How does Levitra help?
Like other erectile dysfunction medications, such as Viagra and Cialis, Levitra causes the walls of your blood vessels to relax. This improves the blood flow to your penis which helps you to get and keep an erection.
What causes ED?
Many men experience sexual problems at some stage in their lives. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by:
- psychological factors
- physical factors
Psychological factors such as anxiety are a particularly common cause of erectile dysfunction in younger men. Men sometimes say that taking erectile dysfunction medications has boosted their confidence in their sexual ability. This in turn can alleviate the stress-related symptoms of ED.
Erectile dysfunction can be a side effect of medication. If you believe your ED symptoms are caused by medication you are taking, consult a doctor to discuss alternative treatment options.
What is Levitra?
Levitra is a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Levitra contains Vardenafil which is a PDE-5 inhibitor, like the main ingredients of the other ED treatments such as Viagra. An erection requires a good supply of blood: the condition for this is that the walls of blood vessels are relaxed. A chemical known as cyclic GMP (cGMP) acts to relax blood vessel walls. cGMP exists naturally in the body but its production controlled by nitric oxide is counterbalanced by its breakdown by phosphodiesterase (PDE) enzymes. A PDE inhibitor temporarily prevents PDE doing its job and therefore cGMP level rises and keeps blood vessels relaxed and open to maximise blood flow.
What does Levitra do?
Levitra is used to treat erectile dysfunction. ED is caused by physical and/or psychological factors.
Physically, too little blood flowing into the penis can result in ED. Therefore, any cardiovascular problems (damage to vessels from diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol) that change blood circulation around the body, can result in ED.
Psychological causes of ED can include stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue or relationship issues.
How does Levitra work?
Levitra increases blood flow into the penis causing an erection. It is important to be aware that the drug cannot work when used entirely on its own, but only in conjunction with sexual stimulation.
What are the myths about what Levitra does?
Levitra will not increase a man’s sex drive, but will merely help him get an erection when he is sexually stimulated. It is important to note that Levitra is not a contraceptive and does not protect partners from STI’s (sexually transmitted infections), and so it is important to still use birth control and/or use a condom to prevent passing on STI’s.
When should I take Levitra and how long can it last?
Levitra takes about 30 minutes to an hour to start working. You should take Levitra a minimum of 30 minutes before intercourse. The effects of Levitra should last around 4 hours; this is similar to Viagra. You will not have an erection for this whole time, but you will be more responsive to sexual stimulation during this four-hour period. If your erection lasts for over four hours, seek medical attention.
Should I take more Levitra if the result is not as desired?
Do not take more Levitra. You should not be taking Levitra more than once a day. Do not take an alternative treatment such as Viagra or Cialis within the next 24 hours. The best solution is to consult your doctor if you don’t think the treatment is working as it should be: he or she may be able to increase the dosage or suggest an alternative treatment.
What is the difference between Levitra and Cialis?
Levitra and Cialis are two different types of erectile dysfunction medication. Both work by relaxing the blood vessels, and increasing blood flow to the penis. This, alongside sexual stimulation, helps to produce a strong erection. Different types of erectile dysfunction will work differently for different people.
The main difference between Levitra and Cialis is that Cialis lasts a lot longer (up to 36 hours). Many men prefer to use Cialis because of this, and because it involves less planning.
However, the downside is that the side effects of Cialis will also last longer. Men who find the side effects of their erectile dysfunction medication unpleasant will not enjoy taking Cialis.
Can I take Levitra if I have diabetes?
You should be able to take Levitra if you have diabetes. Levitra has been proven to be effective in people who have diabetes. Talk to your doctor for more information and always make sure to tell them your full medical history when being prescribed medication for erectile dysfunction.
Who can take Levitra?
Levitra can be taken by anyone over 18 if prescribed. Nevertheless, it is still important to consult a doctor about your ED: it may be worthwhile examining the underlying causes of your disorder. In older men, these tend to be physical, but in younger men, causes are often psychological. Medications you are taking and your physical condition may affect whether or not you can take Levitra safely: consult your doctor and the list of warnings below.
