Which Cialis dosage is best for me?

Between you and your clinician, finding the right Cialis dosage, on a treatment plan tailored to you, can take time. One of the first questions to consider will be whether you feel Cialis “on-demand” or Cialis Daily will be best for your lifestyle.

Cialis-tablet (1)
Table of contents
Medically reviewed by
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical lead
on August 02, 2022.
Meet Daniel  
Was this article useful?

Cialis Daily is a good option if you’re having sex more than three times a week or if you don’t want the pressure of calculating whether or not sex might be on the cards and when to time your tablet.

Daily contains a tadalafil dose of 2.5mg or 5mg. Tadalafil is the active ingredient in Cialis. On-demand or “weekend” Cialis is stronger, with a tadalafil dosage of 10mg or 20mg. You might choose the on-demand Cialis dose if your ED comes and goes or you’re happy to just take it when you need it and don’t want a daily tablet.

If the initial dose isn’t right because of too many side effects or you’re not reaching your full potential, don’t worry. Speak with your prescriber — with four doses available, they’ll help you find the one which works for you.

What Cialis dosages are there?

There are four different Cialis dosages: 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg and 20mg.

Which you choose depends on how well you respond to treatment and whether it suits your lifestyle. Different Cialis strengths each have different amounts of the active ingredient: tadalafil.

Cialis 10mg is the dose most men will initially be prescribed. The majority of men will find that Cialis 10mg works well for them with 71% reporting they could achieve an erection suitable for sex.

Cialis 20mg is the highest dose. Your clinician may recommend it if you’re not responding to the standard starting dose of 10mg. In a study of over a thousand men treated with Cialis 20mg, 91% were satisfied with the outcome of their treatment.

Cialis 2.5mg is the lowest dosage offered and the dose normally prescribed when starting with Cialis Daily. Whilst 2.5mg may sound low, daily dosing means that tadalafil is always circulating in your system, allowing for spontaneous sex. When compared, 72% of men preferred Cialis Daily over regular Cialis.

Cialis 5mg is used in several ways. If you’re taking Cialis Daily at 2.5mg and you’re not seeing the results you would like, your clinician may prescribe you an increased dose of 5mg. Equally, if you’re taking Cialis at the starting dose of 10mg but find you’re suffering too many adverse side effects they may discuss lowering your dose to 5mg. Cialis 5mg is also used in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

So, if you’re over 40 years old and have noticed that you’re getting up more often at night to urinate, your urine stream is weaker than it used to be or you get some dribbling after urination, then Cialis daily will help that too. It’s also interesting to note that some of the traditional treatments for BPH, like tamsulosin or finasteride, can actually cause erection problems. If you’re taking BPH treatment, talk to our experts or your usual doctor about Cialis Daily as it could be a suitable treatment.

Why are there different Cialis dosages for ED?

Different doses of Cialis offer you and your clinician flexibility. If you experience side effects these can be reduced with a lower dose. If you aren’t seeing the results you want, your dose can be increased.

It also means that more men are likely to find a medication that helps their ED symptoms but also minimizes the risk of side effects.

How long do different Tadalafil dosages last?

Cialis 10mg and 20mg will stay active in your system for up to 36 hours. Meaning once taken you have a 36-hour window where Cialis should make getting an erection easier. It does not mean you’ll have a prolonged erection and if you have an erection for four hours you should seek medical attention.

Cialis Daily will remain active in your system for at least 24 hours. This is why it’s a good idea to take Cialis Daily at the same time every day so that it’s continuously active in your system.

Cialis or Cialis Daily?

As far as Cialis Daily vs on-demand, the answer depends on how you need Cialis to work for you. If you want spontaneous sex, Cialis Daily is the better option.

However, if your ED comes and goes, you don’t want to take a tadalafil daily dose or aren’t sexually active more than three days a week, on-demand Cialis may be best.

Cialis 20mg

Cialis 20mg is the maximum dose of Cialis. It’s unlikely you will be prescribed it when you first start treatment. If you’ve tried a 10mg Cialis dosage, you haven’t seen results you hoped for and you didn’t have side effects, your clinician may consider prescribing the 20mg.

You might feel the higher the dose the better, but if you get easy, strong erections on 10mg a higher dose isn’t going to beat that. It will however increase the risk of side effects. Your clinician will evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the risk of side effects.

If you’re prescribed 20mg and find either that you’re experiencing too many side effects or are not seeing the results you want, speak with your clinician. They may suggest another type of ED pill or an alternative treatment. As 20mg is the Cialis max dose there is no “Cialis 30mg” or beyond and you should never take more than one tablet in any 24 hour period.

