Viagra vs Cialis vs Levitra. Comparing the Best

What Is Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra?

The thing that joins these three medications is their primary indication for use. All the three, Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are the preparations applied in the treatment of sexual inability in men.

They all belong to the same class of drugs – phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. Therefore, their mechanism of action is very similar. The active substances these medicines contain are sildenafil citrate for Viagra, tadalafil for Cialis, and vardenafil for Levitra.

These preparations enhance the inflow of blood to the male sex organs thus providing them with an erection strong enough for sexual intercourse. Let’s get into this process in a bit more detail.

When a man feels sexual arousal and gets some sexual stimulation, the cells of the male sex organ start releasing nitric oxide. It takes an active part in the relaxation of the penile smooth muscular tissue and the dilation of the penile arteries. Nitric oxide production triggers the release of another chemical called cGMP. It adds to the effects of the former, speeding up the erection.

The role of sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil in this process is the inhibition of PDE5, an enzyme, which breaks down cGMP.

Viagra vs Cialis vs Levitra. Recommendations on the Intake

Despite a similar mechanism of action, there are certain differences in the time and frequency of taking each of the drugs under consideration. We’ll give a brief characteristic to each drug.

Viagra vs Cialis vs Levitra

Viagra should be taken about an hour prior to the planned sexual activity. However, the medication may start working within 30 to 120 minutes after the intake. Food can slow down its absorption from the gastric tract and delay the start of its action. Viagra works for 4 – 5 hours, though in cases of severe ED it may stay effective for less than 4 hours.

Cialis. This medication works differently in different men. Some may attain an erection in 18 minutes after the intake, whereas the others may need to wait for about two hours. General recommendations say that Cialis should be taken 60 minutes before anticipated sexual intercourse. Food doesn’t affect the effects of Cialis so it’s a perfect choice for those who plan to have dinner before intimacy. As for the duration of action, Cialis has no competitors. The drug can work up to 36 hours.

By the way, Cialis is the only PDE5 inhibitor that can be taken either daily or on-demand. The difference is in the dose of the medication you should administer.

Levitra needs 25 – 60 minutes to come into effect. However, in some clinical trials, Levitra showed to be effective in already 10 minutes after the intake. Again, you should take the pill only if you plan sexual intercourse.

The recommendations to the dug use say that it can be taken regardless of meal. But the user testimonials claim that Levitra works better and faster if taken on an empty stomach. The period Levitra stays effective is about 5 hours.

Dose Difference

When comparing Viagra vs Cialis vs Levitra, it is also important to say that the dosage strengths of the medications, as well as the recommended doses, significantly differ.

Viagra is produced in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg dosages. The recommended starting dose of the drug is 50 mg. Men older than 65 and individuals suffering from some health problems that may get worse with Viagra should start with a 25 mg dose. 100 mg a day is the highest safe daily dose of Viagra.

Cialis is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg doses. Men who choose to take Cialis daily should start at 2.5 mg. If needed, it can be increased to 5 mg. The initial recommended dosage for on-demand intake is 10 mg. In case you are not satisfied with the achieved effect, the dosage can be changed to 20 mg but not more.

Levitra comes in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg dosage strengths. The doctors advise to start the treatment with Levitra 10 mg. Depending on the reaction to the drug, the dosing regimen should be lowered to 5 mg or increased to 20 mg.

None of these preparations should be taken more often than once in 24 hours. It is also not recommended using them together as it will significantly increase the risks for adverse reactions and may cause overdose symptoms.

What about the Side Effects? Viagra vs Cialis vs Levitra

Most side effects that can possibly develop because of the use of Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra are similar. They are headache, facial flushing, diarrhea, heartburn, and rhinitis. However, there are also some differences.

For example, Viagra and Levitra cause facial flushing more often than Cialis. Cialis, in its turn, often causes muscle pain, which is very rare with Viagra and Levitra. Levitra is known for the risks of developing heart rhythm problems (QT-prolongation), though neither Viagra nor Cialis can cause such a problem. It is also considered that Cialis has fewer negative effects associated with vision changes if compared to Viagra.

Which Drug to Choose?

The best way to find out which of the three medications Viagra, Levitra or Cialis will work best for you is to try each of them. The results of the patient-preference studies claim that more than 70% of men prefer Cialis. Viagra wins second place, and Levitra goes third.

Such a difference is explained by the duration of action of Cialis. Men like the fact that this drug allows them to be spontaneous in their sexual life.

As for drug efficiency, the research say that Viagra is effective in 70% of men taking it. Approximately the same rate of effectiveness is true for Cialis. Levitra works in about 66% of patients. However, Levitra shows higher levels of efficiency in patients suffering from diabetes-induced ED if compared to Viagra and Cialis.