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Daily Cialis®: Costs and Benefits of the Daily Cialis Dose

Vicky Davis

Medically reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 8/29/2022

Thanks to its long-lasting effects, Cialis®, which contains the active ingredient tadalafil, is one of the most popular medications on the market for treating erectile dysfunction (ED).

Unlike other ED medications, such as Viagra® (sildenafil) and Levitra® (vardenafil), which work for four to five hours per dose, Cialis is a long-lasting medication that can provide relief from ED for up to 36 hours per dose. 

Cialis’s long duration of action has earned it the nickname as the “weekend” pill for dealing with erectile dysfunction.

Cialis is available in a range of dosages. Although most people are familiar with the original 10 and 20mg Cialis tablets, far fewer are aware that Cialis is also sold as a lower dosage tablet for use every day. 

Below, we’ve explained how daily use of Cialis works. We’ve also looked at the advantages and disadvantages of using Cialis every day, from its effects on your sexual performance to its range of side effects, its convenience and more. 

What is Cialis (Tadalafil)?

Before we get into the finer details of daily-use Cialis, it’s worth going over the basics to explain how Cialis differs from other erectile dysfunction medications.

Like other ED medications, Cialis is a PDE5 inhibitor. It works by blocking the effects of PDE5, or cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 -- an enzyme that’s responsible for controlling the flow of blood to certain parts of your body, including your penis.

By inhibiting the effects of PDE5, Cialis helps to dilate the blood vessels that supply your penis, allowing for improved blood flow.

When you’re aroused, blood naturally flows to your penis. This increase in blood supply causes the bodies of erectile tissue inside your penis, referred to as the corpora cavernosa, to gradually expand and become firmer, creating an erection. 

As you reach orgasm and ejaculate, the same process occurs in reverse, with blood flowing out from your penis and the erectile tissue decreasing in size.

Other erectile dysfunction medications work in the same way as Cialis -- by inhibiting PDE5 and increasing blood flow. 

However, Cialis differs in that it’s much longer lasting than other ED medications. While Viagra typically works for three to five hours and Levitra for four to six, a single dose of Cialis can stay active in your body for up to 36 hours.

This long duration of action makes Cialis a great option if you’d like a long-lasting, easy to use medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. 

Contrary to popular belief, Cialis and other ED medications can not cause you to get erections at random. Instead, they only work when you’re already aroused due to sexual stimulation.

Cialis comes in tablet form. When used as-needed, it’s designed for consumption about one to two hours prior to sex. Like other ED treatments, Cialis is available as a brand name drug and as a generic medication in the form of tadalafil.

How Daily Cialis Works

Most ED medications, such as Viagra, Levitra and Stendra® (avanafil) are designed for use on an as-needed basis, meaning they’re taken before sex.

Cialis is also prescribed for use as needed. However, it’s also available at a reduced dosage as a daily-use medication. 

For as-needed use, which means you take the medication as you need it, Cialis typically comes in two different dosages: 10mg and a maximum dose of 20mg. It’s also occasionally prescribed at a dosage of 5mg, usually to treat mild or moderate ED.

Using Cialis or generic tadalafil as needed is a good option if you typically have sex a few times per week -- for example, every other day. Since it lasts for a long time, you can take Cialis close to the time you plan to have sex for stronger erections and a helpful confidence boost.

For daily use, Cialis comes in two dosages: 2.5mg and 5mg. The idea behind daily use of Cialis is that you’ll be prepared for sex whenever you feel like it, as the medication will remain active in your body all day. 

This means that you can have more fulfilling, pleasurable sex with your partner without needing to worry about taking your medication at a specific time of day. 

Advantages of Daily Cialis

Cialis offers several advantages, including a long duration of action and the convenience of not having to take medication right before sex. When used daily, it’s especially convenient thanks to its ability to make having sex at any time of day easier.

When it comes to efficacy, Cialis compares well to other erectile dysfunction medications, such as Viagra, Levitra and Stendra.

For example, clinical trials have found that 57 percent of men with ED who use Cialis on a daily basis at a dosage of 5mg are able to maintain an erection, compared to just 31 percent of men treated with a non-therapeutic placebo.

