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What is Levitra?
Levitra, also available as Vardenafil, is a muscle relaxer. It relaxes muscles found in the blood vessel walls and increases blood flow to specific body areas.
Levitra (Vardenafil) helps treat male sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction- ED or impotence. In combination with sexual stimulation, Vardenafil (Levitra) works by increasing blood flow to the penis to attain and keep an erection. This drug does not protect against STD-sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea.
Important Information about Levitra
Do not use Vardenafil if you are also taking a nitrate drug for heart problems or chest pain. It includes isosorbide dinitrate, nitroglycerine, and isosorbide mononitrate. Some recreational drugs such as nitrite (“poppers”) or amyl nitrate also contain nitrates. Interaction of Levitra with nitrate medicine can result in a sudden and severe decrease in blood pressure.
Levitra can reduce blood flow to the optic nerve of the eyes, leading to sudden vision loss. It happened with a small number of people; most of them already had diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or specific pre-existing eye problems, and in those who were smoking or were over 50 years. It is still a controversial question whether Vardenafil is the actual cause of vision loss or not.
What to know before taking Levitra?
You should avoid taking Levitra if you are allergic to it or Vardenafil or take other medications to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, such as Adempas (riociguat).
Levitra is not under the recommendation for use by men younger than 18 years old.
Tell your medical healthcare provider if you have ever had:
- A heart attack, congestive heart failure (CHF), or stroke;
- Heart rhythm problems, heart disease;
- Low or high blood pressure;
- Long QT syndrome (in you or any family member);
- If you are on dialysis (or kidney disease), liver disease;
- Hemophilia or any other bleeding disorder;
- A blood cell disorder like leukemia, multiple myeloma, or sickle cell anemia;
- Vision loss, hearing or vision problems;
- A stomach ulcer;
- Peyronie’s illness or any other physical deformity of the penis;
- An eye disorder like retinitis pigmentosa (an inherited condition of the eyes); or
- If the doctor recommends you not to have sexual intercourse for health reasons
Levitra is not under the recommendation for women’s use, and this medicine’s effects during pregnancy or breastfeeding are unknown.
How to take Levitra?
Take Levitra precisely as per the doctor’s prescription. Read carefully and follow all the directions on the prescription label and instruction sheets.
You can take the Levitra tablets with or without food.
Take Levitra only when you need it, about an hour before sexual activity. It can help attain an erection when sexual stimulation occurs. Just taking the pill will not lead to an erection.
Call your medical healthcare provider or seek urgent medical attention if your erection lasts longer than four hours or the erection is painful. Priapism (a prolonged erection) can damage the penis.
Avoid any medication error by using only the brand, form, and strength your doctor prescribes.
Store Levitra away from heat and moisture at room temperature.
If you have medical care for heart problems, inform your medical caregivers when you last took Vardenafil.
Usual adult dosage for erectile dysfunction:
- Initial dose- 10 mg orally once a day, approximately an hour before sexual activity as needed. Decrease to 5 mg or increase to 20 mg based on tolerability and efficacy.
- Maximum amount- 20 mg one time a day
Usual geriatric dosage for erectile dosage (65 years or older):
- Initial dose- 5 mg orally once a day, approximately an hour before sexual activity, as needed.
If you have an overdose, take urgent medical help or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid while using Levitra?
Interaction of grapefruit with Vardenafil may lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid using grapefruit or grapefruit products.
Levitra side effects
Take urgent medical help if you have an allergic reaction due to the use of Levitra. An allergic reaction sign may include trouble breathing, hives, swelling of your face, throat, lips, or tongue.
Stop using Levitra and get urgent medical help if you have:
- Sudden vision loss or vision changes;
- Heart attack symptoms- chest pressure or pain, sweating, nausea, pain spreading to the jaw or shoulder;
- Painful erection of the penis or an erection that lasts longer than four hours (prolonged erection can cause damage to the penis);
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Sudden hearing loss or ringing in your ears;
- Shortness of breath;
- Swelling in your ankles, hands, or feet;
- Seizure (convulsions); or
- A feeling of lightheadedness, like you, might pass out
Common side effects to Levitra may include:
- Sinus pain, stuffy nose;
- Flushing (redness, warmth, or tingly feeling);
- Upset stomach;
- Dizziness, headache; or
- Back pain
It is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Take your doctor’s medical advice regarding side effects.
What drugs can interact with Levitra?
Do not take Levitra with similar drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), avanafil (Stendra), or tadalafil (Cialis). Tell your medical health care professional about all other medicines you use for erectile dysfunction.
Tell your medical healthcare provider about all the other drugs you use:
- An antibiotic- erythromycin, clarithromycin;
- Antifungal medicine- ketoconazole, itraconazole;
- Medications to treat a prostate disorder or high blood pressure- tamsulosin, terazosin, silodosin, prazosin, doxazosin, alfuzosin;
- Heart rhythm medicine- quinidine, sotalol, procainamide, dronedarone, amiodarone; or
- HIV or AIDS medicine- indinavir, atazanavir, saquinavir, ritonavir, and others.
It is not a complete list of drugs that may interact with Levitra. It includes prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, herbal products, and vitamins.