Why is Grapefruit Dangerous When Taking Cialis®?

Do grapefruit juice and Cialis react? Find out the effects and potential dangers that may occur if you consume grapefruit while taking Cialis.

Brian Clark BSN, MSNA
By The Promescent Team Medically reviewed by Brian Clark BSN, MSNA Last updated 12/11/2023
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Cialis (tadalafil), which is sometimes called the "weekend pill," is almost as well-known as Viagra.

With effects that can potentially help with erectile dysfunction (ED) for up to 36 hours, some users prefer other ED medications.

Quick FAQs

Cialis and grapefruit should never be combined. It's best to avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while on the medication.

Interactions between grapefruit juice and certain medications are possible for up to 72 hours.

Any drinks containing grapefruit, such as certain alcoholic drinks, should be avoided before taking Cialis.

However, while Cialis can be an effective option for ED, it may be surprising to learn that combining grapefruit and Cialis can change its effectiveness.

So, why is combining Cialis and grapefruit an issue? Take a look at the details below.

Can You Eat Grapefruit While Taking Cialis?

Cialis and grapefruit should not be combined, according to Medline Plus, whether it is eating the fruit itself or drinking grapefruit juice.

Brian Clark, the founder of United Medical Education, notes that, “Grapefruit and its juice should be avoided while taking Cialis (tadalafil) as it can interfere with the medication's metabolism and increase the risk of side effects.”

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

Clark also stated, “Grapefruit contains compounds that inhibit certain enzymes responsible for breaking down Cialis in the body, leading to higher levels of the drug and potentially causing adverse effects.”

Tadalafil is a PDE5 inhibitor, which relaxes blood vessels in certain areas of the body. This changes blood flow, especially in the penile tissues and the lungs. 

Pro Tip: VitaFLUX Nitric Oxide Booster helps to increase nitric oxide production which helps to relax blood vessels and allow more blood flow.

While this mechanism of action is important for ED support, too much tadalafil in the blood can pose substantial risks.

When Cialis and grapefruit are consumed together, this could lead to a higher dose than usual making it into the bloodstream, which could cause an overdose of Cialis.

An overdose of Cialis or other ED medications is dangerous because it limits the availability of oxygen-rich blood in various parts of the body. This effect could lead to a host of dangerous issues, including:

  • Low blood pressure, which can cause dizziness, nausea, weakness, blurred vision, or difficulty concentrating
  • Priapism (an erection for several hours) could occur, which can cause penile tissue damage when untreated
  • Oxygen deprivation to the heart and brain could lead to strokes or organ damage

With all the risks in mind, be sure to avoid consuming grapefruit juice and Cialis at the same time. Avoid consuming the fruit or any part of the fruit (including the peelings).

How Long Does Grapefruit Affect Cialis?

Research published in American Family Physician suggests that grapefruit and drug interactions are possible for up to 72 hours.

Further, drinking one eight-ounce glass of grapefruit juice could affect the concentration of intestinal enzymes by almost half for anywhere from one to three days. Additionally, the reduction in enzymes may occur in as little as four hours.

Cialis may be prescribed with two different dosage recommendations: to take as needed for ED or one dose daily for ongoing ED support.

If you are taking Cialis as needed for sexual support, you may be able to time grapefruit or grapefruit juice consumption around when you plan to take Cialis. However, if you are on a daily dose of Cialis, you may have to avoid grapefruit altogether.

It should be noted, PDE5 inhibitors are not the only medications that can be negatively affected by grapefruit juice. A few other medications that can be affected by grapefruit include:

  • Antiarrhythmic drugs
  • Statins
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Protease inhibitors

Clark states that the general recommendation is to wait at least 72 hours before consuming grapefruit or its juice before taking CIalis. Doing this helps to ensure safe and effective use of the medication.

What Foods Should Be Avoided Before Taking Cialis?

Grapefruit is the only food researchers have found that should be avoided while taking Cialis.

As mentioned earlier, all parts of the fruit should be avoided since it all contains the same enzymes that may affect medication breakdown and circulation.

Other than grapefruit, Cialis and other foods should be fine to consume together. The dosage can be taken on either an empty or full stomach.

What Drinks Should Be Avoided Before Taking Cialis?

