What Is Levitra (Vardenafil)?
Levitra is the brand name for vardenafil, an oral medication used to treat men who have sexual impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction or ED.
It’s part of a group of drugs known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. PDE5 inhibitors work by preventing an enzyme, PDE5, from working too rapidly in certain areas of the body, including the penis.
Levitra increases venous congestion in that area and helps a man get and keep an erection during sexual intercourse. By itself, Levitra does not cause an erection – there must also be physical stimulation of the penis to achieve an erection.
Levitra comes in two forms – a tablet or a disintegrating tablet (dissolves in the mouth, taken without water).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Levitra in 2003. It is made by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and is distributed by GlaxoSmithKline.
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Vardenafil belongs to the class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. It is used to treat erectile dysfunction (male impotence). Vardenafil helps to achieve a penile erection sufficient for sexual activity to occur. It does this by allowing greater blood flow into the penis when a man taking the medication is sexually aroused. It works only with sexual stimulation and does not increase sexual desire.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful to people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
Levitra (vardenafil) 20 mg
Each orange, film-coated, round tablet, embossed with “BAYER” cross on one side and “20” on the other side, contains vardenafil hydrochloride equivalent to 20 mg of vardenafil. Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous colloidal silica, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, red ferric oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide.
How should I use this medication?
- The usual recommended dose is one 10 mg tablet taken as needed, 25 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. This medication has been shown to be effective within 15 minutes of taking the tablet and lasts up to 8 to 10 hours later. As the amount of time vardenafil takes to work varies from person to person, starting sexual activity at different times after taking the tablet will determine the optimal time for sexual activity. It is not recommended to take more than one dose per day. Your doctor may recommend a dose as low as 5 mg or as high as 20 mg.
- Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
- Vardenafil may be taken with or without food.
- Because alcohol can make it more difficult to get an erection, do not drink large amounts of alcohol before sexual activity. Moderate amounts of alcohol (2 drinks for a 70 kg person) will not interfere with the medication.
- It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take higher doses of this medication than prescribed by your doctor. Contact your doctor if you do take a higher dose of vardenafil than prescribed.
- Keep this medication out of reach and sight of children. This medication should be stored in its original package, at room temperature between 15°C and 30°C.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed.
Levitra Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Levitra
Some side effects of Levitra such as stuffy nose, sneezing, and a warm feeling or redness in the face, neck, arms, and upper chest may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. While these side effects do not usually need medical attention, talk to your doctor if they become bothersome.
Severe Side Effects of Levitra
Check-in with your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects while taking Levitra:
- Pain in the arm, back, or jaw
- Hearing loss
- Blindness, blurry vision, or decreased vision
- Pain, discomfort, or tightness in the chest
- Chills, cold sweats
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness
- Racing, pounding heartbeat pr pulse
- Nausea, vomiting
- Hives, itching
- Skin rash or puffiness or swelling of eyelids, face, lip, tongue, eyes
- Unusual tiredness or feeling of weakness
Rare Side Effects
Some Levitra side effects are less common, including:
- Ejaculating abnormally
- Pain in the back or other areas
- “Pins and needles” sensation of the skin
- Sour stomach
- Dry, sore throat
- Fever, also
- Heartburn, indigestion
If you are using the disintegrating tablet form of Levitra, the recommended single dose is 10-milligrams (mg) no more than once a day, an hour before you expect to have sex.
If you are using the oral tablet, take a 10-mg single dose once a day an hour before sex. Men aged 65 years and older can take a 5-mg dose once a day, an hour before sex.
The recommended dose of Levitra will be different for different men, however.
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