the effect of nitric oxide, which relaxes the muscles in the penis and allows the blood to flow. Does that sound like something that happens instantly? Of course not. Be patient and give your medication time to work. Cialis will not provide an instant erection. Even once your medication has taken effect, remember that Cialis will not produce an erection without sexual stimulation desire. You need to get in the mood! 

Don’t Panic

Erectile dysfunction can be extremely embarrassing and anxiety inducing for men who suffer from the condition. Since most people generally do not seek help for their condition right away, anxiety surrounding sexual situations can build over time. That means that even when you’ve got a medication like Cialis prescribed, you might still have a difficult time having sex due to anxiety based on previous experiences. If sexual anxiety is an issue for you, make sure you take extra time to get in the mood and get aroused. Your body may not respond immediately to your first doses of Cialis, which can be extremely frustrating. However, as your body gets used to the medication, its response can strengthen as you continue to take Cialis. Remember, your doctor can increase your dosage or switch you to another medication if needed, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the results you were hoping for right away. There’s a medication out there that is right for you!

Don’t Use Cialis with Nitrates

While Cialis doesn’t have a ton of potentially serious drug interactions compared to some other erectile dysfunction medications, it should definitely not be used if you are prescribed nitrates for conditions like chest pain, back pain and angina. When combined with nitrates, Cialis can cause an unsafe and potentially serious drop in blood pressure. Alpha blocker medications, sometimes used to treat benign prostate hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) list tadalafil, and high blood pressure, can sometimes cause low blood pressure leading to dizziness or fainting when combined with Cialis. Your doctor may recommend starting with a lower dose of Cialis or adjusting your other medication to reduce the risk of low blood pressure.