Levitra (Vardenafil) prescription tablets to treat erectile dysfunction

What is Levitra (vardenafil)?

Levitra (vardenafil) is a prescription-only medicine, classed as a "PDE5 inhibitor" and used to treat erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis. The medication comes as a round-shaped, orange tablet, available in three strengths - 5mg, 10mg and 20mg in packets of four or eight tablets or as white Levitra orodispersible 10mg tablets (melt in the mouth without the need for water)- in packets of 4 tablets.

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What are the key benefits of Levitra?

In clinical trials, Levitra has been shown to be effective in a wide range of age groups (18 - 89 years) and in men with other diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and lung problems, depression and high cholesterol. Levitra was shown to increase successful penetration and erection maintenance.

How does Levitra work?

For Levitra (vardenafil) to be effective, sexual stimulation is needed. It works by relaxing the blood vessels to the penis so allowing better blood flow. It takes between 25 minutes and one hour to work although it can sometimes work within 15 minutes. It's effect is not normally affected by eating or drinking alcohol before taking the treatment. The only exception is when the meal has a high fat content which can slow the speed of action.

When starting to use Levitra for the first time it is important that you give it a chance to work. It may take a few tries before things start to work again, but many patients are not told this and expect the medication to work like magic.

If it has been a while since you last had an erection, we recommend trialing the treatment (a few times) before having sex. Try to masturbate an hour after taking a tablet to get used to having erections again. It can take up to eight attempts to be effective, so always persevere with the treatment before you decide that Levitra is not working for you.

If things do not work as well as you hoped, but you did not experience side effects, ask your doctor if you can try increasing your dose, say from 10mg to 20mg, or seek advice about the many alternative treatments that exist.

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How to take Levitra (vardenafil)?

The usual starting dose is Levitra 10mg. If 10mg works for you but you experience side effects, then you might try a 5mg dose. If 10mg is not effective and side effects are not problematic then a 20mg dose should be tried after consultation with your Doctor or Pharmacist. You should not take more than 20mg of Levitra a day as this will not give a greater effect but does increase the risk of side effects including severe back pain. Levitra orodispersible 10mg tablets enable a convenient way to take the treatment without liquid, or for those who find tablets hard to swallow. These tablets should be taken 25 to 60 minutes before sexual activity and the effects will last four to five hours. The orodispersible tablet should be placed on the tongue, where it will rapidly disintegrate and be swallowed. Levitra orodispersible tablets must be taken without liquid and immediately upon release from the blister; they can be taken with or without food. Unlike the other Levitra solid tablets, which have a maximum dose of 20mg per day, the maximum dose of the orodispersible tablets is one 10mg tablet once per day.

Is Levitra Suitable for me?

Levitra (vardenafil) should only be taken if prescribed by a registered doctor. Men with cardiac disease of a severity where sex is inadvisable, unstable angina or angina occurring during sexual intercourse, low blood pressure or men who have had a recent stroke or heart attack should not take Levitra. Treatments for erectile dysfunction can be problematic for men with deformity of the penis such an angulation and bent penis. Levitra can also be dangerous with other medicines such as alpha blockers to treat high blood pressure so it should only be started with care under the advice of a doctor. Use with ketoconazole and itraconazole (oral forms) can cause increased levels in the blood so caution is needed and this combination is to be avoided in men over 75 years of age. Use with HIV medicines such as ritonavir and indinavir is also to be avoided. Use with some antibiotics can also affect Levitra.

What are the side effects of Levitra?

When taken at the recommended dose, the possible side effects of Levitra are usually mild and pass with time. The most common side effects are a headache and facial flushing.

You should consult the full list of Levitra side effects on the patient information leaflet provided with your treatment. Details of this can also be found here.

More information can be found on our erectile dysfunction page, or click below to start a confidential consultation.

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Levitra not working? Why not try one of these?

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