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Can You Overdose on ED Medications?

  • Friday 12 November 2021
  • 4 minute(s) read

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People often say that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Is this true for erectile dysfunction medication? It can be easy to get hooked on the benefits of erectile dysfunction pills, but does less actually mean more? The short answer: you should always follow the dosage on your prescription. Read on to learn more about the most effective dosage for ED drugs. 

Proper Dosage: Viagra vs. Cialis

Finding the proper dosage for your body is important in maximizing the drug’s benefits while minimizing side effects. While it may be tempting to disregard the side effects in the moment, they can cause a lot of discomfort, especially if you overdose. Common side effects of ED medications include: 

  • An inability to differentiate between the colors green and blue 
  • Dizziness 
  • Back pain 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Headaches 
  • Loss of hearing 
  • Memory problems 
  • Nausea 
  • Ringing in the ears 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Stuffy nose 
  • Upset stomach 
  • Warmth or redness in the face, neck, or chest  

For Viagra (sildenafil), your doctor will likely start you on 50 mg doses and adjust your dosage from there. Viagra is taken as needed, roughly an hour before sex for the most dependable effects. It can also be taken between 30 minutes to four hours before sexual activity. Your doctor will adjust your dosage based on how you react to the medication. If you feel as if your dosage is ineffective, your doctor may increase your dose to 100 mg. Likewise, your doctor may reduce your dose to 25 mg if you are experiencing too many side effects. Even though the effects of Viagra wear off after five hours or so, Viagra should only be taken once a day. 1 

three packs of pills on a yellow background

Cialis can be taken daily. If you choose Cialis, your doctor will likely start you off with an initial dosage of 2.5 mg. Some patients use Cialis to treat both erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe 5 mg daily. If Cialis is used solely for ED purposes, the time of day you take your dose does not matter so much. You should take Cialis at the same time every day if you are using it for ED and BPH. Like Viagra, the dosage for Cialis can be increased or decreased based on your reaction, and you shouldn’t exceed one dose a day. 

Overdose or Drug Interactions? 

If you are experiencing side effects, it may not necessarily be from an overdose. Drug interactions can cause many side effects as well. To pinpoint the cause of your side effects, you need to make sure all of your other medications are safe to take with ED drugs. 

Side effects may be caused by drug interactions if you are on any nitrates-related medications. ED drugs are PDE5 inhibitors, which are contraindicated with nitrates. Other common drug interactions include: 

  • Amlodipine 
  • Lisinopril 
  • Doxazosin 
  • Metoprolol 
  • Erythromycin 
  • HIV protease inhibitors 2

a combination of various different medications

This list of drug interactions is far from comprehensive, which is why you should always tell your doctor of all the medications you are taking before you are prescribed Viagra or Cialis. Some side effects of mixing ED meds with contraindicated drugs include: 

  • Symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain, nausea, sweating, and pain in the jaw or shoulders)
  • Vision changes or sudden vision loss 
  • Severe shortness of breath 
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help right away. These symptoms can quickly lead to severe health complications. 2

How Much is Too Much? 

If you buy ED meds online, you can improve the flow of blood to the penis by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme. This enzyme is found throughout the entire body but is especially prevalent in the tissues in your lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain. Tadalafil also affects the enzyme PDE11, also found throughout the body in the heart, pancreas, skeletal muscles, and pituitary gland. By taking 40 mg of Cialis, you significantly increase your risk of experiencing side effects. Taking 40 mg of tadalafil can also cause an erection that lasts longer than four hours (priapism). To prevent penile tissue damage, you should seek urgent medical help if you experience priapism. 3  

a banana with yogurt on the tip as a phallic symbol

Going for a Second Round

The myth that ED drugs can keep you erect after an orgasm is exactly that—a myth. Naturally, no matter how much Viagra or Cialis you take beforehand, your penis will stop being erect after an orgasm. And taking more than your prescribed dosage won’t help you stay hard for a second round, either. The good news is that your erectile dysfunction treatment is often sufficient for reducing your refractory period, so stick to the dosage your doctor prescribes to reap the most benefits possible from these ED drugs.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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