How long does it take for Tadalafil to start working?

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Written By Julie Ingram
How long does it take for Tadalafil to start working?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability in men or Assigned Males at Birth (AMAB) to get or keep an erection firm enough for sex. 

ED is a prevalent condition among men affecting around 52% of people in some form.

Fortunately, there are medications like Tadalafil, which are safe, effective, and easy-to-use oral medications for treating ED.

It works for ED by dilating the blood vessels and improving the blood flow to the penis. The improved blood flow helps get an erection firm enough for sexual engagement. 

However, Tadalafil takes some time to start working and shows its therapeutic benefits. 

In this article, we will find out how long does it take for Tadalafil to start working? We will also discuss key factors that affect the onset of action of this medication. 

The Onset of Action of Tadalafil

The onset of action means the time it takes for a medicine to start showing its effect after administration. 

In the case of Tadalafil, it means the time difference between swallowing the pill and getting an erection.

Typically for most men, Tadalafil starts working within 30 minutes. However,  the onset of action of Tadalafil can vary from person to person. 

In some cases, a successful erection occurs at 15 min time point, whereas, in some individuals, it may take up to 2 hours to start working. 

It can take up to 2 hours for Tadalafil to reach its peak concentration at which it exerts the maximum therapeutic effects on the body. 

Keep in mind that Tadalafil requires sexual stimulation to be effective, so arousal is an important part of the equation.

After swallowing the pill, the medication gets metabolized and absorbed in the bloodstream. Through the bloodstream, it then gets carried to the pelvic region. 

Once at the appropriate place, Tadalafil binds to the PDE5 enzyme and stops it from breaking down cGMP. 

cGMP, or cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate, is a chemical responsible for relaxing blood vessels.

Inhibition of PDE5 increases the cGMP level, which results in more blood flow to the penis, which gives a firmer erection. 

This process takes some time and can change depending on certain factors.

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  • Factors That Affect the Onset of Action of Tadalafil

    There are many factors that can delay the onset of action of Tadalafil. Understanding these factors is crucial for optimal results and a fulfilling sexual experience.

    These include metabolism, Anxiety, stress, depression, etc. Here we will discuss some of these in detail.


    One of the key factors that affects the timing and effectiveness of a medication is how better the body can metabolize it. 

    Metabolism means breaking down or changing the medicine into something the body can use and eliminate effectively. 

    Everyone has a unique metabolism, which affects how the body absorbs, distributes, and eliminates medication. 

    In people with a slow metabolism, the medicine will not be effectively processed. This may result in reduced effectiveness or longer onset of action.

    There are certain things that affect the metabolism. These include:

    • Age
    • Disease
    • Liver and kidney function
    • Other medications 
    • Lifestyle

    Psychological Factors

    Man in depressionSource: pixelshot
    Man in depression

    Apart from metabolism, some psychological factors can also affect the onset of action of Tadalafil. These include Anxiety, stress, depression, and relationship issues.

    Since Tadalafil only works if you are sexually aroused, these psychological factors may indirectly influence the onset of action by affecting sexual desire.

    To achieve the best and desired result with Tadalafil, it is important to address psychological factors along with the ED treatment.

    Don’t take higher than the prescribed dosage to reduce the timing of Tadalafil. A higher dose will not make it work faster. Instead, it can cause serious health risks.


    Tadalafil is a medication approved for Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in men or AMAB. 

    How long it takes for Tadalafil to start working depends on the individual.

    Tadalafil usually starts working within 30 minutes. However, these timings differ between individuals. In some people, Tadalafil can take upto 2 hours.

    There are some factors that affect the onset of action of Tadalafil. These factors are metabolism, Anxiety, stress, depression, etc.

    It is advisable to take this medication only with a doctor’s prescription.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can Tadalafil be used daily, or is it meant to be taken only as needed?

    Yes, for Erectile Dysfunction, a low dose of Tadalafil can be prescribed for daily use. Tadalafil is also approved for treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. For the same, it must be taken daily.

    Is there any alternative to Tadalafil that works faster?

    Yes, the newest approved Erectile Dysfunction (ED) medication, Avanafil, can start working within 15 minutes of ingestion. However, it is only approved for treating ED, not Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). Also, its duration of effect is much shorter than Tadalafil, only 6 hours.

    What is the recommended starting dosage of Tadalafil?

    The standard dose of Tadalafil is 10 mg for most cases of Erectile Dysfunction and 40 mg for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). However, you may need a dose adjustment if you have any other medical conditions. 

    Does alcohol consumption impact Tadalafil’s effectiveness?

    Yes, but very little. A beer or a glass of wine will unlikely stop or delay Tadalafil from working. However, if you’re taking it for Erectile Dysfunction, drinking lots of alcohol can make it more difficult to get an erection.

    Can a high-fat meal delay Tadalafil’s onset of action?

    Unlike other Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, Tadalafil is not affected by a high-fat meal. A high-fat meal will not delay the onset of the action of Tadalafil.

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