Is Tadalafil 20mg more effective?

No. Tadalafil 20mg is generic Cialis 20mg. This means that they both contain the same active ingredient in the same amount and should be equally as effective at treating ED.

The difference between the two will be the way the packaging and pills look, and the price. Generic Tadalafil is produced by a variety of different labs and, unbranded, the Tadalafil 20mg price point is slightly less than what you may pay for Cialis.

Bald man smiling outside wearing brown leather jacket

Cialis 10mg

Known as the “standard dose,” Cialis 10mg is the initial dose of Cialis prescribed when starting treatment.

Tadalafil 10mg is the generic equivalent and will be equally as effective. As it’s the unbranded version, the tadalafil 10mg price will be slightly cheaper.

The 10mg dose works for around 71% of men and has a lower risk of side effects than the 20mg dose.

Cialis 2.5mg

If you’re starting treatment with Cialis Daily, you’ll normally be prescribed Cialis 2.5mg. This is the lowest daily dose available. The unbranded, generic version is Tadalafil 2.5mg which once again is usually at a lower price point.

Will all men start on Cialis 2.5mg or Cialis 10mg?

Most men, yes. To keep the risk of side effects low, your clinician will aim for the lowest dose possible to get the job done. The normal dose of Cialis (tadalafil) is 2.5mg or 10mg because these are good starting points to judge how your body responds to treatment.

If they don’t work well enough, your clinician may increase your dose to Cialis 20mg, or Cialis 5mg if you’re daily dosing. Tadalafil 20mg (generic Cialis 20mg) will be prescribed if you were initially prescribed Tadalafil 10mg to be taken as needed.

If I get side effects taking Cialis, what should I do?

If you experience side effects on Cialis, let your doctor know. They’ll suggest either lowering your dose or recommend an alternative ED treatment.

To minimize the risk of side effects avoid grapefruit, drinking too much alcohol, and do not take more than one dose of Cialis per day.

Cialis 5mg

If you aren’t seeing the results you want on Cialis Daily 2.5mg, and don’t experience side effects, your prescriber may recommend upping your dose to Cialis 5mg daily. Tadalafil 5mg is the generic, unbranded version. It should be equally as effective at treating ED as Cialis.

Can I take 40mg of Cialis?

No. The maximum dose of Cialis is 20mg. There is no Cialis 40mg or Tadalafil 40mg available in Canada. A tadalafil dosage of 40mg is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, but this is under careful medical supervision.

Doses higher than 20mg have a higher risk of side effects and can dangerously affect blood pressure. One such side effect, priapism, is an erection that lasts more than 4 hours and requires immediate medical attention.

How can I be sure I’m using the right Tadalafil dosage?

At your consultation, make sure you give your doctor your full medical history. This will help them make the best initial decision about your erectile dysfunction treatment.

Once you begin treatment, keep an eye out for any side effects and let your prescriber know if they occur. Whilst it’s important you give your prescribed dose a few tries, it should ultimately offer you the results you want. If this isn’t the case, again, let your clinician know.

What can I do to get the most out of my dose of Cialis?

Getting the best results when you take Cialis is the end goal. Always follow the instructions in the leaflet or on the pack and any specific guidance given to you by your doctor.

If you’re taking Cialis as needed, remember to give it enough time to work. Results aren’t instant, so aim for no less than 30 minutes before sex — longer if possible.

Avoiding mixing Cialis with nitrates, such as isosorbide mononitrate or GTN spray. These cause a drop in blood pressure, which can be dangerous and never take double doses or split doses.

Reference Popover #ref1
Reference Popover #ref2
Reference Popover #ref3
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 02, 2024.

How we source info:

When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognized analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

What did you like about it?

What didn't you like about it?

Suggest a treatment

If there’s a particular treatment or condition you’re looking for, tell us and we’ll look into it for you.

We may email you about the problem, but you can opt out of these communications any time you like.

Tell us about a problem

I accept the terms of use.
We may email you about the problem, but you can opt out of these communications any time you like.

Ask or suggest something.

Submit your question here, or tell us if you’ve found an issue on our site.

We may email you about your query, but you can opt out of these communications any time you like.

Our average rating based on 19746 reviews.


Get the latest health news and articles, sent to your inbox.

By clicking 'Subscribe now' you're agreeing to our Terms.

You’re signed up to our newsletter. Keep an eye on your inbox for our latest update.

We’ll get back to you very soon. We aim to respond to all queries in one working day.