Medically reviewed by Thomas Fischer (Pharmacist). This article was written according to medical standards. More Info

Medically reviewed by Thomas Fischer (Pharmacist)More Info

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to have and maintain an erection. ED can be caused by a variety of underlying issues such as stress, low self-confidence, or anxiety. It could also be caused by poor lifestyle choices such as smoking or being overweight due to a lack of exercise and poor diet.

The symptoms of ED can often be successfully treated by prescription medications, such as Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra. These three drugs all fall into the pharmacological category known as ‘oral phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors’ or PDE5Is. In essence, these drugs all can block the action of PDE-5 enzymes. The effect is an increase in blood flow via the widening of blood vessels. This happens in specific areas of the body, like the penis, and will last for a limited time only. In some instances, these medications are also prescribed for high blood pressure relating to the heart and lungs. It is known as pulmonary arterial hypertension. ED medication requires a prescription. Before a prescription can be issued, a patient would have to consult a medical doctor.  

These medications have some differences that make each ED medicine unique. These differences include alternative uses, the time it takes for the drug to work, and the duration of the effect.  The question is which one should be used, Cialis, Levitra or Viagra? Taking a closer look at three drugs may resolve that question.

A Definition of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra

Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate)

Viagra was developed in the late ’90s and approved by the FDA in 1998 (). Viagra is the ‘oldest’ and best known ED treatment and has been available for over 20 years. It was initially produced under Pfizer, a major pharmaceutical company (s. also Pfizer – the Manufacturer of the Little Blue Pill Viagra).

Viagra is only available on prescription, in a dosage of between 25 mg to 100 mg (s. also Viagra Dosage By Weight – How To Take Viagra For Best results). It is not suitable for women, and not available to men under the age of 18. Viagra is taken in pill form and has been dubbed as ‘the little blue pill’ for its distinctive blue color (What Is Viagra? What Do Viagra Pills Look Like?). 

Viagra Definition

Cialis (Tadalafil)

Cialis, like Viagra, is a prescription-only medication, prescribed by medical practitioners to treat ED (s. also Erectile Dysfunction Treatments – The Best ED Cure in Check). Cialis was first approved for use in 2003, under the pharmacology brand Eli Lilly & Co. The active ingredient found in Cialis is Tadalafil, a potency substance that treats the symptoms of impotence. Tadalafil can assist men in having and maintaining an erection. 

Cialis is taken in tablet form, and the dosage will vary from 2.5 mg up to 20 mg, depending on how often it is taken. Cialis can also be prescribed to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is commonly known as an enlarged, non-cancerous, prostate gland.

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Levitra (Vardenafil)

Levitra is a medication used to treat ED and is only available with a valid prescription from a medical doctor. Levitra was first approved by the FDA in 2003 and is marketed by the pharmaceutical company, Bayer. The active ingredient in Levitra is vardenafil, available in 5 mg to 20 mg dosage.

It is produced in tablet form, to be taken orally, with a recognizable bright orange color. Levitan, like Viagra and Cialis (s. also Cialis vs. Viagra – The Similarities & Differences), is not approved for use by men under the age of 18 years.

Levitra

What is the Difference Between Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra?

Viagra, Cialis, and Levitan share more similarities than differences. There are some differences, but ultimately, their functional purpose is the same. Each is made up of different chemical components. How they work, for how long they remain active, and the side effects of each may differ. 

Viagra and Levitan are used ‘on-demand,’ and men suffering from ED would only take this when they are planning to have intercourse. Viagra should be used between 30 to 60 minutes before sex. The effects of Viagra can last up to five hours and, on average, three hours. Levitan should also be used before intercourse and will be active between three to five hours, much like Viagra. 

Cialis is a long-lasting option. The effects of Cialis can last up to 36 hours after use. Depending on the dosage, Cialis can be taken in a smaller daily quantity of 2.5 mg or ‘on-demand’ for planned intercourse. In this case, the dosage will be higher, from 5 mg up to 20mg. Cialis is also approved for the use of BPH or enlarged prostate glands.

It will depend on each patient’s unique medical history and lifestyle to determine which of the three options are best suited to treat their ED symptoms. People react to medication differently, and patients should always discuss the best possible solution for their circumstances. 

Can Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra Be Used Together?

In researching if Viagra or Levitra could be used in combination with Cialis, it has been noted that no interactions were found between these ED medications. 