Other advantages of using Cialis on a daily basis include:

  • A simple, once-per-day dosage. When you use Cialis daily, adding it to your routine can be much easier. Instead of needing to remember to use Cialis before sex, you can take it every morning or at a consistent time throughout the day.
    This also means that there’s no need to carry your medication with you if you’re going out on a date and want to take Cialis in time to have sex the same night. 

  • Easier spontaneous sex. Because Cialis has a long half-life, it can remain active for the full day if it’s taken on a daily basis. This means that you’ll always be prepared for sex, even if it’s been many hours since you took your medication.
    This long-lasting duration of action makes daily-use Cialis a good option if you want to enjoy spontaneous, unplanned sex with your partner without worrying about ED.

  • Increased sexual confidence. Because Cialis works all the time, it can give a helpful confidence boost that reduces anxiety before sexual intercourse -- something that may increase your level of sexual desire. 

  • A reduced risk of side effects. Because daily-use Cialis is taken at a lower dosage than as-needed CIalis, you may have a reduced risk of experiencing side effects from your medication.
    Many side effects are less common when Cialis is used daily. For example, headache, which is one of the most common Cialis side effects, affects 11 to 15 percent of people who use Cialis as needed, compared to just three to six percent of daily users.

Disadvantages of Daily Cialis

Using Cialis on a daily basis is mostly positive, but it does have a few potential disadvantages, including the risk of mild side effects lasting for longer and the medication potentially needing a little extra time to start working to its fullest:

  • When used daily, Cialis is always “on.” Although this is mostly an advantage, the fact that daily-use Cialis is always working to treat erectile dysfunction could be inconvenient in some situations.
    For example, if you only have sex once or twice each week and know when you’ll spend time with your partner, using Cialis every day may not be totally necessary.

  • Cialis can take three to five days to reach its peak concentration. Because Cialis is prescribed at a reduced dosage for daily use, it can take several days before it reaches its peak concentration in your bloodstream.
    This means that you may need to wait for several days before you notice the full effects of Cialis after starting treatment. 

  • Some side effects of Cialis may be more persistent. Because Cialis is always active within your body when it’s taken on a daily basis, side effects such as headaches, nasal congestion, dyspepsia (heartburn) and muscle pain, may be more persistent.
    However, because Cialis is prescribed at a lower dose for daily use, certain side effects may be less severe and intense. 

Is Daily Cialis Right for You?

There are several ED medications currently available, making choosing the “right” one for you a difficult process. 

If you can’t decide between daily-use Cialis and another option, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • How often do you have sex during the week? If you have sex more than two to three times a week, using Cialis daily will generally be more convenient for you, as there’s no need to take medication an hour ahead of time.

  • Do you often have spontaneous sex? If you often have sex without planning ahead of time, or just don’t want to wait for Cialis to start working, using Cialis daily can give you a greater degree of control over your sexual schedule. 

  • Do you use other prescription medications? Cialis and other medications for ED may interact with other drugs, including medications for high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and antifungal medications used to treat skin and/or nail infections.
    If you use other prescription medications, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before using Cialis.

  • Do you have an existing health condition? Some medical conditions may make Cialis unsafe or unsuitable for you. Make sure to fully inform your healthcare provider about all of your pre-existing conditions before using Cialis or similar medication for ED.

  • Do you drink alcohol often? Although it’s okay to consume a small amount of alcohol while using Cialis, drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause orthostatic hypotension, a form of low blood pressure that may cause dizziness, headache and other issues.
    If you’re a frequent and/or heavy drinker, using Cialis or other ED medication on a daily basis may not be suitable for you.

  • Do you get side effects from Cialis? Although the lower dose of Cialis used daily may make some side effects less severe, daily use of Cialis may cause some unwanted side effects to occur for a longer period of time. 

  • How effective is Cialis for you? If you still occasionally deal with ED after using Cialis at a 10mg or 20mg dosage, switching to a lower dosage for daily use might make Cialis work less effectively for you.

Still need help? Try talking to your healthcare provider about the advantages and downsides of using Cialis on a daily basis. 

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Side Effects of Daily Cialis

Like other ED medications, Cialis and generic tadalafil can cause side effects. Most side effects of daily-use Cialis are identical to those that can occur when Cialis is used as needed, although the lower dosage that’s prescribed for daily use makes some side effects less common. 

The most frequently reported side effects of Cialis include headaches, dyspepsia (indigestion or heartburn), back pain, muscle aches, facial flushing, nasal congestion, dizziness and a range of cold-like symptoms.

