How Long Does Tadalafil Last?

How long does Tadalafil last? Find out the answer to this question to better decide if Tadalafil is the best treatment option for you.

The Promescent Team
Hands on, practical experience – this is our expertise
by The Promescent Team Last updated 12/11/2023

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tadalafil how long does it last

How long does Tadalafil last? It's an important question when deciding when to take it for ED.

The stigma around erectile dysfunction still lingers. One study points out that despite ED being common among men, many still don't seek medical attention.

Quick FAQs

The effects of Tadalafil can last up to 36 hours. The duration of erections can vary from person to person.

Tadalafil increases blood flow to the penis, helping men achieve and maintain erections when sexually aroused.

Tadalafil lasts longer than Viagra, with some effect potentially lasting up to 36 hours.

Prescription and over-the-counter medication are available to help increase blood flow to the penis to trigger arousal.

Tadalafil is the generic form of Cialis® and is a common doctor-prescribed ED medication with dosage options that can be discussed with your doctor.

How long does Tadalafil last?

The effects of Tadalafil can last upwards of 36 hours, but the duration of the erection wildly varies from person to person.

  • Quickest response time - Some responders to the medication tadalafil experienced an erection within 15 minutes.
  • Average response time - Most men experience the benefits of Tadalafil within 30 minutes of taking the ED medication.
  • For maximum effect - The max concentration of Tadalafil hits your bloodstream at 2 hours.
  • For partial effect - The half-life of Tadalafil is 17.5 hours for healthy adult men and 21.6 for older adults.
  • Cases where it lasts longer - Studies show that, for some men, the erections keep coming for up to 48 hours with sexual arousal.
  • Time it leaves the body - At 96 hours, Tadalafil is no longer in your system.

When Tadalafil lasts too long

Just because the tadalafil can work up to 36 hours doesn't mean the erection is 36 hours long.

If the erection lasts more than 4 hours, you need to consult a medical professional ASAP. (even if it's not painful)

Priapism is a severe medical condition that can lead to permanent damage to the tissue of the penis that allows you to get an erection in the first place.

If you have certain medical conditions, the risk of priapism is higher.

  • multiple myeloma
  • leukemia
  • deformities to the penis
  • sickle cell anemia

How does Tadalafil work?

The way a male erection works is that blood flows into the penis by releasing nitrous oxide throughout the body until you’ve achieved sexual arousal.

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

Here are a few tips on how tadalafil works:

  • Tadalafil does not cause an instant erection.
  • It does require sexual stimulation to achieve and maintain an erection.
  • The ED medication helps the body naturally sustain an erection.

The chemical PDE5 in Tadalafil inhibits the production of PDE5 and increases blood circulation to the penis after sexual arousal has taken place.

Tadalafil is an oral PDE5 inhibitor in a class with ED medications that work similarly. Other ED meds include:

What is the peak time for Tadalafil?

While the half-life of Tadalafil is around 18 hours, the peak time for the PDE5 inhibitor is 2 hours to reach max concentration levels. 

In comparison, the popular ED medication Viagra has a peak time of 30 to 130 minutes.

The difference is that Viagra, or sildenafil, is a short-term 'on-the-fly' pill, while Tadalafil has a larger window of efficacy.

Does Tadalafil last longer than Viagra?

Another difference when comparing Tadalafil and Viagra is that Tadalafil lasts longer. Viagra (sildenafil) lasts 4 to 8 hours, while Tadalafil can last up to 36 hours.

The reason that stat matters is that Tadalafil doesn't require you to plan sex and is a long-term treatment for erectile dysfunction.

What are the differences between Tadalafil and Viagra?

Tadalafil and Viagra are PED5 inhibitors that promote blood flow to the penis but treat erectile dysfunction differently.

  • The most effective time window for Viagra is four to eight hours, while Tadafil has a half-life of 36 hours.
  • Viagra and Tadalafil have a different number of other phosphodiesterases (PDE) that they work to inhibit.
  • Viagra additionally inhibits PDE6 and PDE1. Tadafil also inhibits the PDE11 chemical.
  • Viagra has more possible side effects than Tadalafil.

