Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence in adult males, is a condition in which a man is unable to obtain and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity. While it can be uncomfortable to talk about, ED can be treated with proven medications like Levitra. Because Levitra is only available via prescription in Australia, it’s important to understand how it works in order to safely use it to treat ED.
Levitra is the brand name for the chemical Vardenafil. They belong to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. PDE5 inhibitors like Levitra are prescribed by doctors to treat erectile dysfunction in adult men of all ages. Levitra is an oral tablet that comes in doses ranging from 5 mg to 20 mg. Your doctor will prescribe an appropriate dosage based on your medical history, symptoms and needs.
Levitra (Vardenafil) is a PDE5 inhibitor that helps treat ED. It does not cure ED or increase a man’s sexual libido; Vardenafil only works when a man is sexually aroused. During sexual arousal, the brain sends messages to the penis, releasing chemicals like cyclic GMP. Cyclic GMP relaxes and widens the blood vessels in the penis as well as the muscles in the erectile tissue (corpus cavernosa), allowing blood to flow into the penis and engorge it, leading to an erection.
When PDE5 enzymes break down the cyclic GMP chemicals in the penis, erections go away. That’s why PDE5 inhibitors like Levitra are effective in treating ED - they block or inhibit the PDE5 enzymes from taking action.
Many men report results within an hour of taking Levitra. It’s important to note that foreplay and sexual arousal are necessary in order to achieve results. Levitra will stay in your bloodstream for up to 4 to 5 hours, meaning you can continue to attain erections in this timeframe after your first erection has gone away.
The effectiveness of Levitra is impacted by heavy and fatty foods. It’s recommended to wait at least 2 to 3 hours after heavy meals before taking Levitra to see best results.
Like all medications, there are potential side effects of Levitra. The most common side effects include:
In most cases, these side effects can disappear within a few hours.
Serious side effects are not common, but can occur. Call 000 if you feel severe side effects that include:
- Sudden decrease or loss of hearing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Irregular heartbeat
- Allergic reaction
- Priapism (long-lasting and sometimes painful erection)
Other commonly prescribed ED medications include Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil) and Spedra (Avanafil). Levitra and Vardenafil are similar to Viagra and Sildenafil in that they both reach peak effectiveness in an hour and stay in your bloodstream for about 4 to 5 hours. Similar to Viagra, Levitra’s efficacy can be impacted if taken after eating a heavy, fatty meal. It’s recommended to wait 2 to 3 hours after heavy meals before taking Levitra or Viagra for best results.
Cialis (Tadalafil) is another PDE5 inhibitor but has a longer half-life, meaning it can stay in your bloodstream for up to 36 hours. This doesn’t mean that you will have an erection for 36 hours but rather it can give you the ability to attain an erection during that timeframe. It also takes a bit longer to take effect and so it is recommended to take it about 2 hours before engaging in sexual activity. Cialis and Tadalafil can be taken with or without food.
Spedra is another ED medication that can take effect in as little as 20 minutes. Some men report quicker results if they take Spedra on an empty stomach.
Yes, Levitra is safe to use to treat erectile dysfunction. However, it may not be suitable for men with a history of high or low blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, kidney disease, or vision loss, or men who are currently taking nitrites. It is important to disclose as much accurate medical information as possible to your doctor to assist them in providing the most appropriate treatment options for you.
Depending on your medical history, symptoms and needs, your doctor will prescribe an appropriate erectile dysfunction treatment. Like all medications, there are potential side effects to be aware of. Always use your prescription medication exactly as prescribed and contact your doctor if you’re experiencing any issues.
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∙ Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy (January 2005) - Comparison of clinical trials with sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil in erectile dysfunction
∙ Journal of Sexual Medicine (November 2006) - Comparing vardenafil and sildenafil in the treatment of men with erectile dysfunction and risk factors for cardiovascular disease: a randomized, double-blind, pooled crossover study
∙ Clinical Interventions in Aging (December 2009) - Vardenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: an overview of the clinical evidence
∙ International Journal of Clinical Practice (January 2009) - Improvement in duration of erection following phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor therapy with vardenafil in men with erectile dysfunction: the ENDURANCE study
Product LEVITRA 10 vardenafil 10 mg (as hydrochloride trihydrate) tablet blister pack is registered in the ARTG, AUST R, Product LEVITRA 20 vardenafil 20 mg (as hydrochloride trihydrate) tablet blister pack is registered in the ARTG, AUST R