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Does Cialis Help with Premature Ejaculation?

Jill Johnson

Medically reviewed by Jill Johnson, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 10/29/2021

You likely know this already, but Cialis is a popular, safe and effective medication for treating a major sexual disorder known as erectile dysfunction. 

Like Viagra and other medications, it’s commonly prescribed as a pill for men who are having trouble achieving liftoff in mission-critical situations. 

But erectile dysfunction might not be the only thing Cialis is able to treat when it comes to penile problems: If the internet is any indication, many people believe this drug might also be effective for addressing premature ejaculation

Is it possible? Definitely. Plenty of medications are able to offer additional benefits, sometimes referred to as “off-label” uses. 

In fact, many of the current premature ejaculation medications are prescribed just this way. 

Cialis’s spot on that list is still pending, but there’s a promising amount of information to suggest it could eventually get its credentials.

Here’s more information about Cialis and what it can do. 

What Is Cialis and What Is It Prescribed For?

Cialis, which is also known by the generic name tadalafil, is one of several members of a proven-effective class of erectile dysfunction treatments

Tadalafil is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (or PDE-5) inhibitor, which works by increasing blood flow to the tissues of your penis. 

It does this by inhibiting the production of the namesake PDE-5 enzymes — and these enzymes can break down the chemical compounds at work in your penis to keep you hard. 

Tadalafil is slightly different from other PDE5 inhibitors in that its longer effective time means it works for longer than others. 

Viagra, for instance, can typically work to promote erections for a few hours after the medication is consumed, while a single dose of Tadalafil can be effective for up to  36 hours, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Tadalafil (and Cialis by association) is a popular treatment for erectile dysfunction, in part because it can be consumed safely as a daily medication in addition to an as-needed dosage. 

Cialis was actually the first drug ever approved for daily erectile dysfunction treatment.

Can Cialis Treat Premature Ejaculation?

Cialis and other PDE-5 inhibitors may indeed have some benefits for PE sufferers. The science is still very limited, but researchers are wondering if there are correlations between drugs like Cialis and premature ejaculation benefits.

The science is complicated, but researchers believe there’s a relationship between the creation of nitric oxide within the body by PDE-5 inhibitors, and how nitric oxide may affect dopamine levels, which in turn may affect ejaculatory latency, or the difference between when you want to orgasm and when you do orgasm.

Lest you think there’s a clear connection of dots, the same researchers urged caution, noting a lack of substantial evidence and the still-unclear possibility that the studies were simply poorly designed.

Another study some years earlier called the link between Cialis and PE benefits “controversial” and affirmed that, while there may be as many as a third of ED sufferers also suffering from PE who should be noted, well-controlled studies are still lacking to demonstrate any medical benefit for premature ejaculation with Cialis.

In other words, researchers think that there might be something there, but they’re not close to knowing what, or how, or with what consequences.

Side Effects and More: Why Cialis Is Not the Best PE Medication

Cialis has some potentially serious side effects to be aware of, and the risk/reward of these may be one of the many reasons healthcare professionals aren’t just “winging it” with this prescription medication. 

A variety of symptoms can upset your daily normal functions. You might experience blurred vision, hives, rash and flushing while taking Cialis, or experience diarrhea, stomach pain, indigestion or nausea.  

Persistent cough, dizziness, ringing in your ears, as well as chest pain, difficulty breathing or  problems swallowing may also occur. 

Headaches, blistering, swelling of the face and other body parts have been reported in the past. Consult a healthcare professional if you notice any of these side effects. 

Additionally, the side effects of Cialis can sometimes become very serious, with loss of vision sometimes rarely occurring. Consult a healthcare professional immediately if this happens to you.

Additional serious but rare side effects can include renal impairment or sudden hearing loss, and priapism — erections lasting longer than four hours — which can cause permanent damage if not addressed, according to the FDA.

