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What is Levitra
Brand Name: Levitra
Common Name: vardenafil
Vardenafil belongs to the class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. It is used to treat erectile dysfunction (male impotence). It helps to achieve a penile erection sufficient for sexual activity to occur. It does this by allowing greater blood flow into the penis when a man taking the medication is sexually aroused. It works only with sexual stimulation and does not increase sexual desire.
How should I use Levitra?
The usual recommended dose is one 10 mg tablet taken as needed, 25 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. This medication has been shown to be effective within 15 minutes of taking the tablet and lasts up to 8 to 10 hours later. As the amount of time vardenafil takes to work varies from person to person, starting sexual activity at different times after taking the tablet will determine the optimal time for sexual activity. It is not recommended to take more than one dose per day. Your doctor may recommend a dose as low as 5 mg or as high as 20 mg.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Vardenafil may be taken with or without food.
Because alcohol can make it more difficult to get an erection, do not drink large amounts of alcohol before sexual activity. Moderate amounts of alcohol (2 drinks for a 70 kg person) will not interfere with the medication.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take higher doses of this medication than prescribed by your doctor. Contact your doctor if you do take a higher dose of vardenafil than prescribed.
Keep this medication out of reach and sight of children. This medication should be stored in its original package, at room temperature between 15°C and 30°C.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each orange, film-coated, round tablet, embossed with “BAYER” cross on one side and “5” on the other side, contains vardenafil hydrochloride equivalent to 5 mg of vardenafil. Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous colloidal silica, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, red ferric oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide.
Each orange, film-coated, round tablet, embossed with “BAYER” cross on one side and “10” on the other side, contains vardenafil hydrochloride equivalent to 10 mg of vardenafil. Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous colloidal silica, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, red ferric oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide.
Each orange, film-coated, round tablet, embossed with “BAYER” cross on one side and “20” on the other side, contains vardenafil hydrochloride equivalent to 20 mg of vardenafil. Nonmedicinal ingredients: anhydrous colloidal silica, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, red ferric oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow ferric oxide.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to vardenafil or any ingredients of this medication
- are taking (or have taken in the past 24 hours) any medication that contains nitrates (e.g., amyl nitrite “poppers,” isosorbide mononitrate, isosorbide dinitrate, nitroglycerin)
- are taking indinavir or ritonavir (for HIV infection)
- are taking ketoconazole or itraconazole (for fungal infections)
- are taking the medication riociguat (for high blood pressure in the lungs)
- have had an episode of non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION), an eye condition that is caused by loss of blood flow to the optic nerve
Nitrates are found in medications that are used to treat angina (chest pain). If you are not sure if you are taking nitrates, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Nitrates must NOT be taken by anyone who is using vardenafil because they can cause your blood pressure to drop very low. This may cause dizziness, fainting, heart attack, or stroke.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary, or permanent.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- flushing (warm or burning feeling, usually in the face)
- stuffy nose
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- abnormal vision (e.g., decreased vision, blurry vision, increased sensitivity to light, changes in the ability to tell the difference between blue and green)
- decrease or loss of hearing
- temporary memory loss
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours (this could permanently damage your penis)
- a partial or complete loss of vision
- chest pains, an irregular heartbeat, or shortness of breath when starting sexual activity (if you have a heart condition)
- signs of an allergic reaction (e.g., rash; itching; shortness of breath; swollen face, lips, or throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between vardenafil and any of the following:
- abiraterone acetate
- alpha agonists (e.g., clonidine, methyldopa)
- alpha-blockers (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, terazosin)
- amyl nitrate
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; captopril, ramipril)
- angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; e.g., candesartan, irbesartan, losartan)
- anti-arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) medications (e.g., amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- azole” antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- beta-adrenergic blockers (e.g., atenolol, propranolol, sotalol)
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene)
Grapefruit juice may increase the amounts of vardenafil in the blood. Only take vardenafil with other medications if prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.