These side effects only occur in a small percentage of men who use Cialis. According to clinical trials, headaches -- the most common side effect of Cialis -- affected three to six percent of men with ED who were prescribed Cialis at a dosage of 2.5 to 5mg per day.

In comparison, five percent of men who received a placebo also reported headaches during the trial period.

Other side effects, such as dyspepsia, nasopharyngitis (cold-like symptoms) and various forms of muscle and joint pain, were reported by less than five percent of men with ED who received Cialis on a daily basis.

Put simply, side effects from daily-use Cialis tend to be mild and only affect a small percentage of men who use this medication. 

Our guide to Cialis side effects goes into more detail about the potential side effects associated with Cialis, as well as the steps that you can take to deal with them if you’re affected.

As with other medications for erectile dysfunction, Cialis can interact with certain drugs used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, chest pain and other medical conditions that affect the heart and vascular system.

For example, Cialis and other PDE5 inhibitors can cause severe interactions when used at the same time as blood pressure medications such as nitrates and alpha-blockers.

When used together, these medications can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure that could lead to dizziness, fainting or cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.

To reduce your risk of experiencing interactions while using Cialis, whether as needed or on a daily basis, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider about all medications you currently use or have recently used.

It’s also important to avoid using illicit drugs, including “poppers” that contain nitrates, while you use Cialis. 

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Alternative ED Pills

Thanks to its long-lasting duration of action and ability to be taken daily, Cialis offers a range of unique advantages. 

However, it’s definitely not the only medication that’s available to treat ED, nor is it necessarily the best choice for everyone.

Other ED medications include:

  • Sildenafil. The active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil provides relief from ED for around four hours per dose. Since it can only be used once per day, sildenafil works best as an as-needed treatment for erectile dysfunction for a single night. 

  • Vardenafil. The active ingredient in Levitra, vardenafil can provide relief from ED for up to six hours per dose. Similar to sildenafil, it can be taken once per day and works best as a medication for treating ED in the short term. 

  • Avanafil. Sold as Stendra, avanafil is a second-generation ED medication that works in as little as 15 to 30 minutes. It also has a reduced risk of causing certain side effects as a result of its more selective action within the body.

Since everyone’s needs are slightly different, there’s no “perfect” erectile dysfunction medication for everyone. 

If you prefer a medication that you can take once per day for constant relief from ED, daily Cialis is likely the best choice for you.

However, if you prefer as-needed relief from ED, or if you want a shorter-acting medication that doesn’t have as much risk of causing lingering side effects, you may prefer sildenafil, vardenafil or avanafil.

We offer generic sildenafil, brand name Viagra and Stendra as part of our range of medications for ED, following an online consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate. 

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The Final Word on Daily-Use Cialis

Using Cialis on a daily basis offers several major benefits, as well as some minor downsides. If you often have sex spontaneously, or if you simply dislike having to take a pill before sex, using Cialis on a daily basis can make managing erectile dysfunction much more convenient.

On the other hand, if you have sex infrequently and only need occasional relief from ED, taking a shorter-acting medication on an as-needed basic could be a better choice for you.

Cialis is a prescription medication, meaning you’ll need to consult your healthcare provider and receive a valid prescription before you can purchase and use it.

We offer daily-use tadalafil online via our telemedicine platform, with convenient, discreet home delivery following an online consultation with a physician. 

Not sure if Cialis is the right choice for you? Our guide to the most common erectile dysfunction treatments compares Cialis to other ED treatments to help you choose a medication that’s best suited to your needs.

5 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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  2. Dhaliwal, A. & Gupta, M. (2022, May 20). PDE5 Inhibitors. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549843/
  3. Erection Ejaculation: How It Occurs. (2020, November 27). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10036-erection-ejaculation-how-it-occurs
  4. Wright, D.F., Winter, H.R. & Duffull, S.B. (2011, June). Understanding the time course of pharmacological effect: a PKPD approach. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 71 (6), 815-823. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099368/
  5. STENDRA- avanafil tablet. (2017, August). Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/spl/data/41d308f4-9a6a-48bb-b7a0-d63da9818078/41d308f4-9a6a-48bb-b7a0-d63da9818078.xml

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. Learn more about our editorial standards here.