Generic Levitra (Vardenafil)
Vardenafil, more commonly known under the brand name Levitra, is a type of prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction in males. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual dysfunction that happens when a man won’t be able to achieve and maintain an erection.
This condition occurs because the arteries that are responsible for transporting the blood into the penis have become too narrow. When you take Vardenafil, it will increase the blow of blood into the penile so you will be able to achieve an erection. Vardenafil works in the same way as Sildenafil or Viagra. However, Viagra will only last for 2 – 4 hours while Levitra lasts longer than that.
How Does Vardenafil Work?
During an erection, the penis will be filled with blood. The blood vessels responsible for supplying blood into the penis will either expand or dilate and the vessels that will take the blood from the penis will contract. Corpus cavernosa, the two large chambers in the penis will then be filled with blood. Once the blood accumulates within the penile region, an erection will take effect.
Vardenafil belongs to the class of drugs that are known as PDE5 or phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors. It works by relaxing the arteries, which then enhances blood flow. But take note that this will only be possible after sexual stimulation. If a man is not sexually aroused, an erection will still not be possible. The active ingredient from Vardenafil will work on a chain of reaction within the penile region during sexual arousal. Once the man is sexually aroused, the nitric oxide will be released into the penile region and this will result in a chain of reaction.
This will cause the enzyme guanylate cyclase to produce cyclic guanosine monophosphate, which regulates the dilation, contraction, and expansion of the blood vessels carrying the blood in and out of the penis. Such chemical reaction will trigger the vessels that supply blood to the penis to dilate, while the vessels that remove blood from the penis will contract. Phosphodiesterase-5, another enzyme, will destroy or break down the cGMP. Once the cGMP is broken down, the blood vessels will go back to the normal size, effectively resulting in an erection. Vardenafil will prevent the PDE5 from destroying the cGMP. As a result, the cGMP will work longer, which also prolongs the erection.
For most men, the recommended dosage for Vardenafil tablets is 10 mg daily that must be taken at least 60 min before sexual activity.
If there are no side effects or reactions, the dose can be increased to 20 mg, but in case of side effects, this will be decreased to 5 mg. Men who are 65 years or older must start at 5 mg. Individuals who are taking medications that can increase blood levels must begin with a dosage of 2.5 mg to 5 mg.
Take note that Orally disintegrating tablets or ODT should not be replaced with regular vardenafil tablets since they are better absorbed and could produce higher levels of blood compared to the regular tablets. The recommended dose when using ODT is 1 tablet at least 60 min before intercourse. For safety, only one tablet should be taken in a day. The tablet must be placed in the tongue and will be left to disintegrate. It’s not recommended to take it with water.
The following drugs inhibit the elimination and breakdown of vardenafil in the body:
These drugs could increase Vardenafil’s concentration in the blood so they must not be taken along with Vardenafil. Vardenafil will also reduce the concentration of certain drugs, such as ritonavir and indinavir, and could diminish their effects. In addition, Vardenafil can increase the heart rate and exaggerate the blood pressure, which lowers the effects of nitrates.
For patients with chest pain, a condition known as angina, especially those who are taking nitrates, vardenafil can further aggravate chest pain by increasing heart rate and lowering the level of blood pressure. As such, it’s not entirely safe for patients with angina to us vardenafil. Vardenafil also has a tendency to exaggerate the blood-lowering efforts of alpha-blocking drugs like terazosin (Hytrin). Therefore, patients who are also taking alpha-blockers must not use vardenafil.
What to Consider Before Taking This?
If you’re allergic to vardenafil, then you should refrain from using this drug. Also, people taking other medications for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension should avoid vardenafil as this can have drastic effects. Vardenafil is also not approved for use by men under the age of 18. If you’re also taking a nitrate drug for heart problems or chest pain, then you should not take vardenafil. Examples of these drugs are isosorbide dinitrate, nitroglycerin, and isosorbide mononitrate.
Nitrates are also present in some recreational drugs, such as amyl nitrate. Taking vardenafil along with a nitrate medicine can lead to a sudden decrease in blood pressure and this can be serious.
Before taking Vardenafil, you should inform your doctor if you’ve had the following.
• A bleeding disorder like hemophilia.
• Blood cell disorder, such as multiple myeloma, sickle cell anemia, or leukemia.
• Eye disorders like retinitis pigmentosa, which is an inherited condition in the eye.
• Hearing or vision problems, including loss of vision.
• Heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure.
• Heart disease and heart rhythm problems.
• High blood or low blood pressure.
• Liver disease or kidney disease, especially if you’re undergoing dialysis.
• Long QT syndrome in you or any of your family members.
• Physical deformity of the penis, a condition known as Peyronie’s disease.
• Stomach ulcer.
• You have been told not to engage in sexual intercourse due to health reasons.
Vardenafil can decrease the flow of blood in the eye’s optic nerve and this can lead to a sudden loss of vision. But this has happened to a small number of people and most of them have underlying conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and pre-existing eye problems. But it’s not clear if vardenafil can lead to vision loss. Men who smoke and are over the age of 50 must also avoid vardenafil.
