Generic Name: vardenafil (var-DEN-a-fil)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 25, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Tablet, Disintegrating
Therapeutic Class: Erectile Dysfunction Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitor
Uses for vardenafil
Vardenafil is used to treat men with erectile dysfunction (sexual impotence). It belongs to a group of medicines called phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. After the penis is stroked, vardenafil maintains an erection by increasing blood flow. Without physical activity, such as that occurring during sexual intercourse, vardenafil will not cause an erection.
Vardenafil is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using vardenafil
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For vardenafil, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to vardenafil or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Vardenafil is not indicated for use in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of vardenafil in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking vardenafil, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using vardenafil with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Amyl Nitrite
- Erythrityl Tetranitrate
- Isosorbide Dinitrate
- Isosorbide Mononitrate
- Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate
- Propatyl Nitrate
Using vardenafil with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
Using vardenafil with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of vardenafil. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Abnormally shaped penis, including a curved penis and birth defects or
- Crowded optic disc (an eye disorder) or
- Leukemia (cancer of the blood) or
- Multiple myeloma (cancer of the blood) or
- Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION; serious eye condition), history of or
- Peyronie disease or
- Sickle-cell anemia (blood disorder)—Use with caution. May make side effects become worse.
- Fructose intolerance—The Staxyn® disintegrating tablet contains sorbitol, which can make this condition worse.
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- QT prolongation (rare heart condition), or history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
- Phenylketonuria (PKU)—The Staxyn® disintegrating tablet contains aspartame, which can make this condition worse.
Proper use of vardenafil
Use vardenafil exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. If you use too much, the chance of having unwanted effects is increased.
Vardenafil should come with a Patient Information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
You may take vardenafil with or without food.
Vardenafil usually begins to work within 60 minutes after taking it and stimulation of the penis is required. If you have any questions about the use of vardenafil, talk to your doctor.
If you are using the disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack until you are ready to take the tablet. Peel back the foil and take the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet on your tongue and allow it to melt. Take the tablet without liquid. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
Use only the brand of vardenafil that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
Do not drink grapefruit juice with vardenafil.
The dose of vardenafil will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of vardenafil. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For treatment of erectile dysfunction:
- For oral dosage form (disintegrating tablets):
- Adults—10 milligrams (mg) as a single dose, no more than once per day, approximately 1 hour before sexual activity.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- Adults 65 years and older—5 milligrams (mg) as a single dose, no more than once per day, approximately 1 hour before sexual activity. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 20 mg once per day.
- Adults up to 65 years—10 mg as a single dose, no more than once per day, approximately 1 hour before sexual activity. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 20 mg once per day.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For oral dosage form (disintegrating tablets):
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using vardenafil
It is important that you tell all of your doctors that you take vardenafil. If you need emergency medical care for a heart problem, it is important that your doctor knows when you last took vardenafil.
Do not use vardenafil if you are also using a nitrate medicine for angina or high blood pressure. Some examples of nitrate medicines include nitroglycerin, isosorbide, Imdur®, Nitro-Bid®, Nitro-Dur®, Nitrol® ointment, Nitrolingual® spray, Nitrostat®, and Transderm Nitro®. Some illegal ("street") drugs called "poppers" also contain nitrates such as amyl nitrate and butyl nitrate. Do not use vardenafil if you also use riociguat (Adempas®).
If you experience a prolonged or painful erection for 4 hours or more, contact your doctor right away. This condition may require prompt medical treatment to prevent serious and permanent damage to your penis.
If you have a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, contact your doctor right away.
Check with your doctor right away if you have a sudden decrease in hearing or loss of hearing with dizziness or ringing in the ears.
If you already use medicine for high blood pressure (hypertension), vardenafil could make your blood pressure go too low. Call your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, sweating, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Vardenafil side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Arm, back, or jaw pain
- blurred vision
- chest pain or discomfort
- chest tightness or heaviness
- cold sweats
- decreased vision
- difficult or labored breathing
- difficulty with swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- eye pain
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- pounding in the ears
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- slow or fast heartbeat
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
- Hearing loss
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Feeling of warmth and redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- stuffy nose
- Abnormal ejaculation
- abdominal or stomach pain
- abnormal vision
- acid or sour stomach
- back pain
- bloody nose
- body aches or pain
- burning feeling in the chest or stomach
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- changes in color vision
- changes in vision
- difficulty seeing at night
- difficulty with moving
- difficulty with swallowing
- dim vision
- dry mouth
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- excessive muscle tone
- eye pain
- face swelling
- fast heartbeat
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- increased redness of the eye
- increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight
- joint pain
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of appetite
- muscle aches and pains
- muscle cramping
- muscle stiffness
- muscle tension or tightness
- neck pain
- pain or burning in the throat
- runny nose
- sensation of spinning
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- swollen joints
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- tenderness in the stomach area
- trouble with sleeping
- trouble with swallowing
- voice changes
- watery eyes
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about vardenafil
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 166 Reviews
- Drug class: impotence agents
- FDA Alerts (2)
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