What is Tadalafil: Uses and Side Effects


What Is Tadalafil?

Tadalafil is a medicine used to treat sexual problems like impotence or erectile dysfunction. When taken, it relaxes the muscles of blood vessels and increases the blood flow to particular areas of the body (to the penis to help a man get and keep an erection). 

It also helps in treating conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH and relieves the symptoms of BPH such as difficulty in passing the urine, weak stream and the need to urinate frequently.

With erectile dysfunction, the penis doesn't fill up with enough blood to harden and expand when a man is excited sexually. 

However this medicine or drug does not protect men against sexually transmitted diseases. So its always better to practise safe intercourse or consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

How Tadalafil Works And Its Uses?

Tadalafil belongs to a class of drugs called Phosphodiesterase 5(PDE5) inhibitors which work in a similar way and are often used to treat similar conditions. PDE5 is a substance produced in the lungs as well as in other parts of the body that breaks down another substance called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP). This drug often relaxes the blood vessels and helps them to widen. 

Tadalafil decreases the activity of PDE5 that results in more cyclic GMP for blood vessels inside the lungs. Relaxing and widening of blood vessels in the lungs decreases the pulmonary blood vessel to the heart and improves its function. Thus, reduces the blood pressure in lungs and results in the ability to be more active. 

How Should You Take Tadalafil?

Reach out to your doctor before you start taking tadalafil and each time you get refills. Make sure you are clear about taking this medication.

Take this medication orally with or without food as directed by your doctor and do not take it more than once in a day. Because, the dosage depends on your medical condition and other medications you are taking. Be sure to tell every medication you use to your doctor or pharmacist. 

To treat the condition called BPH, take this medication as directed by your doctor and if you are taking finasteride along with it to treat symptoms of BPH, talk about this with your doctor.

For erectile  dysfunction, take this drug before sexual activity but not more than once in a day. It can help to achieve an erection when sexual stimulation occurs and know that erection will not occur just by having a pill, so follow your doctor's instructions.

Tadalafil Side Effects:

Tadalafil doesn't cause any dizziness, but it can cause other side effects which are shown below:

Common Side Effects Of Tadalafil:

The most common side effects of tadalafil include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhoea
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Reddish skin( flushing)

If these side effects are mild, you can treat them within a few days or couple of weeks. If they are much severe, consult your doctor.

Serious Side Effects:

Some of the serious side effects of tadalafil include the following, if you experience any one of these, immediately consult your doctor.

  • Priapism is a painful erection that doesn't go away and if it lasts longer than 4 hours immediately seek help.
  • Vision changes such as trouble recognising the colours like blue and green or sudden decrease or loss of vision in both eyes.
  • Hearing loss and symptoms are dizziness, sudden loss of hearing and ringing in ears
  • Low blood pressure and the symptoms are fainting, angina and feeling lightheaded.
  • Chest pain during or after having sex.
  • A serious skin infection 

How To Prevent Tadalafil Side Effects:

The best way to take tadalafil is to use it exactly as your doctor says, either once in a day or only as needed. You shouldn’t include any other medication when you are taking tadalafil to treat erectile dysfunction and you should not take it more than once in a day.

It's also important to avoid drinking too much alcohol when you're on medication. If you have any questions about the best ways to avoid side effects of tadalafil, talk with your doctor.

What Other Drugs Need To Be Avoided When Taking Tadalafil?

Tadalafil can cause serious issues, when used with nitrates it leads to dizziness, fainting and in most rare cases heart strokes. Do not use it with certain drugs used to treat chest pain, recreational drugs called “popper” containing amyl or butyl nitrate.

Have a discussion with your doctor and tell him/her about all your current medications and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • Antibiotics or antifungal medicines
  • Drugs to treat high blood pressure 
  • Seizure medicine
  • Medicines to treat erectile dysfunction
  • Antiviral medicines to treat AIDS/HIV

Other drugs may also interact with tadalafil which includes prescriptions, vitamins, minerals, herbal products and counter medicines.

What Happens If You Miss A Dose?

If you are taking tadalafil as needed then there is no worry of missing dosing schedule. But if you are taking it everyday and you miss a dose, then take it immediately as soon as you remember. Do not take the extra medicine to make up with missed doses which might result in causing some side effects.

People Should Avoid Taking Tadalafil Who Deal With Certain Health Conditions:

  • People With Heart Diseases:

Sexual activity increases possible risks for your heart. Both alcohol and tadalafil can easily widen your blood vessels and result in dropping of your blood pressure.

  • People With Kidney Diseases:

Tadalafil can stay longer in your body and raise risks of many side effects including kidney diseases. 

  • People With Bleeding Disorders Or Peptic Ulcers:

Using tadalafil can worsen bleeding or ulcers. If you take it, your doctor may monitor you more closely.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not recommended to take tadalafil. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

  • People At Risk Of Prolonged Erections:

Tadalafil results in causing priapism which is painful and long lasting erection. Consult your doctor before tadalafil, especially  if you have a condition that puts you at higher risk of priapism.

  • People With Liver Problems:

As I said earlier, this drug stays longer in your body. So it's better to consult your doctor every time you include or exclude this drug from your routine.

  • Children:

Children younger than 18 years shouldn't use tadalafil and it's not known if tadalafil is safe and effective in children.

  • Seniors:

People aged 65 years and older should avoid taking tadalafil as it processes more slowly in the body. High levels of this drug might be dangerous.

How To Store And Dispose This Medicine?

Keep this medicine in a container it came in and make sure it is tightly sealed and out of reach of children. Always Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture like bathrooms.

The best way to dispose of this medicine is through the medicine take back program. Contact your pharmacist or doctor or your local garbage department to learn about take back programs in your area or community. 

It is important to keep all medications out of sight and reach of children or in a safe location that is up and away and out of their sight and reach as well.

What To Do When You Overdose?

If someone has overdosed on this medicine and has serious symptoms such as trouble in breathing, call a poison centre right away. 

And if the victim has collapsed, had a seizure or cant be awakened, immediately call emergency services.

What Other Information You Need To Know?

Keep all your appointments with your doctor when you are on medication. And never let anyone else take your medication. It is important to keep a written list of all prescriptions and non-prescriptions medicines you are taking, as well as any products like vitamins, minerals or other dietary supplements.

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