Since these three medications all have very similar functionality, it is assumed that it would not be required to use different brands of ED medication together. Besides, ED medication should not be used more than once in a day.  

Viagra Levitra Cialis

This does not rule out any interchange of Cialis and Viagra, or Cialis and Levitra. Some men do prefer to alternate between brands. However, it is of the utmost importance to always consult a medical practitioner before making any changes in medication. It is also not advisable that a patient should adjust the dosage of drugs, without discussing it with their doctor.

Which Has a Better Effect, Viagra, Cialis or Levitra?

It is not possible to claim that one ED medication will have a guaranteed better impact than the other. Its effectiveness highly depends on your specific symptoms, in combination with your current medical condition and medical history. Lifestyle and preference will also play a role. 

Some doctors may recommend that you try one brand, and then adjust the dosage over time. Others may advise that you initially try out one of the three to see which is best suited to your needs. It is important to discuss options and a long term treatment plan with your doctor to see which ED medication is the right one for you. 

It is unrealistic to expect that an ED medication will work the first time, 100% correctly. For this reason, some pharmacies may offer a starter pack of either Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis to determine which is best suited, before a patient commits to a longer-term treatment plan.

Getting ED medicines online: How does it work?

Online Prescription & Doctor Services offer patients a safe and discreet alternative to ordering ED medicines with online prescription. You just need to answer a few questions in the online questionnaire which is checked by the doctor. After determining the suitability of your ED medication, the online prescription is issued and the medication is sent to your desired address.

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Viagra vs. Cialis vs. Levitra: Hardness Compared

Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are deemed to be similarly effective in treating the symptoms of ED. That means that all three drugs are effective in their function, to have and maintain an erection.  

ED drugs increase blood flow into the penis, and it helps men to enjoy a lasting erection for the duration of intercourse. The ability to sustain erections should increase overall sexual satisfaction. 

Cialis may be a better option for a longer duration, as it can remain in the bloodstream for a period of between 24 to 36 hours. It is also an ED medication that offers the user ‘on-demand’ or spontaneous intercourse. ED medications require sexual arousal to take effect. It does not cause an erection without stimulation. 

The Side Effects of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra Compared

ED prescription drug treatments are mostly safe to use. No two bodies are identical, and the side effects of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra may differ. Here are the most common known side effects of each:

Viagra

Common side effects include headaches, and a blocked nose or cold-like symptoms. Redness of the face and neck, nausea, and an unsettled stomach are also listed as known side effects. In some cases, muscle and back pain has been reported. Viagra may interact with medication taken for high blood pressure (hypertension). This will result in very low, unsafe blood pressure levels. 

Some Viagra users have also reported that they experienced an erection, even after their desire to have intercourse has faded. Some men have experienced blurry vision when taking Viagra. 

Cialis

The most common side effects known when taking Cialis are similar to Viagra. This includes but is not limited to headaches, redness or flushing of the face or neck, and a blocked nose. In addition, Cialis side effects can induce a decrease in blood pressure, pains in the chest, and dizziness. 

Cialis has been reported to have longer-lasting side effects, as it remains active for longer. Cialis, taken in combination with blood pressure medication, can cause a drop of blood pressure to an unsafe level. Cialis should not be taken in conjunction with medicines for prostate problems, known as alpha-blockers.

When Cialis is used, it is not recommended to take antibiotics. Consult your doctor before you use other medications when taking Cialis. Always disclose what you are using to avoid contraindications. 

Levitra

The side effects recorded for Levitra is much like that of Viagra. It includes headaches, cold-like symptoms or a blocked nose, and redness or flushing of the face and neck. Users have also reported feeling light-headed or dizzy at times. Back pain is also a known side effect. Users have reported heartburn and indigestion, as well as gastro-like symptoms like an upset stomach. 

The Contraindications of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra Compared

Much like with side effects, the contraindications of these three medications are very similar. The active ingredients in each may differ by name, but the chemical categories do not vary much. All three options have identical functionality, namely, to block PDE5.

Viagra

Viagra is known to interact with certain medications for high blood pressure. Specifically, men with pulmonary hypertension conditions should be mindful. Pulmonary hypertension is known to affect the arteries in the lungs and those of the heart. In combination with Viagra, users could experience harmfully low or unsafe blood pressure levels. 