Lastly, blood pressure issues may occur when taking Cialis, and as such, a healthcare professional should be made aware of any other medications for blood pressure that you may be taking before you accept a Cialis prescription.  

On rare occasions Cialis can cause sudden, severe drops in blood pressure, which can lead to death.

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Better Premature Ejaculation Treatment Methods for You

So what will work for you? While PE is not yet curable, there are plenty of treatment options available for addressing premature ejaculation symptoms. 

Your treatment options may start with physiological strategies like employing the well-known start-stop technique while in the act of sexual intimacy with a partner. 

Simply put, the start-stop technique or stop-start technique is about stopping when you feel yourself approaching orgasm too soon, and resuming activity after the urge has faded.

Another great way to address the physiological issues is to practice kegel exercises. Kegels for men are about strengthening the muscles of your pelvic floor (the same ones you use to pee, or to hold back an orgasm) to help you later control ejaculation urges more effectively.

The yes-this-is-real “squeeze technique” suggests that you respond to the urge to orgasm by stopping, squeezing the tip of your penis until the urge passes, and then resuming activity once you’re less excited. 

It’s been shown to be effective to some degree, but the downside is that you may have to employ it several times in one session.

There are non-physiological techniques to consider, too, many of which include the use of gels, creams or other topical products to reduce sensitivity. 


Treating PE


Treating premature ejaculation is still a young field of study. For context, the “squeeze technique” (which involves pulling out and squeezing the tip of your penis until the urge to orgasm subsides) was pretty much the only medically recommended premature ejaculation solution until the ‘90s.

These days there are other options, though the best seem to be another off-label type of medication: antidepressants.

It turns out that the popular antidepressant medication class Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can affect the hardwired connection between your penis and brain. 

Difficulty completing during sex is labeled as a side effect of SSRIs, but if you’ve got premature ejaculation issues or just want to last longer before you orgasm, getting treatment for depression may solve two problems. 

A study done on this showed that literally 100 percent of the participating men saw improvement in their stamina and premature ejaculation issues. 

Managing depression and improving your sex life at the same time is like a really incredible two-for-one deal.

Your best treatment option may be one of these, or another method like the squeeze technique. It also might be dietary and lifestyle changes, or the inclusion of pelvic floor exercises (kegels) in your workout routine. 

The best person to advise you on your options (including Cialis for premature ejaculation) is a healthcare professional.

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Cialis and Premature Ejaculation

Cialis is a safe and effective drug for erectile dysfunction, but its potential benefits for premature ejaculation have not yet been adequately explored to make the risk of side effects worth the potential benefits. 

And here’s the thing you need to remember: Sexual dysfunction isn’t just about popping the right pills. 

Premature ejaculation may be linked to a variety of psychological issues like performance anxiety or low self esteem, and it may benefit from behavioral therapy.

Talking with a healthcare provider about your medical history and sexual activity may sound anxiety-inducing, but it’s a helpful way to get control over ejaculation timing. 

Your best bet? Talk to a healthcare provider. Treatment of patients with PE is getting easier every day, and combinations of therapy with techniques and other medications like SSRIs may be just what you need. 

Therapy may also help you explore any issues with sexual intimacy or with your sexual partner that might be throwing your timing off. 

The relief you’ll feel from knowing whether or not you have a problem is going to put a lot of the stress around this issue to rest immediately, and, regardless of whether you have PE or not, knowing the truth about your situation can open up options that you currently don’t have. 

14 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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  10. Mohee, A., & Eardley, I. (2011). Medical therapy for premature ejaculation. Therapeutic advances in urology, 3(5), 211–222. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3199591/.
  11. Publishing, H. (n.d.). Which drug for erectile dysfunction? Retrieved January 17, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/which-drug-for-erectile-dysfunction
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  13. Publishing, H. (n.d.). Kegels: Not for women only. Retrieved March 29, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/kegels-not-for-women-only.
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What’s next?

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.

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