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What is tadalafil?

Tadalafil is a medicine, taken in the form of a tablet, that can be used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men over the age of 18.

Tadalafil for erectile dysfunction is also sold under the brand name Cialis. Tadalafil and Cialis contain the same active ingredient and work in the same way.

If your libido is low, you might find that getting help to understand the cause of this will increase your desire for sex and change the way that you think and feel about sex. This in turn may help to improve your erection problems.

Talk to your doctor if your libido is low. There is support available that may help, including talking to a professional such as a psychologist or counsellor. Your doctor may be able to refer you for counselling, or you can refer yourself through the NHS.

Find out which of our ED treatments is suitable for you, online and for free.

Tadalafil works by relaxing blood vessels in the penis to increase blood flow[1]. This should help you get, and keep, an erection for sex or masturbation.

Please note, you need to be sexually aroused for tadalafil to work. If you’re not sexually aroused, or your desire for sex (libido) is low, then tadalafil may not work for you.

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Tadalafil 10mg or 20mg
Tadalafil 10mg or 20mg

If you have erectile dysfunction there is treatment and support available that can help, including medicines such as tadalafil. We can provide tadalafil in two different strengths. Start your consultation to find out which of our ED treatments is suitable for you.

4 x 10mg tablets


(£6.25 per unit)

8 x 10mg tablets


(£5.25 per unit)

12 x 10mg tablets


(£4.99 per unit)

16 x 10mg tablets


(£4.75 per unit)

4 x 20mg tablets


(£6.99 per unit)

8 x 20mg tablets


(£6.25 per unit)

12 x 20mg tablets


(£5.41 per unit)

16 x 20mg tablets


(£5.12 per unit)

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How should I take tadalafil?

If you’ve decided to take tadalafil to treat your erection problems you should swallow one whole tablet with some water at least 30 minutes before you want to have sex[2]. You should not take more than one tablet a day[1].

For some men, a pharmacist or their doctor may suggest that they take a low dose of tadalafil every day. If you’d like to try taking a low, daily dose you can ask your GP if this is suitable for you.

It’s important to read the instructions that come with the medicine carefully because strength and dosage instructions can vary[2].

If you’re not sure how to take tadalafil you can talk to a pharmacist or your GP for more information and support.

Tadalafil isn’t suitable or safe for everyone to take, including men with some health conditions such as heart problems[1,2]. Talk to your GP or a pharmacist about whether tadalafil is the best treatment option for you.

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How long does it take for tadalafil to work?

It usually takes at least 30 minutes for tadalafil to work[2]. Everyone is different and for some men it may take more or less time to get an erection after taking tadalafil.

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How long does tadalafil last?

Tadalafil can work for up to 36 hours after taking a tablet[3], this can allow for more spontaneity than with some other treatments.

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What are the common side effects of tadalafil?

You might experience some side effects from taking tadalafil. Side effects[1,2] can include:

  • headaches

  • sickness (nausea)

  • red or flushed face

  • indigestion

  • stuffy nose

  • muscle aches.

Talk to your GP or a pharmacist if you experience any side effects after taking tadalafil. Find out more about all the possible side effects on the NHS website.

If tadalafil isn’t suitable for you, there are other treatment options available that may help.

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Is there a difference between tadalafil and viagra?

Viagra is a brand name medication produced by Pfizer that contains the active ingredient Sildenafil.  Both Tadalafil and Sildenafil are active ingredients found in erectile dysfunction medication that are responsible for producing the desired effect of the medications [1,4].

Another difference between Tadalafil and Viagra is how long their effects last, tadalafil lasts for up to 36 hours, whereas Viagra is effective for 4 – 6 hours [1,4].

Where can I get further support and information?
As well as speaking to your GP for information and support, there are a number or charities and organisations you may find helpful.


  1. 1.

    Tadalafil 10 mg film-coated tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) - (emc). Accessed June 15, 2021.

  2. 2.

    Tadalafil: a medicine to treat erection problems and symptoms of an enlarged prostate. nhs.uk. Published September 10, 2019. Accessed June 10, 2021.

  3. 3.

    Cialis 10mg film-coated tablets - Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) - (emc). Accessed June 15, 2021.

  4. 4.

    Viagra 100 mg film-coated tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) - (emc). Accessed September 4, 2020.