Drug Info

How to safely buy Cialis online

Cropped SingleCare logo By | December 18, 2019
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Hudson, APRN, NP-C

Seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) can feel embarrassing. To avoid those awkward emotions, many patients instead turn to purchasing ED medication online. One of the most popular drugs for treating ED is Cialis, also known by its generic name tadalafil. While it might be more private, and possibly cheaper, it’s important to make sure you’re staying safe when you buy Cialis online. Let’s take a look at what Cialis is and how you can find it online safely.

What is Cialis?

Cialis is a popular medication for ED treatment. It may also be prescribed to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Cialis was originally manufactured by Eli Lilly, but it’s generic form, tadalafil, is now manufactured by several drugmakers.

When used to treat erectile dysfunction, Cialis works by increasing blood flow to the penis. It is an oral medication that is usually prescribed to be taken as needed, approximately 30 minutes before sexual activity. However, your doctor may choose to start you on a daily dose instead of as needed. Tablets are typically prescribed at 10 mg as a starting dose for ED, and 30 tablets are usually included in a standard refill. The final dosage will be determined by your doctor.

Cialis is often compared to its competitors vardenafil and sildenafil, also known by the brand names Levitra and Viagra. All of these medications are popular for ED treatment. Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis are all in the drug class of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, also known as PDE5 inhibitors. This drug class is associated with treating impotence as well as BPH. Your doctor can help you compare sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil to see which might be the best treatment for you.

Read next: Cialis vs. Viagra

How to buy Cialis online safely

Safety should be a priority when buying Cialis—or any other ED medication—online. Be wary of websites that try to sell you on getting ED medication without a prescription. If you aren’t careful, you could accidentally purchase counterfeit drugs, and receive pills that has no active ingredients or worse, ingredients that may harm you. The good news is that there are some steps that you can take to ensure you’re buying from a legitimate website and purchasing real Cialis or tadalafil.

1. Use a website that requires a valid prescription

You’ll need a prescription before you can start looking for Cialis online if you’re in the United States. In the U.K., Viagra is an over-the-counter medication, available without a prescription. Because Cialis is a prescription drug at U.S. pharmacies, you will not be able to buy Cialis online or in stores without an order from a doctor.

You’ll also want to make sure that you are buying from a website that requires a valid prescription. Any website that doesn’t require a prescription or is lenient on the legitimacy of the prescription is bad news. Websites that don’t care about your prescription’s legitimacy likely don’t care about the authenticity of the medications you are receiving.

RELATED: The dangers of buying fake Viagra online

2. Check its VIPPS accreditation

The Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program was created to ensure online pharmacies are safe. Look for the VIPPS seal on the pharmacy website you are using to make sure it is legitimate. However, some of the counterfeit websites may fake the accreditation seal, meaning it shouldn’t be the only way you verify a pharmacy’s legitimacy. You might want to go straight to the source and only use the VIPPS list when looking for an online pharmacy.

3. Find clear contact information

Contact information is another way to verify the legitimacy of an online pharmacy. A clear phone number, email address, physical address, and maybe even a chat feature should be available to users. The website should regularly offer the ability to speak with a pharmacist and receive help. If the contact information or physical address indicates the pharmacy is outside of your country, that is a red flag. You’ll want to ensure the company is located where it claims to be and offers a clear line of communication with you. A privacy policy should also be available, as a website without one is another red flag.

4. Get offline

You may need to stick to your local pharmacy if you’re having trouble finding a reputable online pharmacy that you can trust. After going to your local pharmacy for your initial prescription fill, you can usually set up a mail-order prescription that is discreet and doesn’t require going to the pharmacy counter for Cialis refills. It’s always better to go to a physical pharmacy that you trust than take a risk with a website you’re unsure of.

How much does Cialis cost?

After you’ve received your prescription, you’ll notice a wide range of Cialis prices. Fortunately, there are a few ways to save money on your Cialis prescription.

There is nearly always a significant difference in pricing between a brand-name medication, such as Cialis, and its generic form, like tadalafil. Generic drugs are often more affordable than their brand-name counterparts. A generic drug will have the same active ingredient as the brand-name drug while typically being half the price or less.

SingleCare is a great way to compare prices and find coupons for prescription drugs. When looking up Cialis on SingleCare, you’ll find the average retail price is more than $485. But if you take a look at generic tadalafil, the cash price goes down to $260. To save even more money, you can use a coupon from SingleCare and bring the cost of tadalafil to $89.99. That’s a huge savings that shouldn’t be overlooked if you want an easy, cost-effective solution for your Cialis prescription.

Other uses for Cialis

While erectile dysfunction is the primary use of Cialis, it has also been prescribed to patients for other health conditions. Cialis has been shown to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an enlarged prostate. Cialis is sometimes prescribed for the treatment of BPH, as it works by relaxing the smooth muscle in the bladder and the prostate. This relaxation relieves BPH symptoms such as a weak urine stream, difficulty to begin urinating, and frequent urge to urinate. Those taking Cialis for an enlarged prostate will typically take it once a day.

Note: Cialis is not effective in the protection against sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

Side effects of Cialis

As with most medications, there are some possible side effects of taking Cialis. The less serious and most common side effects of Cialis include headache, stomach upset, muscle pain, back pain, and dizziness. The good news is that you can reduce dizziness or lightheadedness while taking Cialis by getting up slowly from a lying or seated position.

Unfortunately, there are rare but more serious side effects of Cialis. These serious side effects include high blood pressure, vision loss, and ringing in the ears. Additionally, there is a risk of a prolonged erection that is painful or lasts longer than four hours. If this happens you are advised to seek medical treatment immediately.

Medications can also cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Cialis. This is not a full list of side effects. You should always consult your doctor for professional medical advice before taking any new medications.