The Independent Pharmacy

Tadalafil Side Effects: What You Can Expect

Donald Grant
Dr Donald GrantMB ChB DRCOG MRCGP Dip.orth.medGP & Clinical Advisor

Reviewed on 3 Feb 2023

If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction and planning to take Tadalafil, an effective oral treatment that reliably produces stronger erections, then you can expect to see great results. It’s a safe, tried-and-tested medicine — but like almost any treatment you can take, it can (in rare cases) produce some side effects.

You need to know these side effects so you can recognise them if you encounter them. It’s extremely likely that they’ll pass without causing any lasting damage, but it’s worth being careful (particularly given the remote possibility that you have an undiagnosed condition). You also need to know the intended effects of Tadalafil so you don’t mistake one of them for a problem!

So let’s get to the details. We’ll start by reviewing how Tadalafil works so you know when it’s working, then move on to the side effects of Tadalafil, making sure that you’ll be fully prepared to make safe and effective use of this treatment.

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Tadalafil Tablets (10mg & 20mg)
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What to expect from using Tadalafil

There’s a natural substance known as cGMP that relaxes muscle tissue in blood vessels, allowing them to expand and increase blood flow. Commonly, though, an enzyme known as PDE5 will break cGMP down, limiting its effectiveness.

Tadalafil is a PDE5 inhibitor. Once you ingest it, it limits the effects of PDE5, allowing cGMP to work effectively. For more on this, head to our what is Tadalafil and how does it work page — it details various important things, including the circumstances in which Tadalafil is not a suitable treatment.

The net result of taking Tadalafil is greatly-improved blood flow, something that has wide benefits beyond treating erectile dysfunction: your heart won’t need to work as hard, your oxygen circulation will be better, and you’ll likely feel more athletic. The rush may cause some minor dizziness, but you needn’t worry unless it gets really bad or won’t subside.

The most common Tadalafil side effects

At a glance, here are the most common side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Flushed skin
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nasal congestion
  • Muscle pain

By far the most common side effect of Tadalafil is a mild to moderate headache. It works by helping blood vessels to dilate, thus increasing blood flow, and that rapid change in blood flow extends to the brain — an event that can lead to a headache. Even this, the most common side effect, is rarer than a 1-in-5 occurrence.

After that, as noted, the most common side effects include back pain, flushed skin, heartburn, indigestion, nasal congestion, and muscle pain. You have maybe a 1-in-20 chance of seeing one of these side effects, with the risk increasing with the strength of the Tadalafil dosage. Any of these symptoms should fully pass within 48 hours of taking Tadalafil, so if they linger past that or are particularly bad, consult a doctor.

Less common Tadalafil side effects

On very rare occasions, Tadalafil users can experience more serious side effects. There are three that are the most likely (though still very unlikely overall), and thus worth knowing about. Here’s what you need to know for each one:

  • Serious sensory problems. The change in blood flow can affect your senses. You might experience some dizziness, blurred vision, or ringing in the ears. If you’re particularly affected, you might temporarily lose some or all of your hearing or your vision. Try to take Tadalafil while you’re relaxed and inactive — and if you develop a sensory issue that worries you, contact a doctor for guidance.
  • An erection that won’t subside. Tadalafil should only make it easier to achieve and maintain an erection when you’re suitably aroused. It shouldn’t produce an erection spontaneously or prevent one from subsiding when you’re done with sexual activity. If your erection becomes painfully hard or lasts for more than 4 hours, seek emergency assistance — that amount of stress can cause permanent tissue damage.
  • Pain in the heart and/or chest. It isn’t just the change in blood flow that can cause problems: it’s also the physical strain of sexual arousal and activity. If you develop this kind of pain while using Tadalafil, get help immediately.

For symptoms of this rarity, you’re looking at something between 1-in-100 and 1-in-1000, meaning that most healthy men are unlikely to experience any of these issues.

Relieving the side effects of Tadalafil

Because the primary goal of using Tadalafil is to improve sexual activity, a persistent side effect — however mild — can make the whole thing pointless, so it’s understandable that you’d want to take action to relieve a headache (for instance). Given the duration of the effects of Tadalafil, though, you should first wait a few hours to see if you adjust to the change in blood flow with no medical assistance. Stay hydrated, and the headache should go away by itself.

If one of the most common side effects stays with you, though, then you may be able to take some kind of painkiller (provided it doesn’t have a known interaction with Tadalafil — check with your doctor first). Just be mindful that any further medical treatments you ingest may affect you in ways likely to negatively affect your sexual activity.

The long-term viability of Tadalafil

As we’ve seen, even the most common side effects of Tadalafil are unusual, and that doesn’t change with prolonged use. Studies into the long-term safety of Tadalafil (looking at over 2 years of steady use) have found that it is extremely reliable, with no clear causal link to anything beyond the rare side effects already identified.

Because of its consistent effectiveness, lengthy duration, and lack of major or frequent side effects (even when used for years), Tadalafil is an easy recommendation to someone suffering from erectile dysfunction. It’s class-leading in many ways and gets excellent reviews.

Viagra, its popular rival, works in a similar way but is much more of a short-term solution because it only works for a matter of hours while Tadalafil usually works for well over a day. Of course, making lifestyle changes can be the most effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, so consider losing weight, sleeping well, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet. If none of those things helps, then Tadalafil is an exceptional treatment choice.

If you would like to start a consultation and begin using this treatment, visit our buy Tadalafil page.


Tadalafil is a safe and reliable long-term treatment for erectile dysfunction. Once taken, it improves blood flow for up to 36 hours. Side effects are rare and mild, with a simple headache being the most common, and should pass with no action needed. If you're still unsure, browse our Tadalafil reviews from our customers.


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