Levitra is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors, or phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors. This class of drugs can relax blood vessels and allow them to open up, encouraging a greater amount of blood to flow through it. These medications are commonly used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, by allowing more blood to flow into a male’s penis, allowing for an erection when otherwise impossible/difficult.
Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors are also being used in the treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension. This diagnosis is different than Hypertension, and refers to the condition where the amount of pressure in the artery that supplies blood to the lungs is too high. This has the effect of reducing the efficacy of the lungs, as the pressure prevents effective flow.
Generic Levitra: Vardenafil
The generic name of Levitra is Vardenafil. This is similar to other medications of the same class, such as Sildenafil (Viagra) and Tadalafil (Cialis). Levitra is available is doses as low as 2.5 mg, and as high as 20 mg. Normal starting doses are usually 10 mg, which is equivalent to 50 mg of sildenafil (Viagra). Levitra should be taken one to two hours before sexual activity, once per day.
Vardenafil is sold under different names than Levitra. In Italy, one version of it is called Vivanza. Newer formulations which disintegrate quickly in the mouth are being named Staxyn and Levitra Soft. The manufacturers who make Vardenafil products are Bayer Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, and Schering-Plough.
Levitra is dangerous if taken by people who take nitrogen-type medications regularly given for heart disease/angina. They have similar effects (open up blood vessels), but they do it in different ways. Taking both medications at the same time has a greater effect than the sum of each medication separately, and can cause dangerous levels of hypotension, low blood pressure.
Another potentially dangerous association of Levitra is elongation of the QT interval. This refers to a specific part of a heart’s rhythm as seen on an electrocardiogram. It can cause fatal arrhythmias, especially if taken with other medications that do the same thing, such as amiodarone, a blood pressure medication.
Side effects for Levitra range from mild to dangerous. Mild symptoms such as nausea are common. Other symptoms such as muscle pain (myalgias), rash, light sensitivity (photo-sensitivity) are less frequent. A dangerous side effect of Levitra is priapism, which is an erection that cannot resolve. While rare, this is a true medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Levitra cannot be acquired without a prescription from a healthcare professional. It is prescription grade, but is not a scheduled medication. Thus, it can be found at pharmacies and can also be ordered for mail delivery.
Levitra has been around since the early 2000’s. It has helped many people across the world achieve closeness and intimacy when their health would otherwise interfere. People who are experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction would be best served by making an appointment with their primary care provider. Patients on Levitra should understand what a priapism is and how to recognize it, and what to do if it should happen to them. While not all men suffering from erectile dysfunction can use Levitra, it can help a great number of patients.
I am medical practitioner from Cape Town. My professional interest: new treatments of erectile dysfunction.