Interactions Between Cialis and Alcohol

By Terez Malka, MD
Medically reviewed
December 2, 2021

Cialis (tadalafil) is a prescription medication primarily used by those who experience difficulty having and maintaining an erection (a condition called erectile dysfunction, or impotence).

Alcohol consumption can contribute to or cause erectile dysfunction and can also cause harmful side effects when mixed with the drug used to treat it. 

This article will cover everything you need to know about mixing Cialis with alcohol.

What is Cialis?

Cialis is a brand name of the prescription drug tadalafil.

Tadalafil is part of a group of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

It’s used to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

In comparison to other products used to treat ED, Cialis remains in the body longer—sometimes for more than two days. 

Cialis comes as an oral tablet to be taken before sexual activity, not more than once a day.

Can You Take Cialis and Alcohol Together?

Moderate drinking while taking Cialis is unlikely to cause any side effects, however, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to harmful interactions. 

Both Cialis and alcohol can act as mild vasodilators, which means they widen blood vessels, allowing greater blood flow throughout the body.

This can significantly lower your blood pressure and increase the potential for symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and fainting. 

These symptoms may be severe or dangerous in those with heart conditions or low blood pressure.

If you want to avoid any potential side effects, it’s best to limit your alcohol intake while taking the medication or abstain altogether. 

Side Effects of Cialis and Alcohol

Consuming alcohol while taking Cialis can cause low blood pressure or dizziness with changes in position and lead to the following serious side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure

Individuals may also experience increased side effects of Cialis including:

Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction

Alcohol abuse is one of the leading causes of impotence and other disturbances in sexual dysfunction.

In one study of men with alcohol dependence, 72% of subjects had one or more symptoms of sexual dysfunction, the most common being premature ejaculation, low sexual desire and erectile dysfunction.

The amount of alcohol consumed appeared to be the most significant predictor of developing sexual dysfunction.

The good news is, alcohol-induced ED can be reduced or cured by decreasing or stopping alcohol use.

Get an erectile dysfunction prescription for as low as $0.90 per dose

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When to See a Doctor or Health Care Professional

Before your doctor or provider prescribes Cialis, it’s important to let them know your full medical history.

This includes any medications you take.

You should also have an open discussion with your provider about how much alcohol you regularly consume.

If you are taking Cialis and drinking alcohol, stop using the medication and contact your provider if you experience symptoms such as dizziness or headaches. Let them know:

  • When you last took the medication
  • How much you took
  • How much you drank
  • All of the symptoms you experienced

How K Health Can Help 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will alcohol slow the time it takes for Cialis to take effect?
Cialis generally takes about 30 minutes to take effect. Interactions with Cilalis can affect how long it works and decrease its effectiveness.
What is the most optimal method to take Cialis?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Cialis should be taken orally before sexual activity, not more than once daily. Cialis may be taken with or without food.
Will stopping alcohol use help improve ED?
Yes! Limiting or stopping alcohol consumption could help cure or significantly improve your ED, especially if your symptoms are alcohol-induced.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Terez Malka, MD

Dr. Terez Malka is a board-certified pediatrician and emergency medicine physician.