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Liquid Cialis: Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Kristin Hall, FNP

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 04/26/2021

Updated 07/10/2023

Liquid Cialis: the hottest new cocktail from the local country club, or the sippable solution for erectile dysfunction? If you guessed “neither,” you’re already ahead of the curve. 

Cialis® is the brand name version of tadalafil — a prescription medication for erectile dysfunction (ED). It works by increasing the rate of blood flow to your penis, making it easier for you to get and maintain an erection during sexual activity. 

Liquid Cialis, meanwhile, doesn’t technically exist. 

If you’ve searched for information about Cialis, you may have seen mentions of a liquid version of this medication — maybe even some advertisements to get it now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. 

Today in the United States, as-needed and daily Cialis tablets (and their generic versions) are the only FDA-approved medication for erectile dysfunction that have tadalafil as their active ingredient. While some compounding pharmacies (pharmacies that can prepare custom medication formulations) may be able to prepare a liquid version of Cialis for you with a valid prescription, it’s often a complicated process — and not actually approved for ED treatment. 

Below, we’ve explained what liquid Cialis actually is, how liquid tadalafil works and the details on dosage and how it’s used. And for those of you looking for liquid help with ED, we’ve got some suggestions, so read on.

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What Is Liquid Cialis?

Liquid Cialis is exactly what it sounds like — the ingredient tadalafil, which is used in Cialis, sold as a liquid rather than as a tablet. 

Cialis is a medication designed for the treatment of ED — a condition in which the blood vessels in your penis don’t properly fill with blood, making it hard to get an erection. It can be caused by any number of other health issues (including mental health issues) but Cialis is known for being an effective treatment to get you up and running again.

Here’s the big disclaimer: liquid Cialis, for all intents and purposes, does not exist. The pharmaceutical manufacturer of Cialis (Lilly) does not offer a liquid formulation. There is only one FDA-approved version of tadalafil in a liquid form, and it’s not called Cialis. 

In 2022, one company received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a liquid preparation of tadalafil called Tadliq. Specifically, Tadliq is approved to treat a condition pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) — it is not approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Cialis, as a brand-name drug, is currently only available in the United States in tablet form, but some pharmacies may offer liquid Cialis as a custom formulation for men who have issues that prevent them from using the tablet versions. 

These men are actually getting a compounding pharmacy to prepare a special formulation, the same way people with food allergies might get the “privilege” of ordering off-menu in restaurants. In other words, it’s an exception, not an option.

Liquid Cialis Uses

Liquid Cialis typically comes in a dropper bottle, with an applicator that you can use to measure and ingest each dose. How liquid Cialis is used is ultimately based on who is using it and how they were prescribed it.

If you’re receiving a special compounded formulation, you’ll use it as directed by your healthcare provider. Ask them for medical advice if you have any concerns or need a guideline explained. 

However, if you’re using Tadliq, you won’t be using it for ED. Tadliq oral suspension is only used to treat PAH, according to the FDA.

We’re not yet aware of any situations where Tadliq has been prescribed off-label for the treatment of ED, but it’s possible that in the coming years there may be just such use cases shared in studies and case reports. 

At the moment, however, it’s probably not a good idea to try and get your hands on Tadliq for purposes it’s not intended for, including ED. Because while both tablet and liquid forms contain the same active ingredient, there’s a major difference in how these medications are given — specifically, dosage.

Liquid Cialis Dosage

There are a number of things you need to understand about the difference between liquid and tablet medications, but by far the most important is that the dosages aren’t necessarily going to be the same. 

Tablets of Cialis and generic tadalafil come in a range of dosages, from 5mg to 10mg per tablet for as-needed medication, or as a daily-use medication in 2.5mg or 5mg per tablet. Doses range from 2.5mg to 20mg, depending on your individual needs. For more information on dosing rules, check out our Cialis dosage guide.

For liquid medications, most compounding pharmacies will provide information about the dosage of your liquid Cialis on the label. Note that the dosage for liquid medications is usually specified per milliliter (mL), but it may vary based on the pharmacy you use.

Maybe we’re stating the obvious, but if you’re prescribed a compounded medication at a certain dosage, it’s important to take the recommended dosage. But we have to repeat that you shouldn’t be taking liquid tadalafil for ED anyway. If you’ve having trouble getting it up, you’ll need to go the tablet route, using one of the dosages we mentioned above.

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Liquid Cialis Side Effects

For the most part, the side effects of liquid tadalafil seem to be in keeping with Cialis (tadalafil) side effects for tablets. That means that headaches, stuffy nose, nausea and flushing could happen with either version. Serious side effects might include chest pain, back pain and priapism (a prolonged erection).

With Tadliq, however, side effects may include other short- or long-term issues that haven’t been identified yet. Because this medication is so new, it’s hard to give conclusive details about the differences in side effects between tadalafil tablet or liquid versions.

