1 What is Levitra?

Brand: Levitra, Staxyn

Generic: Vardenafil

Levitra is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men (inability to get or maintain erection and impotence). It is a phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor (PDE).

It helps in maintaining an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis when it is sexually stimulated or stroked.

It is administered orally and only under doctor’s prescription.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Levitra, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

Before starting the medication the doctor should be informed about the following conditions:

Allergy: Inform your doctor if you have any allergy to food, preservatives, dyes, animals or had an allergy when you used it before.

Pregnancy: Vardenafil is a category B drug. It is safe to use during pregnancy.

Children: It is not indicated to be used in children.

Breastfeeding: There are no adequate studies which prove its harmful effects on infants.

Drug Interaction: Vardenafil can interact with many drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicine which you are taking. He may want to change the dosage or drug.

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness.

Make sure you inform your doctor of conditions such as:

  • If you ever had erection that lasted for four hours
  • Abnormally shaped penis, angulation, cavenosal fibroses, peyronie’s disease.
  • Crowded optic disc (eye disorder)
  • Leukemia, multiple myeloma (blood cancer)
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Seizures
  • Liver, kidney and heart diseases
  • Long QT syndrome (heart condition) or a family history of it
  • Hypotension
  • Vardenafil can make phenylketonuria worse

3 Proper Usage

To use Levitra properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Vardenafil should be used as directed by your doctor. It has an extra patient leaflet. Read it carefully and ask your doctor if you have any queries about it.

Take vardenafil 1 hour before sexual activity as it takes almost 60 minutes to become effective. Do not use it more than once a day or as directed by your doctor.

You can take it with or without food. Check your doctor if you take it with grapefruit or grapefruit juice, as it can be harmful.

If you miss a dose and you want to engage in a sexual activity, take it as soon as you remember.

It is different for different people. The following information is an average dose of this medicine.

Adults up to 65 years of age: 10mg of single oral dose. Adults 65 years and older: 5mg as a single dose

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Levitra, there are some precautions you must take.

Use vardenafil with caution. It can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever may worsen these effects. Sit or lie down on the first sign of any of these effects.

In patients with heart disease, Vardenafil may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Your doctor should know that you are using Vardenafil before he/she starts any medical care for heart disease.

One should not use Vardenafil if already using nitrates. If used together they will cause life-threatening hypotension (very low blood pressure).

Vardenafil can cause prolonged painful erection, for more than 4 hours. It can happen even when you are not having sex. It is an emergency and requires medical attention immediately.

It can cause sudden loss of vision in one or both eye. Consult your doctor immediately.

Your doctor should be well informed of any other medicine, herbal or vitamin supplements which you are consuming.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Levitra to avoid unwanted potential side effects.

All medicines have some side effects. Some people may experience none or minor side effects. Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent.

Common side effects include the following:

  • Dizziness, flushing, confusion
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Stuffy or a runny nose
  • Upset stomach
  • Blurred vision
  • Less common is,
  • Hives, itching, skin rash
  • Pain or discomfort in arms, face, and jaw
  • Decreased vision, eye pain
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Painful erection
  • Ringing in ear
  • Seizure

There are other side effects, not listed here, which may occur in patients. Check with your health care professional.

You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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