Vardenafil (Levitra) : Usage, Dosage, And Risks


What Is Vardenafil?

Vardenafil orLevitraas it is commonly known, is a drug used for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). Erectile dysfunction or impotence is a condition wherein a man faces difficulty in achieving and sustaining a healthy erection. ED is caused due to lack of blood flow to the penile structure

It is a PDE5 inhibitor. It works by promoting the blood flow to the penis, following the same mechanism as Sildenafil (Viagra) and Tadalafil (Cialis), other PDE5 inhibitors. Even though they are administered for addressing the same medical issue, they have different effects and are administered in varying doses.

1. Usage

Vardenafil is primarily prescribed for treating ED. It does so through a series of chain reactions in the body. It works by inhibiting the growth of the PDE5 enzyme in the body, which, in turn, is responsible for destroying the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) enzyme. The cGMP enzyme allows the blood vessels to dilate. After taking it, cGMP content in the bloodstream increases, consequently allowing for increased blood flow to the penis.

However, you must be sexually aroused when you are consuming Vardenafil, as being in a state of sexual arousal is a necessary precondition. When aroused, your body releases nitric oxide, an important chemical needed for blood vessels to broaden and permit the entry of greater amounts of blood.

Vardenafil is sold in blister packs, in two forms. The first one is a normal tablet to be taken with water while the other one is a rapidly disintegrating (orodispersible) tablet which starts to disintegrate as soon as kept in the mouth. Always take the understated measures when taking the orodispersible tablet.

  • Wash and completely dry your hands before taking the tablet.
  • Check the blister pack and do not consume the tablet if the packaging appears to be tampered with.
  • Do not use any drink to swallow the tablet.

2. Dosage

Vardenafil is available in doses of 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg. The usual dose prescribed is 10 mg. Small doses should not be underestimated. A single 10 mg dose of this drug is equal to a 50 mg dose of Viagra. It is also longlasting in contrast with Sildenafil. It lasts for about 6 to 8 hours.

It should be consumed only once in a 24hour window. It should not be used regularly unless the same is prescribed by your doctor. Usually, it is taken on a needonly basis. For the best results, try taking your dose of the medication 30 to 60 minutes before sexual intercourse.

Generally, any kind of adjustment in dosage is not required for Vardenafil. The usual dose of 10 mg should suffice unless otherwise prescribed. For instance, in the case of patients with liver disease, a 5 mg dose should be given, and subsequently increased if needed, considering the tolerability of the patient and efficacy of the drug.

Food and alcohol (mild amounts) do not have a significant impact on the functioning and absorption of Vardenafil. As a result, it can be taken with or without food. It should also be noted that the orodispersible tablets can’t be swapped for the normal ones. If you need to constantly change your doses, you should opt for the normal tablets as the orodispersible ones are available only in one type of dosage amount. It is administered only by the oral route.

3. Risks

Like any other drug, Vardenafil also has its share of risks. you might want to know some of them if you are taking it.

  • Heart IssuesIf you have suffered a cardiac arrest in the past or if you face any cardiac issues like angina or arrhythmia currently, you should consult a doctor before consuming it. In fact, the product information leaflet of Levitra advises heart patients to not take the medicine. This is because the drug could put you at an increased risk of a stroke or a heart attack, especially during sexual intercourse.
  • NitratesAbstain from Vardenafil if you are on nitrates like Monoket, DilatrateSR, or any kind of nitroglycerin drug. You should also avoid any recreational drug which consists of nitrates when taking Vardenafil. Nitrates and Vardenafil are contraindicated and could lead to adverse consequences when they react. You must also refrain from its consumption if you’re taking a riociguat such as Adempas for any chest ailments.
  • HypertensionYou should consider staying away from Vardenafil if you are being treated for high blood pressure. It may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure which leads to dizziness and even fuzzy vision in some patients. If taken when on a hypertension drug, it may cause blood pressure to sink to very low levels, this could be fatal and even lead to coma.
  • Grapefruit JuiceIf you have a stomach for grapefruit juice, you might want to reconsider taking Vardenafil. Grapefruit juice affects the functioning of the drug hence it is advised to consult your doctor if you wish to take it with grapefruit juice in your diet.
  • Eyesight – It may affect vision in rare cases. As the drug diverts blood from other body parts to the penis this issue occurs. In short, blood flow from the optic nerve is diverted to the penile region. This reduced blood flow to the optic region can lead to a temporary loss in color vision or even shaky vision.
  • Other Miscellaneous RisksPeople who are being treated for HIV or the ones who are taking any antifungal or antibacterial medicines must not take Vardenafil. You should also stay away from it if you have ever had multiple myeloma or are being treated for any other kind of cancer. It is also not recommended for use for males below the age of 18.


Vardenafil is a renowned drug for treating impotence. However, it also has its share of risks. One should take care to follow all the usage instructions for the safe consumption of this medication. Also, you should let your pharmacist and doctor know about any past medical issues. Always consult your doctor if you face any discomfort or adverse side effect after taking Vardenafil.