What we can say is that the biggest risks of liquid tadalafil likely come from user error — from mistakes in dosage that may lead to overdose or underdosing.

Underdosing on Cialis is never really an issue, except for the fact that you won’t get the full benefits of the medication. 

If however you take too much — or take too little and later take another dose — you might experience some issues. Those issues could include vision or hearing loss, fainting and other consequences of sudden low blood pressure, including death.

Remember, this medication was once intended to treat high blood pressure before it became a treatment option for ED and benign prostatic hyperplasia, so it can definitely affect your blood pressure if not used correctly.

These serious side effects can be avoided by reading the instructions and taking certain other precautions as recommended by your healthcare provider.

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Liquid Cialis Precautions

If you decide to pursue a liquid Cialis prescription for any reason, follow the instructions from your healthcare provider. First and foremost, these directions, as well as the directions from your pharmacy, will tell you when, how and how often to take this medication safely and for the best effects, 

In the big picture, however, there are some general precautions you should be aware of to make sure you stay safe, healthy and happy with the effect the medication is having on your body, including:

  • Use it as directed. Don’t go making your own calls or designing “double dropper nights” for yourself. Sure it’s a catchy name, but death isn’t a catchy state of being.

  • Discuss drug interactions with a professional. Many medications can or might conflict with tadalafil, so make sure to let your healthcare provider know about any medications you take, especially any other PDE5 inhibitors like Levitra (vardenafil) or Viagra for ED, or medications for heart disease like alpha-blockers, supplements or nitrates.

  • Make sure to get it safely. You’ll need to talk to a licensed healthcare provider before you can legally purchase and use Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction — because Cialis is not sold over-the-counter, you’ll need a prescription. Don’t fall victim to online OTC scams —over-the-counter ED drugs are risky and aren’t regulated well. Some might even contain unlisted ingredients. And remember, liquid Cialis is only used for PAH, not for erectile dysfunction, and you should only get it from a compounding pharmacy, with a prescription.

  • Learn to dose with a dropper. To measure the correct dosage, you’ll typically need to use the dropper provided with your liquid medication. Fill the dropper up to the level required to provide the specific dosage prescribed by your healthcare provider.

  • Be on the lookout for side effects — even if tablets didn’t give you any. Although Cialis is a safe medication for most men, it can cause certain side effects and interactions. These may be more severe if your Cialis isn’t dosed correctly.

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The Verdict on Liquid Cialis for ED

Although Cialis is generally only available as a tablet for ED, some compounding pharmacies may be able to produce a liquid version of Cialis if you have a medical issue that makes it impractical or difficult for you to take this medication in its standard form. 

Should you wish to pursue that option, talk to a healthcare professional. 

If, however, you’re shopping around for ED treatments, consider the following takeaways as our best advice:

  • Cialis, which contains the active ingredient tadalafil, is a popular medication that’s used to treat erectile dysfunction and BPH.

  • The FDA has yet to approve Cialis in liquid form for ED. However, with the right prescription, some compounding pharmacies may be able to create a liquid solution containing tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis.

  • Tadliq is a brand-name tadalafil liquid, but it is not designed for the treatment of ED.

  • Some vendors market liquid versions of Cialis and other ED medications for sale online, usually labeled as “research chemicals.” These products aren’t approved by the FDA or intended for human consumption. While some may contain tadalafil, there’s no way to know if the labeled dosage is accurate, or if these medications are manufactured safely. Avoid them.

Medications like sildenafil (the generic version of Viagra) and  Stendra (avanafil) might be alternative erectile dysfunction treatments if you’re having problems with Cialis tablets. You might also consider our chewable ED meds hard mints, which are a good alternative for those who don’t want to take a pill.

We offer Cialis and tadalafil, as well as other ED medications, online. To get Cialis or a similar medication to treat ED, you can talk to a licensed healthcare provider and, if appropriate, receive a valid prescription for your preferred medication. 

If you’d like to use Cialis to treat ED, you can access our FDA-approved ED medications after consulting with a licensed healthcare provider online.

5 Sources

  1. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: TADLIQ® (tadalafil) oral suspension. (n.d.-d). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2022/214522s000lbl.pdf.
  2. Reference ID: 3024692 - food and drug administration. (n.d.-f). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/021368s20s21lbl.pdf.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.-e). Symptoms & causes of erectile dysfunction - NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes.
  4. Dhaliwal A, Gupta M. PDE5 Inhibitors. [Updated 2023 Apr 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549843/.
  5. Watson, C. J., Whitledge, J. D., Siani, A. M., & Burns, M. M. (2021). Pharmaceutical Compounding: a History, Regulatory Overview, and Systematic Review of Compounding Errors. Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, 17(2), 197–217. hhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605468/.
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Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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