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Getting your mojo back with tadalafil  

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For men with ED and enlarged prostates, this medication can make a big difference in the bedroom and bathroom. Here’s what to know about taking it. 

Jessica Sebor

By Jessica Sebor

You might think you’re the only one whose love life has lost its sizzle. Not true. There are 30 million men struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED). Another 14 million men have enlarged prostates leading to problems in the bedroom and bathroom. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix.  

That would be tadalafil (Cialis®). It’s a pill that treats both ED and the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. 

The problem is that many men are embarrassed to talk about ED. That’s cause for concern. ED is often a sign of other health issues (more on that later), says Shahram Shawn Gholami, MD. He’s the director of urology at El Camino Health in Mountain View, California. 

Here is what you need to know about these 2 common conditions and how taking tadalafil can help both.  

(If you’ve got a prescription for tadalafil, don’t forget to bring this free prescription discount card with you to the pharmacy. It could save you up to 80% on all your medications.) 

What causes ED  

ED is when you have trouble getting and keeping an erection when you have sex. It’s more of a nearly constant thing — not a sometimes thing. 

There are many reasons men might have trouble getting an erection. Age is one. “Approximately 50% of men at the age of 50 have some sort of erectile dysfunction,” says Dr. Gholami. That number just goes up the older you are. By age 70, as many as 70% of men have ED some of the time, he says. 

Another big factor is your health. Heart disease and diabetes increase your risk for ED. High cholesterol or calcium deposits can narrow your blood vessels, explains Dr. Gholami. Then there’s less blood flowing to other parts, including the penis. 

“A lot of people suggest ED is actually the fever before the flu, the flu being cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Gholami notes. That’s why it’s important to be honest with your provider. Tadalafil can help you. But you’ll be addressing any other health issues that are getting in your way. 

Recommended reading: 8 surprising causes of erectile dysfunction. 

What causes an enlarged prostate 

The prostate is a small gland just below your bladder. The prostate produces the fluid that makes up a part of semen. Sometimes cancer will cause this tiny gland to get bigger. But when there’s no health reason for its growth, the condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). 

When you have BPH, you can have ED. But most of the time, you have urinary issues. You pee way more often than you used to. Sometimes you also feel the need to go right away and then can’t. Sometimes you’re incontinent. These problems happen at night, too. 

Like ED, BPH happens as men get older. Doctors suspect it may have something to do with hormones. As testosterone levels dip, estrogen levels rise. And all that estrogen could be fueling the other substances that cause prostate cells to grow.  

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How does tadalafil work?  

“Tadalafil is a class of medications called PDE5-inhibitors,” says Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD. She’s a urologist and researcher at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. “Other examples include sildenafil (Viagra®).” 

These drugs block your body from releasing phosphodiesterase (PDE5) whenever you get an erection. That way, your penis stays erect for a longer period of time. 

How tadalafil helps the symptoms of BPH isn’t so clear, says Dr. Gholami. It probably relaxes the blood vessels around the bladder so you don’t have to pee as often. 

In both cases, tadalafil doesn’t treat the causes of BPH or ED, Dr. Gholami explains. It just treats the annoying and embarrassing symptoms. While some doctors may want to uncover the reason behind ED, others just start you on tadalafil and then figure out reasons later, he adds. 

How to take tadalafil  

For ED, as needed, the usual starting dose is 10 mg. You can take a tadalafil tablet every day, but then the recommended dose is 2.5 mg to start. That may be adjusted by your doctor.  If it’s on an as-needed basis, take it 30 minutes before you start having sex. 

Most men can expect their erections to come back as reliably as they did before, says Dr. Asafu-Adjei. But if that doesn’t happen, talk to the doctor or a urologist. 

For BPH, the starting dose is 5 mg. You need to take a tadalafil tablet every day at the same time. You can take it with or without food. If you miss a dose, take it when you remember. Or wait until the next day. Don’t double the dose.  

Have both conditions? Tadalafil can treat ED and BPH symptoms at the same time.  

Tadalafil’s side effects  

The most common, says Dr. Gholami, are back pain and an upset stomach. Other issues might include: 

  • Headaches 
  • Flushing (sudden reddening of the face, neck or chest) 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Coughs 

There are more serious side effects. If you have chest pain, dizziness or changes in how you see or hear, talk to your doctor before you take tadalafil again. 

Chances are, you’ll be glad you found the courage to speak up about your ED or BPH. Now you can go back to enjoying your (love) life. 

(Be sure to download our free mobile app to find the best price on all your medications at a pharmacy near you.) 


Additional sources:
All about ED: National Library of Medicine 
All about BPH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 
Treating BPH and ED: Therapeutic Advances in Urology (2014). A review of the use of tadalafil in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia in men with and without erectile dysfunction