Can You Take Cialis in The Morning and Viagra At Night?

If you’ve experienced erectile dysfunction (ED), you know it can cause embarrassing moments in your intimate life. 

We put so much emphasis on virility as men that even a single incident of not being able to get it up can cause shame, depression or be a huge hit to our self-esteem. 

ED is a common condition, and a lot of us may be tempted as a first instinct to go a bit overboard on treatments. 

It seems to make sense if you don’t think it through. Viagra® (sildenafil) is a commonly prescribed treatment for short-term ED. You take it and get a few hours of confident reprieve. 

Likewise Cialis® (tadalafil) gives you a longer period of potency, as it’s a medication you take to get 36 hours of reliable erectile function. 

So why not take both as a sort of insurance mechanism?

Believe it or not, that is, in fact, a terrible idea — and not just because it won’t actually work.

Taking two ED pills, even if they work slightly differently, can cause a multitude of problems, and we’re sorry to report that none of them will be a doubling in size of your member. The effects could be more dangerous — like a heart attack, or a stroke. 

To understand more clearly why this is a bad idea for you and your penis, let’s walk through the background of how erections work and how ED happens.

How Erections Work

Erections are the result of two primary processes: increased blood flow to the penis’s blood vessels, and the trapping of that blood in the penis in two long champers called the corpora cavernosa. 

When you become aroused, your brain sends chemical signals to your body to dilate the blood vessels in the penis, allowing blood to flow in. The blood becomes trapped in the corpora cavernosa, keeping you erect. That’s how it’s supposed to work, if you don’t have erectile dysfunction.

ED: What’s Going Wrong

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines erectile dysfunction pretty clearly: “A condition in which you are unable to get or keep an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse.”

There are many factors that can cause erectile dysfunction. They include: 

poor diet, obesity, blood flow issues,  stress, anxiety, illicit or prescribed drugs and their side effects, certain habits, hormone imbalances, and more.

It’s a fairly common condition, affecting an estimated 30 million to 50 million men nationwide. And because it’s so common, the treatment options available have been tested and used extensively  over the years. Two of these FDA approved and widely used treatments are Cialis and Viagra. 

Cialis and Viagra are Very Similar Treatments

We’ve written about these drugs  more extensively in our guide comparing the two, but Cialis and Viagra have a lot in common. 

Both Cialis and Viagra are phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which work by blocking the breakdown of certain substances in your body leading to prolonged dilation of your blood vessels and subsequent increase of  blood flow to the soft tissue of your penis. 

Because PDE5 inhibitors cause dilation of blood vessels, they can also be used to treat certain types of  hypertension. 

Because of these effects, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before using Cialis or Viagra if you have a heart condition, or if you use medication for high blood pressure.  

The key difference is that Viagra is a shorter term medication, typically resulting in four to six hours of effects, while Cialis can work from a day to a day and a half.

Doubling the Side Effect Risk

You’re not going to get twice as hard from taking a double dose of either Cialis or Viagra, and likewise you’re not going to get twice as hard from taking both in the same day. The reason? It doesn’t work like that. 

Cialis and Viagra both work as PDE5 inhibitors, and though they may work slightly differently in that process, they’re working on the same mechanism, which is to create the ideal conditions for an erection, not to cause one out of the blue. 

Just because you’re taking these medications, doesn’t mean you’re going to get an erection — stimulation of some kind is still needed to make that happen. 

But unfortunately, the fact that  both drugs won’t complement each other’s positive effects, doesn’t mean that tadalafil and sildenafil won’t complement each other’s side effects. And that’s what is likely to happen. 

Both Viagra and Cialis carry warnings for side effects, and most of the side effects overlap. 

In addition to things like headaches, rashes, and dizziness, they can both cause sudden drops in blood pressure, which may sound like it might be a great thing for people with high blood pressure, but in fact a large drop could have serious consequences, including death.

Here’s the catch: taking both medications in overlap will likely double the amount of chance for side effects, which could effectively double the rate and degree of drop in blood pressure, and that’s where this can go from a risky choice to a deadly one.  

Another possible consequence of taking two ED drugs or doubling the dose of your ED drug is priapism — an erection that lasts for several hours. 

This is a painful and potentially damaging emergency that has to be attended to immediately.  

And more importantly, and this can’t be stated clearly enough, there is absolutely no benefit to taking both drugs — neither Cialis nor Viagra actually cause you to have more erections. 

Got that? These drugs don’t cause erections. They cause the proper conditions for erections, but you still need to be stimulated or otherwise aroused for it to happen. 

The Bigger Picture

We’re guessing you hit this story out of a sense of curiosity — we were curious too, until we did the research. 

But if you were here wondering if doubling up on the pills would be a solution to your problem, you may have bigger issues you’ll want to address.

If you’re taking one or both of these medications and still not achieving erections, the cause could be psychological. 

Everything from depression and low self-esteem to a problematic porn habit could be causing your erectile issues, and those are problems that you’ll want to bring to your healthcare provider, therapist or other medical professional. 

There are other treatments for ED as well, including diet and lifestyle changes.

All we’re saying is that more pills are definitely not the answer if one pill isn’t working, and if one pill isn’t working, it’s time to talk to someone about other treatment options. 

Don’t despair: there are plenty of options available, and your solution might be as easy as trying a different pill, dropping some bad habits or picking up some good ones. 

If you’re just learning about ED, we have resources available to help you determine if either tadalafil (Cialis) or sildenafil (Viagra) are right for you

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.