The cardiovascular safety of tadalafil

Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2008 Jan;7(1):43-52. doi: 10.1517/14740338.7.1.43.


Tadalafil is an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 5, approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Blood pressure-lowering effects of tadalafil in healthy volunteers are minimal. In patients on a broad spectrum of antihypertensive medication, severe hypotension did not occur in combination with tadalafil; however, a combination of tadalafil with any nitric oxide donor can lead to life-threatening hypotension and is, therefore, absolutely contraindicated (at least 48 h interval after last dose of tadalafil). Combination with alpha-blocking agents, such as doxazosin, may only be considered when patients are hemodynamically stable for a longer period using the lowest dose of tadalafil and with close blood pressure monitoring. In placebo-controlled trials, severe adverse cardiovascular events were rare in tadalafil users and similar in frequency in comparison to placebo. However, as cardiovascular disease is highly prevalent in patients with erectile dysfunction, a complete diagnostic work up of these patients and potentially optimized cardiovascular treatment may be necessary before sexual intercourse can be recommended and tadalafil may be prescribed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbolines / adverse effects*
  • Carbolines / chemistry
  • Carbolines / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Erectile Dysfunction / complications
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tadalafil


  • Carbolines
  • Tadalafil