You might already be using erectile dysfunction (ED) medication such as Viagra or Cialis and are thinking of making the switch to Levitra.
To help you decide whether Levitra is the right erectile dysfunction medicine for you, we address the most common questions new users have, looking at Levitra dosage amounts, uses and side effects.
Like those other medications, Levitra — which contains the active ingredient Vardenafil — is used to treat ED and help men achieve and maintain a harder, longer-lasting erection for sexual activity.
Levitra is an erectile dysfunction treatment. It works by relaxing the muscles found in the walls of blood vessels in the penis, increasing blood flow, and helping men to achieve a sustained erection.
In this manner, it is very similar to Sildenafil — the active ingredient found in Viagra. However, on average, Levitra lasts for slightly longer.
You can find out more about Levitra versus Viagra here.
What is Levitra used for?
Levitra is a medical treatment that is prescribed to men with erectile dysfunction. Clinical studies have proven that Levitra has a first dosage success rate of above 80%, helping men achieve an erection for sexual activity.
Suffering from erectile dysfunction can have far-reaching effects on quality of life. In addition to affecting the ability to enjoy a healthy sex life, it also impacts on feelings of self-confidence and self-worth. For this reason, treating erectile dysfunction is important, and Levitra is an effective medication that you can use.
How does Levitra work?
A substance called cGMP is responsible for relaxing smooth muscle tissues. It affects the walls of blood vessels throughout the body, including the penis. When these blood vessels dilate, they carry more blood to the penis and help men achieve a stronger erection.
Sometimes, the body also produces an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). When cGMP combines with PDE5, it can seriously reduce blood flow and is a common cause of erectile dysfunction problems.
Levitra is an erectile dysfunction treatment that is classed as a PDE5 inhibitor. When swallowed as a tablet, Levitra stops PDE5 from breaking down cGMP as quickly or effectively. By doing so, the drug encourages the muscles in the penis to relax, increasing blood flow, and helping men to achieve an erection when aroused.
Levitra tablets come in film-coated tablets. The medication should be taken 30 minutes to one hour before you want to have sex. The effects usually last up to five hours. And it’s important to note that you can only take one tablet every 24 hours.
For the best results, you will need to be sexually stimulated when taking Levitra. Swallowing the tablet alone will not give you an instant erection. You and your partner should engage in foreplay to aid sexual arousal.
It’s fine to take Levitra with or without food. However, drinking alcohol before or after taking the medication is not advised. This is because alcohol reduces blood pressure and makes it harder to achieve an erection.
The dosage of Levitra you are prescribed will depend on the severity of your ED symptoms, response to treatment, and whether you are taking any other medications. That said, Levitra tablets come in two dosages:
For the vast majority of first-time users, Levitra 10mg will be the prescribed amount. For some, Levitra 20mg might be required. If you are over the age of 65 and/or are taking any other medication, you may be prescribed a starting dose of 5mg or less (this lower dose will normally be of generic vardenafil).
How to use Levitra
Levitra tablets are taken orally. You can take the medication with or without food and for the best results, you should swallow the prescribed tablet one hour before you want to engage in sexual activity.
If you do take Levitra with food, avoid eating or drinking anything that contains grapefruit; the fruit drastically decreases your gut’s ability to process Levitra and reduces the potency of the medication. It’s also important to note that prescribed doses should be taken at least 24 hours apart.
In summary, when taking Levitra, you should:
- Swallow tablets orally with a glass of water
- Consume with or without food
- Avoid taking with grapefruit
- Take only one tablet of the prescribed dose every 24 hours
Most common side effects of Levitra are mild; others are more serious, but less common. In the section below we’ll cover a list of the most common side effects, using Levitra with alcohol and possible allergic reactions. Equipped with this knowledge, you can then make your own mind up about whether you feel comfortable using Levitra.
If you buy Levitra from The Independent Pharmacy you will always have a consultation with one of our qualified GPs first, to see if you're suitable for the treatment.
The most common side effects of Levitra
The most common side effects of Levitra include:
- Running or blocked nose
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
Of the common side effects listed above, headache is the most common. All the common side effects of Levitra should be temporary and short-lived. That said, if you experience any of these side effects and they don’t go away within hours or worsen, it is recommended that you talk to a doctor.
Serious side effects of Levitra
Affecting fewer than one in 100 people, the less common side effects of Levitra include:
- Vision loss
- Ringing in your ears
- Sudden hearing loss
- Chest pain
- A heavy feeling in the chest
- Pain that spreads from the arm to the shoulder
- Prolonged sweating
- Swelling (in the hands, ankles or feet)
- Shortness of breath
In the rare event that you experience one of the side effects listed above, stop using Levitra immediately and consult your doctor.
Using Levitra with Alcohol
Drinking alcohol often forms part of a romantic evening. For most men, mixing alcohol and Levitra will be safe. In fact, studies have shown that there are no significant adverse effects when using alcohol and Levitra. That said, alcohol reduces blood pressure, which can reduce the erection-providing benefits that Levitra provides.
Although rare, combining the drug with alcohol can also increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects.
Mixing Levitra with other medications
A list of other drugs and medications that may react badly with Levitra include:
- Some antibiotics
- Antifungal medication
- Heart or blood pressure medicines
- Medicines to treat angina (nitrates)
- Heart rhythm medicine (alpha blockers)
- Medicine for HIV/AIDS
- If you take any of the medications listed above, tell your doctor before taking Levitra, who will be able to advise on whether the drug is safe for you to use.
When you should seek medical advice after taking Levitra
As outlined above, if you suffer side effects after taking Levitra, they are usually mild. In the unlikely event that the side effects are more severe, you will need to seek immediate medical advice. Here’s how to tell if you need to seek a doctor:
- You’ve had an allergic reaction: Hives on the skin, breathing problems, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat are signs of an allergic reaction to Levitra.
- You’re experiencing chest pain: Levita does not mix well with most forms of heart medication. Sexual activity also gets the heart racing. If you experience chest pain, stop immediately.
- You have an erection that has lasted over four hours: After arousal, sexual activity and ejaculation, your erection should subside, If it lasts longer and is painful, you could suffer from permanent damage.
- Your vision becomes impaired: Blurred vision may be temporary. Sometimes, it’s a sign something is wrong.
- You’ve suffered a seizure: Although rare, having a seizure is very serious and worrying. If you have one, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
If you think that Levitra may be the most suitable ED treatment, you can complete a short, free and completely confidential online consultation with The Independent Pharmacy on our Levitra page. If the medication is safe for you to use, we offer next day delivery in plain and unmarked packaging for maximum discretion.