The success rates of Tadalafil and Viagra are comparable. But according to some studies, Tadafil is preferred by both men and their partners.

How does dosage affect how long Tadalafil lasts?

Tadalafil comes with two dosage options depending on your needs. Studies show no difference in the safety or effectiveness of the two dosage options.

Short-term usage

The 10 or 20mg dose is meant to take like one would Viagra. The quantity is as needed before sexual activity.

Do not take 10mg or 20 mg of Tadalafil more than once a day, as the effects can potentially last longer than 24 hours.

For some men, the 5 mg low dose is enough to work as required for a spur-of-moment bit of fun.

Long-term usage

Tadalafil also comes in low daily doses for men searching for a longer-term treatment for erectile dysfunction.

The 2.5mg or 5mg tablets are meant to take at the same time each day to build up in your system for maximum effects.

Daily Tadalafil works well for men who enjoy spontaneous sex more than once daily.

How long do Tadalafil side effects last?

Mild or moderate side effects may be experienced while taking Tadalafil. Most reactions won't require medical attention and often go away once your body adjusts to the dosage of Tadalafil.

If you find any of the side effects overly bothersome, contact the prescribing physician and discuss ways you can manage the reactions.

Some (not all) side effects of Tadalafil

Common side effects

  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • gastronomical discomfort

Less common side effects

  • body aches
  • burning or itching eyes
  • eye pain
  • fever
  • excessive drowsiness
  • pain in the back, arms, jaw

Rare side effect

  • a change in color vision
  • painful or a too-long erection of the penis (priapism)

Drug interactions

  • nitrates
  • alpha-blockers
  • some HIV drugs
  • antifungals
  • antibiotics
  • other erectile dysfunction drugs
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs

Other possible interactions

  • Alcohol. Doctors recommend that alcohol consumption be limited when taking tadalafil because it can contribute to lowering blood pressure too much.
  • Food interactions. Grapefruit juice can change the amount of medicine that gets absorbed into the body. It’s recommended to avoid drinking it while taking tadalafil
  • St. John's wort. Some herbs, such as St John's wort, can decrease the effectiveness of Tadalafil.

When not to take tadalafil

  • allergic to Tadalafil or any other PDE5 inhibitor
  • low blood pressure
  • heart problems
  • kidney or liver disease
  • taking nitrates or epilepsy medication

You can choose two options - a low dose for long-term results, and a high dose for unplanned moments of intimacy.

The 10 mg tablets are taken as needed. However, some men find that the 5mg daily addresses erectile dysfunction the best.

Be mindful that taking more Tadafil does make the effects occur any faster. It can take 1 to 2 hours to get the full effect from the 20 mg dose.

If the higher dose of tadalafil isn't working well, consider consulting a physician about the low-dose one-pill-a-day option. Do not take more than one tadalafil a day.

Over-the-counter alternative

While Tadalafil is a doctor-prescribed ED medication that has proven results, it doesn’t work for everyone.

If the medication isn’t effective, a good alternative to consider is VitaFlux. It contains the proven ingredient L-Arginine, which naturally sparks the nitric oxide production needed for a quality erection.

VitaFlux has the added benefit of addressing low testosterone levels to increase energy and vitality.


Tadalafil is a PDE5 inhibitor similar to Viagra that promotes nitrous oxide production to trigger an erection following the sexual arousal phase. But, the two ED medications do differ.

The biggest difference between the common erectile dysfunction treatments is that you can take tadalafil in a low-dose pill daily or use it in larger doses for spontaneous sexual encounters (30 minutes before).

As a prescribed medication, tadalafil comes with side effects and isn't safe for all men to take. In these cases, an alternative like VitaFlux might be a better option.

The Promescent Team

The Promescent Team

Our team has over a decade of experience in the sexual wellness field and are experts in sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation. We help couples and individuals better understand treatment options available for different types of sexual needs and educate the public on all things related to intimacy. All of our authored content is medically reviewed for accuracy and reliability.


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.

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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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