Levitra is the brand of Vardenafil, an oral drug used to treat men with impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction or ED.
This part of the group of drugs known as phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5). PDE5 inhibitors work by preventing excessive work of the PDE5 enzyme in certain areas of the body, including the penis.
Levitra increases venous congestion in this area and helps a person get and maintain an erection during intercourse. By itself, Levitra does not cause an erection – it is also necessary to physically stimulate the penis to achieve an erection.
Levitra is available in two forms: a tablet or a disintegrating tablet (dissolved in the mouth, taken without water).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Levitra in 2003. It is manufactured by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and distributed by GlaxoSmithKline.
In 2007, the FDA released information on the safety of Levitra and other medications, warning of a possible sudden hearing loss in some men.
This information was published after a report on the disease in the medical literature, which described a person with sudden hearing loss after taking Viagra (sildenafil).
If your erection is painful or lasts more than four hours as a result of taking Levitra, you should immediately consult a doctor.
A prolonged erection can cause serious injury to your penis.
Pregnancy and Levitra
Levitra is for men only. Women should never take them, especially if they are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Levitra: side effects
Common side effects
Some side effects of Levitra, such as stuffy nose, sneezing and redness of the face, neck, hands. Although these side effects usually do not need medical attention, talk with your doctor if they become bothersome.
Severe side effects of Levitra
Go to the doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects while taking Levitra:
- Pain in the arm, back or jaw
- Hearing Loss
- Blindness, blurred vision or blurred vision
- Pain, discomfort
- Chills, cold sweat
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or weakness
- Nausea, vomiting
- Skin rash or swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, tongue, eyes
- Unusual fatigue or weakness
Rare side effects
Some side effects of Levitra are less common, including:
- Premature ejaculation
- Back pain or other areas
- Tingling on the skin
- Dry, sore throat
- Heartburn, upset stomach
Many drugs interact with Levitra, and they should be avoided, if possible, including:
- Dronedarone (Multaq)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
- Nelfinavir (Viracept)
- Nitroglycerin (Nitro-BID, Nitro-Dur, others)
- Posaconazole (Noxafil)
- Isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, Ismo, Monoket)
If any of these medicines are required, you and your physician will need to weigh the potential risks and benefits of taking them, as well as taking Levitra.
Your doctor can change the dosage of one or both drugs, as well as the frequency of their use.
Levitra and alcohol
When taking Levitra, you should not drink too much alcohol. It can increase the risk of side effects, such as headache, dizziness and low blood pressure.
Levitra and grapefruit
While you are using Levitra, do not eat grapefruit and do not drink its juice. This affects the metabolism of the drug and may increase the risk of side effects.
Levitra and other interactions
Do not take Levitra if you use street drugs containing nitrates, commonly known as poppers.
Always tell your doctor about any medications that you take, as well as about herbal remedies, food and dietary supplements.
If you use a resorption tablet, the recommended single dose is 10 milligrams (mg) no more than once a day, one hour before you start having sex.
If you use an oral tablet, take a dose of 10 mg once a day for an hour before sex. Men aged 65 years and over can take a dose of 5 mg once a day, one hour before sex.
However, the recommended dose of Levitra will be different for different men. Talk with your doctor about the correct dosage for you.
Take no more than one dose of Levitra every 24 hours. Call your doctor right away if you think you drank too much.