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Levitra

Generic Name: vardenafil (var DEN a fil)
Brand Names: Levitra, Staxyn

Medically reviewed by P. Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Dec 11, 2018.

What is Levitra?

Levitra (vardenafil) relaxes muscles found in the walls of blood vessels and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body.

Levitra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence).

Levitra may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Taking Levitra with certain other medicines can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure. Do not take vardenafil if you also take riociguat (Adempas) or a nitrate drug such as nitroglycerin.

Do not take Levitra if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems, including nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate, and some recreational drugs such as "poppers". Taking Levitra with a nitrate medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure.

Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if your erection is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours. A prolonged erection (priapism) can damage the penis.

Stop using Levitra and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss.

During sexual activity, if you become dizzy or nauseated, or have pain, numbness, or tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw, stop and call your doctor right away. You could be having a serious side effect.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Levitra if you are allergic to vardenafil, or if you take other medicines to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, such as riociguat (Adempas).

Levitra is not approved for men younger than 18 years old.

Do not take vardenafil if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems. This includes nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, and isosorbide mononitrate. Nitrates are also found in some recreational drugs such as amyl nitrate or nitrite ("poppers"). Taking Levitra with a nitrate medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Levitra can decrease blood flow to the optic nerve of the eye, causing sudden vision loss. This has occurred in a small number of people, most of whom also had heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or certain pre-existing eye problems, and in those who smoked or were over 50 years old. It is not clear whether vardenafil is the actual cause of vision loss.

Levitra is not for use in women, and the effects of this medicine during pregnancy or in breastfeeding women are unknown.

How should I take Levitra?

Take Levitra exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

The tablets can be taken with or without food.

Levitra is taken only when needed, about 60 minutes before sexual activity. The medicine can help achieve an erection when sexual stimulation occurs. An erection will not occur just by taking a pill.

Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if your erection is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours. A prolonged erection (priapism) can damage the penis.

Staxyn (vardenafil disintegrating tablets) should not be used in place of Levitra (vardenafil regular tablets). Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you receive medical care for heart problems, tell your caregivers when you last took vardenafil.

Levitra dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Erectile Dysfunction:

-Initial dose: 10 mg orally once a day, as needed, approximately 60 minutes before sexual activity. Increase to 20 mg or decrease to 5 mg based on efficacy and tolerability.
-Maximum dose: 20 mg once a day

Patients on stable alpha blocker therapy:
-Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day

Comments:
-Sexual stimulation is required for a response to treatment.
-A time interval between dosing should be considered when administering this drug concomitantly with alpha-blockers.

Use: Erectile dysfunction

Usual Geriatric Dose for Erectile Dysfunction:

65 years or older:
-Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day, as needed, approximately 60 minutes before sexual activity

Comments: Sexual stimulation is required for a response to treatment.

Use: Erectile dysfunction

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Levitra is used as needed, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule.

Do not take this medicine more than once a day. Allow 24 hours to pass between doses.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Levitra?

Grapefruit may interact with vardenafil and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of vardenafil.

Do not use any other drug to treat impotence unless your doctor tells you to.

Levitra side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Levitra: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking Levitra and get emergency medical help if you have:

  • heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • vision changes or sudden vision loss; or

  • erection is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours (prolonged erection can damage the penis).

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • ringing in your ears, or sudden hearing loss;

  • irregular heartbeat;

  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;

  • shortness of breath;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer; or

  • seizure (convulsions).

Common Levitra side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Levitra?

Do not take Levitra with similar medications such as avanafil (Stendra), sildenafil (Viagra), or tadalafil (Cialis). Tell your doctor about all other medications you use for erectile dysfunction.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may interact with vardenafil. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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