Cialis

Cialis, like Viagra, may also interact with blood pressure medications. The result may be a dangerous drop in blood pressure levels. Additional contraindications for users taking Cialis to treat the symptoms of BPH are to avoid alpha-blockers. Alpha-blockers are known to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow by relaxing and opening blood vessels. 

Levitra

Men with conditions like abnormal heart rhythm, medically known as heart arrhythmias, should avoid taking Levitra. Besides, just like Viagra and Cialis, Levitra should not be taken in combination with medication to treat high blood pressure.  

Which Drug is More Effective?

It is not possible to claim that one ED medication is more effective than another. The FDA approved Viagra, Cialis, and Levitan, and each option has its own merits and side effects. The most effective treatment will be dependent on your symptoms and circumstances. A consultation with your doctor and a treatment plan will guide you to find the best option.

In some cases, there are actions to take that can increase effectiveness. As an example, it has been said that a high-fat meal is not recommended at the time of taking ED medication, as it may take longer for it to work. It is also not recommended to drink grapefruit juice, as it may delay the absorption of the active ingredient in ED medication. 

It may be advisable to take ED medication on an empty stomach and not mix it with alcohol, to have the best effect. Speak to your doctor or the dispensing pharmacy for the best advice on how to take your ED medication.

Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra Cost: Which Drug is Cheaper?

Viagra is cheaper than Cialis and Levitan. Levitan is the most expensive of the three. The price will also differ depending on the prescribed dosage, as well as the quantity. 

Cialis is more expensive than Viagra, but the effects last longer. Cialis has the added benefit of being able to have more spontaneous intercourse. Generic alternatives are available for Sildenafil for Viagra, Tadalafil for Cialis, and Vardenafil for Levitra. Generic options are more cost-effective.  

How to Buy Viagra, Cialis or Levitra With an Online Prescription

When you purchase Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra online, you would need a script from a medical doctor. It is not possible to get authentic FDA approved ED medication, or its registered generic alternative, without a prescription. When buying prescription medication with an online prescription, a consultation would still be required. This will take pale via an online health clinic. You will need to answer questions on your symptoms and medical condition, as well as your medical history. 

You should ensure that your online prescription is obtained from a reliable and trustworthy website. Look out for reviews about the sites and ensure that the site is appropriately regulated. Read the terms and conditions and see if there is a customer service section that could offer assistance.  

If you are not using a legitimate website, you run the risk of getting counterfeit or fake alternatives. This increases the risk and possible harm as medication obtained from an unregulated source may have expired or have been tampered with. 

References:
We at Viagra-Prescription.com only use accredited sources and references for content creation. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we determine medical facts and prepare our content in a technically correct, reliable and trustworthy manner.
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  2. Therapeutic effectiveness and patient satisfaction after 6 months of treatment with Tadalafil, Sildeanfil and Vardenafil: Results from the Erectile Dysfunction Observational Study. Antonio Martin-Morales et al. European Urology; Volume 51, Issue 2, February 2007, Pages 541-550. URL: sciencedirect.com
  3. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind crossover study to evaluate patient preference between Tadalafil and Sildenafil. Alexander von Keitz et al. European Urology; Volume 45, Issue 4, April 2004, Pages 499-509.
  4. Sustained efficacy and safety of vardenafil for treatment of erectile dysfunction: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study” Valiquette L et al., Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Oct;80(10):1291-7. 
  5. Frantz, Robert et al. Conversion From Sildenafil to Tadalafil. Results From the Sildenafil to Tadalafil in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (SITAR) Study. Journal of Cardiovascula Pharmacology and Therapeutics Volume 19, 04/2014. Sage Publications. 
  6. Sáenz de Tejada, Iñigo et al. Effects of Tadalafil on Erectile Dysfunction in Men With Diabetes. Diabetes Care Volume 25, 12/2002. In: American Diabetes Association. URL: diabetesjournals.org
  7. Sustained efficacy and safety of vardenafil for treatment of erectile dysfunction: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. In: Valiquette L et al., Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Oct;80(10):1291-7. URL: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  8. Erectile dysfunction: comparison of efficacy and side effects of the PDE-5 inhibitors sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil–review of the literature, Gresser U et al. URL: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VIAGRA® (sildenafil citrate) Tablets. URL: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov.
  10. Huang SA, Lie JD. Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors In the management of erectile dysfunctionP T. 2013;38(7):407-19. URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov