What is Levitra
Levitra is a latest-generation drug based on vardenafil. The primary purpose of Levitra is the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The active substance of the drug belongs to the group of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) selective inhibitors and does not affect other types of phosphodiesterase, which makes it a more preferred medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction versus similar drugs.
Indications for use
According to statistics, about 30 million people in the United States have erectile dysfunction. Levitra can be prescribed for any form of erectile dysfunction (e.g., psychological, organic, hormonal) or in cases where it is impossible to achieve or maintain a healthy erection sufficient for sexual intercourse throughout the process of sexual intimacy. Levitra is great for men between 18 years and 85 years and offers better efficacy and safety in comparison with peer drugs.
How to take
Levitra is produced in the form of tablets with different dosages, as follows: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg. There are also generic forms of this drug available in dosages of 40 mg and 60 mg. However, for safe use, only doses of 2.5 mg to 20 mg are recommended to be taken. Levitra should not be taken in doses outside of these limits and/or that exceed the maximum daily dose of 20 mg.
Tablets should be taken at least half an hour prior to sexual intercourse. Intake can be accompanied by the use of food or not. The drug should not be taken more than once a day. If the drug does not produce the desired effect or its use is accompanied by side effects, the patient should stop taking the medication and seek medical help.
The effect of the tablets lasts for up to four to eight hours. This means that an erection may occur within four hours after taking the drug. However, an erection does not appear in the absence of active sexual stimulation even with the use of Levitra.
Mechanism of action
The active ingredient of the drug temporarily blocks PDE5, which is involved in inhibiting the natural mechanism of erection. At the biochemical level, this process contributes to an increase in the level of cyclic guanosine monophosphate as well as nitric oxide in the vascular tissues of the penis.
This biochemical process is accompanied by physiological reactions of expansion of the vessels of the cavernous body, flow of blood into the penis, and the blocking of its outflow. As a result, an erection occurs. The high selectivity of the active substance of Levitra excludes any influence on other organs or body systems.
Vardenafil does not increase or stimulate libido and does not cure impotence. Levitra has only a temporary impact that lasts only a few hours at maximum. Constant use of this drug does not cause addiction to the active substance. The drug is excreted mainly by the intestines, while the kidneys excrete only 2% of the degradation products.
It is strictly forbidden to take Levitra simultaneously with medical nitrates, such as nitroglycerin, sodium nitroprusside, and the like as well as with guanylate cyclase stimulants (riociguat).
Furthermore, the use of medicines based on vardenafil is contraindicated in the following cases:
- In the presence of individual hypersensitivity to vardenafil or any of the other components of the drug
- With manifestations of allergic reactions to vardenafil
- In patients with anatomical deformations of the penis
- In patients aged younger than 18 years or older than 85 years
- In the presence of severe violations of the liver and kidneys
- In the case of heart failure or chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system
- In patients with congenital prolongation of the QT interval
- In patients who have previously encountered cases of priapism
- In patients with congenital diseases of the organs of vision (e.g., retinitis pigmentosa or optic neuropathy)
- In conjunction with significant hypertension or hypotension
- In patients who have experienced heart attack or stroke in the past six months
Vardenafil is a well-studied drug and its side effects are mild and usually disappear after a few hours. The main side effects (1%–10%) are headaches, flushed skin, dyspepsia, and dizziness.
Certain rare side effects (0.1–1%) can manifest themselves in the form of priapism, myalgia, hypertension, chromatopsia, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, increased levels of ketone bodies in the urine, and changes in hepatic parameters in the liver during analysis.
Taking vardenafil is contraindicated in conjunction with nitric oxide donors, medical nitrates, and riociguat because of the danger of severe and uncontrolled hypotension. When combined with ketoconazole, erythromycin, ritonavir, itraconazole, and other inhibitors of the cytochrome CYP3A4 system, the effective dosage of vardenafil should not exceed 5 mg.
Simultaneous therapy with alpha-blockers of adrenoreceptors may manifest itself in the form of an additive reduction in blood pressure. Drugs that prolong the QT interval (e.g., quinidine, sotalol, and others) can provoke a synergistic effect in combination with the use of vardenafil.
Compatibility with alcohol
A clinically dangerous pairing of Levitra and alcohol is not proven to exist at this time. During the existing research, no adverse effects were revealed in the interaction of these two substances. However, it does not mean that taking tablets with alcohol is safe.
More specifically, an important fact to consider here is that alcohol affects the body, contributing to the expansion of blood vessels, and Levitra affects the body in a similar way. When used together with alcohol, Levitra could cause tachycardia, arrhythmia, sudden changes in blood pressure, and other dangerous symptoms.
Besides, alcohol, if it is taken after the pill is consumed, will significantly slow down the process of excitation and block the action of the active substances of the drug.