Staxyn may also come with phenylalanine. It is best to consult your doctor before you take this type of vardenafil if you have been diagnosed with Phenylketonuria (PKU). Vardenafil is not recommended for women but the effects of vardenafil on pregnancy and women who are breastfeeding are not yet known.
If you’re having allergic reactions when taking vardenafil, you should immediately seek medical help. These are some of the most common allergic reactions – difficulty in breathing, hives, swelling of lips, face, throat, and tongue.
You should immediately stop taking vardenafil and seek medical help if you’re suffering from the following:
- Changes of vision and sudden loss of vision.
- Feeling of lightheadedness and that you’re about to pass out.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Painful erection that lasts longer than 4 hours.
- Painful erection that will last longer than four hours. Prolonged erection could damage the penis.
- Ringing sound in the ears and sudden loss of hearing.
- Seizures (convulsions).
- Shortness of breath.
- Swelling of hands, feet, or ankles.
- Symptoms of a heart attack – chest pain or pressure in the chest and pain that spreads towards your shoulder or jaw and accompanied by sweating and nausea.
Some of the most common side effects are:
- Flushing or a feeling of warmth, redness, or tingly sensation.
- Headaches and dizziness.
- Stuffy nose and sinus pain.
- Upset stomach and back pain.
This list of vardenafil side effects is still not complete and some other symptoms may occur. It is best to talk to your doctor for proper medical advice.
Vardenafil must be kept in the same container that it came in. The container must be closed tightly and must be kept away from the children’s reach. It has to be kept at room temperature and far from moisture and heat. Therefore, it’s not recommended to be placed in the bathroom. Unneeded medications must be properly disposed of and kept in an area far from the reach of children, pets, and those people who are prohibited from consuming the drugs. Refrain from flushing the drug in the toilet during disposal.
The best way to dispose of the medication is through the “medicine take-back program.” You can inquire from your local pharmacy or from the garbage and recycling department in your area to find out about these programs. Refer to the website of FDA for information about the safe disposal of medicines like vardenafil.
You must keep these medications away from the children’s reach since most containers are not child-resistant and young kids will find them interesting to play with. Protect your little ones from possible poisoning by always locking the safety caps and immediately storing the medicine at a safe location. It should be somewhere far from the children’s reach and sight.
Levitra vs Viagra
According to clinical studies, both Viagra and Levitra are effective. But you might be wondering which of the two is truly effective. A study was done to compare these drugs for the treatment of ED and it was found that Levitra is more potent than Viagra. However, both drugs have been found to be similarly effective when treating Erectile Dysfunction in men.
However, the only advantage of Levitra is that it did not alter the patient’s color perception, which could possibly happen in Viagra on some rare occasions. Another study has also found that both drugs are well tolerated by patients and Levitra is nominally better when compared to Viagra. Your healthcare provider is the best person who can advise which drug works best for you, while also taking into account your current condition as well as your medical history.
Vardenafil vs Sildenafil vs Tadalafil
Structurally, vardenafil is the same with sildenafil, but tadalafil is somewhat different. Vardenafil is about ten times more biochemically potent compared to sildenafil, which is why a lower dose is required to help with penile erection, which results in lesser side effects. Tadalafil is specifically a PDE5 and is also very specific for the PDE11 enzyme. Unfortunately, there’s not enough information about PDE11, which was found in the pituitary gland, heart, brain, and testicles.
Vardenafil Half Life
The half-life of Sildenafil is four hours while vardenafil has a half-life of 4 to 6 hours. As for tadalafil, it has a half-life of 17.5 hours. What this means is that vardenafil will work longer when compared to sildenafil, although its clinical significance is not determined. Of all three, Tadalafil has the longest half-life and will allow you to take the drugs without relating the sexual activity into the immediate use of this medication.
However, the downside is that if you need to take nitrates right after using tadalafil, the medication will remain a long time in your bloodstream and this could put you at higher risk. Younger people can do well when treated with tadalafil and older people who are suffering from other health conditions should settle with sildenafil or vardenafil. However, more data is needed to confirm this.
Vardenafil has potentially lower side effects than sildenafil, but then again, more data is needed. A recent study done on men with diabetes and ED has shown that vardenafil has helped to improve their erectile dysfunction. Tadalafil has the same level of effectiveness with sildenafil, while vardenafil has also similar side effects, except for occasional back pains that will occur when taking tadalafil and this could be due to its long half-life.
Other Things to Know
Make sure you have an appointment with your doctor if you are not sure about taking vardenafil. Never let other people take your medication. If you have questions about refilling your prescription, ask your pharmacist about it.
You must list down all the medicines that you take, both prescription and non-prescription medicines. You should also include in the list any dietary supplements or vitamins that you take. Show this list to your doctor whenever you go for a consultation or check-up. In fact, you should always carry this list with you, as it will be useful during emergencies.
If you have been dealing with Erectile Dysfunction and you want to break free from the stress that it gives you, then you should give the vardenafil a try. This drug has helped a lot of men who have been suffering from ED so it might work for you too. But in order to ensure your safety when using this medication, talk to your doctor first before you start using the drug and ask advice on the proper dose that will work for you.