Combining grapefruit juice and Cialis should be avoided for sure, but there may be other beverages to avoid as well.

Keep in mind, some fruit-based beverages are made with grapefruit juice. Additionally, grapefruit juice may be used as a base for certain dressings, or the fruit itself may be used in some salads or dishes.

Several alcoholic cocktails also contain grapefruit juice as a primary ingredient, such as:

  • Greyhound cocktails
  • Hemingway daiquiris
  • Brown Derbies
  • Grapefruit Collins
  • Frenchies

How to Make Cialis More Effective

Cialis should always be taken as directed, including avoiding the consumption of grapefruit and Cialis together.

You should never take more than you are prescribed or take your dose more often than the doctor recommends. Nevertheless, there are a few things that can be done to ensure Cialis is as effective as possible.

  1. Remember, the medication does not cause erections spontaneously; Users must be sexually aroused for the medication to work.
  2. Make the medication a part of a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, avoid smoking, and strive for some physical activity daily.
  3. Always speak with a doctor before starting a new medication or supplement if you’ve been prescribed Cialis.

If you struggle with premature ejaculation (PE) while taking Cialis, certain over-the-counter options may be beneficial. For example, Promescent Delay Spray for Men may prolong the time to ejaculation, so you have longer sexual encounters.

Takeaways

Cialis and grapefruit should not be combined because the combination affects how the medication works and how much is in the bloodstream.

When taking Cialis on-demand, be sure to allow at least three days for grapefruit's effects to dissipate before taking ED medication. If you are taking Cialis daily, you will likely need to avoid grapefruit completely.

Users looking for ways to heighten the effects of Cialis should never try taking a higher dose. Instead, talk to your doctor, practice healthy habits, and consider prolonging sexual encounters with PE products like Delay Spray that can delay ejaculation.

Brian Clark BSN, MSNA

Brian Clark BSN, MSNA

With years of experience in the healthcare industry, I have leveraged my expertise to develop innovative approaches to medical education, business development, and marketing that have helped countless individuals and organizations achieve their goals. As the founder of United Medical Education, I have been committed to delivering high-quality, online medical education that is accessible to learners from all over the world. Through my leadership, United Medical Education has become a trusted source of continuing education for healthcare professionals, offering a wide range of courses that cover topics such as ACLS, PALS, and BLS.

Sources:

Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Young JM, Feldman RA, Auerbach SM, Kaufman JM, Garcia CS, Shen W, Murphy AM, Beasley CM Jr, Hague JA, Ahuja S. Tadalafil improved erectile function at twenty-four and thirty-six hours after dosing in men with erectile dysfunction: US trial. J Androl. 2005 May-Jun;26(3):310-8. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.04126. PMID: 15866997. Accessed on Apr, 14, 2023.
  • "Tadalafil - MedlinePlus." Medlineplus.gov, 2022, www.medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604008.html. Accessed on Apr, 14, 2023.
  • "Cialis & Grapefruit Juice - UKHealthCentre." Healthcentre.org.uk, 2023, www.healthcentre.org.uk/pharmacy/erectile-dysfunction-cialis-grapefruit.html. Accessed on Apr, 14, 2023.
  • Dhaliwal A, Gupta M. PDE5 Inhibitors. [Updated 2022 May 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549843/. Accessed on Apr, 14, 2023.
  • "What happens if you take too much of an oral erectile dysfunction (ED) medication? - ISSM." Issm.info, 2023, /www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-happens-if-you-take-too-much-of-an-oral-erectile-dysfunction-ed-medication. Accessed on Apr, 14, 2023.
  • "Management of Grapefruit-Drug Interactions - American Family Physician." Aafp.org, 2006, www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2006/0815/p605.html. Accessed on Apr, 14, 2023.
  • "A Dozen Grapefruit Cocktails to Try Right Now - Liquor.com" Liquor.com, 2022, www.liquor.com/slideshows/grapefruit-cocktails/. Accessed on Apr, 14, 2023.
  • "ACLS, PALS, & BLS Certification Online - United Medical Education." Acls-pals-bls.com, 2023, Https://www.acls-pals-bls.com. Accessed on Jul, 10, 2023.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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