How do I take Levitra?
Levitra is not affected by moderate alcohol intake, but alcohol can make it more difficult for you to get an erection. You should particularly steer clear of alcohol if you suspect or know that physical issues such as cardiovascular problems are the underlying causes of your ED: alcohol can aggravate such problems.
You can take Levitra if you’ve just eaten, but be aware this is likely to delay the drug’s effects. Levitra should not be taken with grapefruit juice and the drug should be stored at room temperature.
How much Levitra can I take?
Levitra is sold in tablet form in daily dosages of 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg and 20mg taken once a day at maximum. The correct dosage for an individual will be recommended by the GP, but 10mg is a typical dose. Your dosage will depend on your tolerance for the main ingredient and how effective that dosage is on your ED. 10mg is a large enough dose to produce a significant result, but minimises side effects. This can help you prevent becoming too dependent on the drug. If the medication isn’t working well, consult your doctor, and he or she may be able to increase your dose.
What if my medication doesn’t work the first time I use it?
You may just be extra nervous because you feel more pressure to get an erection now you are on medication for your ED.
What should my Levitra pills look like?
These pills should be round and orange, with the markings “BAYER” with the dosage quoted on the other side of the tablet.
Levitra Side Effects
Obviously, Levitra acts on the whole body, not just the penis. This can result in an increased blood flow rate around the body, and it is this effect which frequently causes the side-effects experienced.
About 1 in 10 patients will experience flushing and headaches.
Between 1 and 10% of users will experience an upset stomach or indigestion, dizziness, nasal congestion and will feel sick.
Skin rash, facial swelling, skin which is sensitive to sunlight, blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, eye pain, nosebleeds, back pain, rapid heartbeat, muscle pain, high blood pressure, low blood pressure and breathlessness may be experienced by 1 to 10 users in 1000.
Rare side effects include fainting, prolonged erection, allergic reaction, chest pains, anxiety, throat swelling, temporary memory loss, muscle stiffness, seizure and increased pressure in the eyes.
For a full range of side effects, please read the patient information leaflet.
Levitra cannot be taken:
- By women or men under 18
- If you are allergic to Vardenafil (experience rash, swelling of the face and eyelids, itching, difficulty breathing)
- If you suffer from hypotension (low blood pressure <90/50 mmHg)
- If you have recently suffered a heart attack or stroke
- If you are on medication for hypertension (high blood pressure >170/110mmHg)
- If you suffer severe heart, liver or kidney problems
- If you are undergoing kidney dialysis
- If you have a family history of inherited eye degeneration (e.g. retinitis pigmentosa)
- If you have ever lost vision due to optic nerve damage caused by insufficient blood supply (non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION))
- If you are taking other treatments for ED
- If you are taking nitrates (e.g. glycerol trinitrate for angina relief)
- If you are taking nitric oxide donors (e.g. “poppers”)
You should tell your GP if:
- Any of the above apply to you
- You have sickle cell anaemia
- You have myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow)
- You have leukaemia (cancer of the blood cells)
- You have haemophilia or a clotting disorder
- You are using alpha-blockers (high blood pressure treatment)
- You are taking protease inhibitors for HIV (e.g. Ritonavir or Indinavir)
- You are using Ketoconazole or Itraconazole anti-fungal medicines
- You are taking medicines for arrythmia (Quinidine, Procainamide, Amiodarone or Sotalol)
- You are using Erythromycin, Clarithromycin or Macrolide antibiotics
- You have a penis deformity or Peyronie’s disease
- You have stomach ulcers
- You have heart, kidney or liver problems
If any of the issues under “You should tell your GP if” apply to you, then this does not automatically mean you cannot take Levitra. It is just important that your GP knows about any conditions you may have so that treatment can be as safe and effective as possible.
Seek medical assistance immediately if:
- erection lasts for over 4 hours
- you experience sudden vision loss
- you have chest pains after intercourse (do not use any nitrate medication to treat this)
It’s important you don’t drive or operate machinery whilst taking Levitra.