What is Levitra (vardenafil)?
Levitra (vardenafil HCl) is a PDE inhibitor drug. This erectile dysfunction treatment helps men achieve and maintain erection by increasing blood flow to the penis. Be aware of the possibility of serious drug interactions with this medication, and its effects on blood pressure.
This medication helps improve erection during sexual arousal and activity but erection should end after sexual activity is complete. An erection lasting more than 4 hours may be dangerous and damage the penis.
Seek medical attention if you experience this side effect. Levitra is not an aphrodisiac. It will not increase sexual drive. Levitra works by helping the blood vessels in the penis to relax, increasing blood to flow into the penis and causing an erection. For Levitra to be effective, sexual stimulation is required. Men who do not have erectile dysfunction should not take Levitra.
Levitra is for use by prescription only. Men taking nitrate drugs, often used to control chest pain (also known as angina), should not take Levitra. Men who use alpha blockers, sometimes prescribed for high blood pressure or prostate symptoms, also should not take Levitra. Such combinations could cause blood pressure to drop to an unsafe level. The most commonly reported side effects are headache, flushing, and stuffy or runny nose. Men who experience an erection for more than four hours should seek immediate medical attention.
Vardenafil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken as needed, with or without food, 60 minutes before sexual activity. Vardenafil usually should not be taken more often than once every 24 hours. If you have certain health conditions or are taking certain medications, your doctor may tell you to take vardenafil less often. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take vardenafil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
The recommended starting dose of vardenafil is 10 mg taken orally approximately 1 hour before sexual activity. The dose may be adjusted higher or lower depending on efficacy and side effects. The maximum recommended dose is 20 mg, and the maximum recommended dosing frequency is no more than once per day. Vardenafil can be taken with or without food.
Vardenafil is generally well tolerated with only mild side effects. These side effects include headache, flushing, nasal congestion, dyspepsia, body aches, dizziness, nausea, and increased blood levels of the muscle enzyme creatine kinase.
There have been rare reports of priapism (prolonged and painful erections lasting more than 6 hours) with the use of oral PDE5 inhibitors such as vardenafil, sildenafil and tadalafil. Patients with blood cell diseases such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia, and multiple myeloma have higher than normal risks of developing priapism. Priapism untreated can cause injury to the penis tissue and lead to permanent loss of potency. If there is prolonged erection (longer than 4 hours), immediate medical assistance should be sought.