Generic Levitra (Vardenafil): Description, Contraindications, Precautions

Vardenafil, marketed under the Levitra brand, is one of the three drugs approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Its competitors on the market are Viagra and Cialis – drugs from the same group that offer a similar effect with minor differences. ED is commonly described as the inability to achieve or maintain a sufficient erection for sexual intercourse. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study of 1989 (the largest ED study with 1300 participants), just over half of men have some degree of erectile dysfunction. The percentage is expected to increase due to the spread of sedentary lifestyle, environmental degradation, and other factors.

The erectile dysfunction drugs market has changed significantly since these drugs first became available to the general public. In addition to new dosage forms, prices have dropped significantly, primarily due to the emergence of generics. Today, generic Levitra is a popular choice for many men due to its high efficacy, few side effects, and low cost.

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Indications

According to some criteria, to diagnose the disease, at least every fourth sex must end unsuccessfully for this reason. Although Levitra (vardenafil) is suitable for treating ED of various origins, the drug will not work in certain cases. It is highly recommended to undergo a medical examination to determine the cause of the disease before starting Levitra. Impotence is often the result of other medical conditions that may require urgent treatment.

Contraindications

Vardenafil has some absolute and relative contraindications. The following information is provided for referential purposes; the final decision on the possibility of treatment with Levitra should be made by the doctor.

  • Vardenafil can be taken by men between the ages of 18 and 65.
  • The medicine is not intended for women. Clinical trials involving women have not been conducted.
  • Hypersensitivity (allergy) to the drug is an absolute contraindication.
  • Vardenafil should not be taken by persons who are undergoing or recently undergone treatment with nitrate drugs. Nitrates are used to treat various forms of coronary artery disease. Arteries and veins expand under their influence, and co-administration with vardenafil can cause acute hypotension.
  • The same applies to the guanylate cyclase (GC) stimulant used in pulmonary hypertension.

Cautions

  • Since sexual activity puts a high strain on the heart, cardiovascular diseases, heart surgery, as well as heart attacks and strokes suffered over the past six months, may prevent one from taking vardenafil or require a dose adjustment.
  • People taking CYP3A4 inhibitors should not exceed 2.5 mg of vardenafil daily.
  • Caution is required when taking Levitra with alpha-blockers (the minimum recommended dose of vardenafil must be taken).
  • There are known cases of uncontrolled erection and priapism after taking the medication. In the case of a persistent erection for four hours and more, one should immediately seek medical assistance, since the absence of intervention can cause a permanent loss of erection. Men with penile deformities should use vardenafil with caution.
  • If you have serious visual or hearing impairment after Levitra administration, you should stop taking the medicine.

How does the drug work

Levitra (vardenafil) is a selective PDE5 inhibitor. In the human body, this enzyme is mainly found in the corpus cavernosum. It controls the levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which in turn is responsible for relaxing the smooth muscles of the penis. By increasing the concentration of cGMP, it stimulates blood flow to the penis, supporting the natural mechanism of erection. This mechanism will only be triggered if there is sufficient sexual stimulation. Levitra does not cause spontaneous erections.

Factually, vardenafil does not cure impotence but allows eliminating its symptoms for 4 to 5 hours. Erectile dysfunction is often caused by other diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, so its complete elimination may require long-term and systemic treatment of underlying diseases. Psychological and lifestyle problems can also lead to impotence, therefore, addressing these causes can help treat the condition.

Administration

The average recommended dose of vardenafil is 10 mg. It can be reduced to a minimum of 5 mg or increased to a maximum of 20 mg. It is recommended to start treatment with the lowest dose to check the body’s response to the drug, especially if you have concomitant diseases.

Men can take Levitra with or without food. Having a meal before taking the medicine can slow the onset by up to 1.5 hours.

The medication can be taken with moderate doses of alcohol. It should be noted that strong alcoholic intoxication may hinder men from achieving and maintaining sufficient erection, and also lead to more pronounced side effects. Levitra should be taken 30–60 minutes before the expected sexual intercourse. The effect lasts about 5 hours.

Side effects

Clinical studies have identified some common side effects of the drug. Among them are headaches (15% of participants), flushing: redness of the face, neck, chest (11%), rhinitis: irritation inside the nose, which is manifested as a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing (9%), dyspepsia, or indigestion (4%), sinusitis (3%), dizziness, back pain, and nausea (2%).

Studies have shown a direct dependence of side effects occurrence on the drug dosage. In case of intense side effects, it is recommended to reduce the dose. The above-mentioned effects occur temporarily and disappear when the drug effect ceases. If side effects are too severe even at the lowest effective dose, treatment should be stopped. During clinical trials, the discontinuation rate due to adverse events was 3.5%.

Other rare side effects have been reported, but are not reasonably associated with the drug.

Brand-name Levitra and its generic analogs

Levitra was approved by the FDA in 2003 shortly after Viagra. As with other PDE5 inhibitor drugs, vardenafil prices have continued to decline in recent years. This is largely due to the emergence of generics that have flooded the market with the termination of Bayer’s patent in 2018. Inexpensive generic versions of the drug are widely produced in different countries. Brand-name and generic drugs have the same efficacy and side effects, so the buyers are advised to look for the best value for money. Generic Levitra is found in alternative dosage forms such as effervescent tablets, strips, jelly, and others.

Disclaimer

We are interested in providing our users and regular customers with relevant information about the drugs and their potential side-effects. We are not going to act as medical practitioners because we cannot guarantee that the articles posted on this website are truthful in every specific medical case. Everything posted here cannot be a replacement for professional healthcare aid because your medical provider is the only one who can read your medical history and prescribe medication in line with the latest health indicators. It means that we bear no responsibility for your choices of treatment.