Levitra is a brand (trade) name of a drug with Vardenafil as its active substance to treat erectile dysfunction in men.
Levitra is a registered trade mark of Bayer Pharmaceuticals. The drug is used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Vardenafil is the second PDE-5 inhibitor that was introduced to the pharmaceutical market. The first was Sildenafil (Viagra). Levitra is used to manage mild and moderate erectile dysfunction in men.
As other PDE-5 inhibitors, Vardenafil does not induce erection without sexual stimulation. Levitra widens arteries and blood capillaries in the genitals and increases the blood flow during sexual stimulation. It helps to induce and maintain a strong erection during sex.
Levitra was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responsible for control and supervision of food, dietary supplements, and drugs in 2003. It means that Vardenafil is effective and safe.
What you should know before taking the drug
Erection is a complex process involving a coordinated work of the central nervous system, vessels, and sex hormones. Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of such diseases as heart disease or diabetes. Erectile dysfunction is also believed to be the symptom of stress and anxiety. It can also be a side-effect of some medical drugs. Nervous disorders including multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s diseases are also the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. So when you notice erectile dysfunction, consult your doctor to find out the cause.
Levitra interaction with other drugs. Contraindications
Before you start taking Vardenafil, consult your doctor.
Notify your doctor of the following:
- Allergic reaction to any drugs of the same action, foods, household cleaning products etc.
- Cardiovascular diseases, for example, coronary heart disease, hypertension, hypotension.
- Chronic or hereditary eye diseases, for example, primary pigmentary degeneration of retina.
- Chronic liver and kidney diseases.
This information will help the doctor to decide whether you have contraindications and to prescribe the optimal dose.
Contraindications for Levitra are:
- Acute heart attack or stroke within 3 months and less.
- Health problems that make sexual activity unsafe.
Avoid taking Levitra if you are already taking nitroglycerine and other nitrates (isosorbide mononitrate) as your blood pressure may suddenly drop to a dangerously low level due to an extreme widening of peripheral vessels.
Do not take Levitra with other PDE-5 inhibitors such as Viagra (Sildenafil), Stendra (Avanafil), and Cialis (Tadalafil).
It is not recommended to take Levitra with other drugs for erectile dysfunction without medical consultation.
People aged over 65 should take Vardenafil with caution. Older adults are in a higher risk of adverse effects.
Using Levitra with grapefruit and grapefruit juice may cause undesirable side-effects due to interaction.
When taking Vardenafil, the following side-effects may occur:
- Common — nasal congestion, runny nose, hot flushes, low blood pressure, conjunctivitis, insomnia.
- Rare – muscle pain, headache, backache, pain in the extremities, indigestion.
- In exceptional cases, as a result of decreased blood flow to the optical nerves, temporary sudden loss of vision may occur. People aged over 50, with diabetes, suffering from cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol, having vision disorders are in a group of risk.
- In rare cases, a painful erection that lasts more than four hours may occur.
Patients with chronic kidney or liver diseases, diabetes, cramps, those taking other drugs are in a group of risk. They should take the drug with caution.
Side-effects of Levitra that require medical consultation
Serious adverse effects of Levitra rarely occur. However, you should also be aware of symptoms that require that you see a doctor immediately:
- Symptoms of allergic reaction such as itchy skin, rash, skin and mucosal redness and edema, flaky skin and blistering.
- Difficulty with breathing and swallowing, mental confusion, difficulty with speaking, loss of coordination, swollen throat and mouth.
- Pain in the chest, irregular heart rhythm, chest tightness.
- Severe headache.
- Vomiting, indigestion.
- Loss of vision.
- Loss of hearing.
- Swollen arms and legs.
- Hematoma or hemorrhage with no history of trauma.
Dosage and use
Levitra is a prescription drug and you should strictly follow the dose your doctors prescribed. Do not increase or decrease the dose of Levitra and do not take it for a longer period than it was recommended by your doctor.
Do not split Levitra tablets, the entire dose should be taken.
The recommended starting daily dose of Levitra is 10 mg. The dose may be increased to 20 mg or decreased to 5 mg as recommended by the doctor based on individual efficacy and tolerance.
The maximum daily dose of Levitra is 20 mg.
People aged over 65 years old should start with 5 mg of Levitra.
Take Levitra at least an hour prior to sexual activity. You should not take this drug more than once a day.
Levitra may be taken without regard to food.
It is recommended to reduce the dose of Levitra for people with kidney diseases. In severe cases, avoid taking the drug and consult your doctor.
A reduced dose of Levitra is prescribed to patients with mild to moderate liver disease. In severe cases, avoid taking the drug.
Please, remember that Levitra does not induce erection. The drug works only in the presence of sexual stimulation.
Levitra generics — what is it?
Generic is a drug that contains the same chemical substance as the drug that was originally developed.
Developing a new active substance, a pharmaceutical company carries research and tests. The drug undergoes clinical evaluation. The company spends a lot of money for laboratory and clinical research. When the drug is approved, the company obtains a patent that gives it an exclusive right to sell the drug. As long as the patent is in effect, no other company can sell drugs with the same active ingredient. The company can set any price for its drugs to recover the money they had spent and earn the profit.
When the term of the patent expires – usually 12-17 years since the date the drug entered the market – any company is entitled to manufacture drugs with the same active ingredient as the drug that was originally developed. These drugs are generics.
The international patent for Levitra expires in 2018. However, all countries have different patent legislation. In the USA, for example, the term of the patent has been recently reduced from 17 to 12 years.
Due to this fact, some pharmaceutical companies (mainly from India) already manufacture Levitra generics. In Russia, these generics are illegal as the patent is still in effect on the territory of the Russian Federation.
The term of the patent has expired in the USA but Levitra generics are still absent there as drug registration process is very complicated. It requires a lot of time and money to get the FDA approval.
For this reason, Levitra generics can be found only on Asian market. India is the country where Vardenafil, the active substance of Levitra, is manufactured. Generics are much cheaper than original drugs and they are illegally imported to the countries where the patent is still in effect.
Of course, people may save money but we should treat Indian generics with caution.
Often the companies do not care much about proper substance purification as they can not afford to buy modern equipment.
As a result, many generics (not all) are less effective but adverse effects may be more serious.
Where can I buy Levitra?
Officially Levitra is a prescription drug. Pharmacies require a prescription to sell the drug.
Generics of Levitra are easily available in online drugstores without prescription that makes them so popular.
Men with no erection problems buy Levitra generics to make their sex better and to impress their partner.
Men with erectile dysfunction are often too confused to go to a doctor to get a prescription. It is much easier to buy a generic online.
Levitra is a popular drug to treat mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. It is second only to Viagra and Cialis. Levitra is popular in European countries maybe because Bayer Pharmaceuticals was founded in Germany.
Levitra helped many men in Europe and around the world to become confident again and improve their sexual life thanks to its efficacy and not significant side effects.