Vardenafil

Vardenafil (Levitra®) is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence; inability to get or keep an erection) in men. Vardenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. Vardenafil treats erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. This increased blood flow can cause an erection.

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Vardenafil
Disclaimer: This information is only meant for educational purposes, and it not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For any specific questions or concerns, please talk to a doctor.

About

Vardenafil (Levitra®) is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence; inability to get or keep an erection) in men. Vardenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. Vardenafil treats erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. This increased blood flow can cause an erection.

Advantages

Vardenafil works by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. This increased blood flow can cause an erection. Vardenafil begins to work after 60 minutes of taking the medication.

How to Use

Vardenafil is available as a pill that you take by mouth. Do not take Vardenafil more often than once daily.

To treat erectile dysfunction-ED, take this drug by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually as needed. Take sildenafil at least 60minutes, but no more than 4 hours, before sexual activity (1 hour before is the most effective). Vardenafil may be taken with or without food. Do not take more than once daily.

A high-fat meal may delay how quickly the drug begins to work.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your primary care provider, the SpotCare associated physician and our local partner pharmacies pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Common Side Effects

  • Dizziness 
  • Headache 
  • Flushing 
  • Stomach upset may occur
  • Vision changes such as increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or trouble telling blue and green colors apart may also occur  

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your primary care provider (doctor or nurse practitioner) or pharmacist promptly.

Sexual activity may put extra strain on your heart, especially if you have heart problems. If you have heart problems and experience any of these serious side effects while having sex, stop and get medical help right away:

  • Severe dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Chest/jaw/left arm pain
  • Nausea

Rarely, sudden decreased vision, including permanent blindness, in one or both eyes (NAION) may occur. If this serious problem occurs, stop taking sildenafil and get medical help right away. You have a slightly greater chance of developing NAION if you have heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, certain other eye problems ("crowded disk"), high blood pressure, if you are over 50, or if you smoke. Rarely, a sudden decrease or loss of hearing, sometimes with ringing in the ears and dizziness, may occur. Stop taking vardenafil and get medical help right away if these effects occur. In the rare event you have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • Chest discomfort for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, or feeling lightheaded associated with chest discomfort
  • Weakness or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg even if temporary
  • Trouble speaking, even if temporary
  • Any loss of vision

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Warning and Precautions

As with any prescription medication, there are benefits and risks to taking vardenafil. Health Canada has determined that for vardenafil, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Get emergency medical help right away if you have symptoms of a stroke, including:

  • Chest discomfort for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, vomiting, or feeling lightheaded associated with chest discomfort
  • Weakness or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg even if temporary
  • Trouble speaking, even if temporary
  • Any loss of vision

Do not use if

  • Have an allergy to Vardenafil
  • Are currently taking: Medications containing any nitrates, nitroglycerin in any form as a spray, tablet, patch, or ointment, alpha blocker medication (such as doxazosin, tamsulosin), riociguat, recreational drugs called "poppers" containing amyl nitrate, amyl nitrite, or butyl nitrite
  • Have low blood pressure 
  • Have a rare inherited eye disease, such as retinitis pigmentosa
  • Have recently had a stroke or a heart attack
  • Have a serious heart or liver problem
  • Experiencing side effects
  • Less than 18 years old
  • You are pregnant/Breastfeeding

Speak to doctor or pharmacist

About whether vardenafil is right for you if one of the following applies to you:

  • Heart problems (such as heart attack or life-threatening irregular heartbeat in the past 6 months, chest pain/angina, heart failure)
  • stroke in the past 6 months
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • High or low blood pressure
  • A severe loss of body water (dehydration)
  • Penis conditions (such as angulation, fibrosis/scarring, Peyronie's disease)
  • History of painful/prolonged erection (priapism)
  • Conditions that may increase the risk of priapism (such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia, multiple myeloma)
  • Eye problems (such as retinitis pigmentosa, sudden decreased vision, NAION)

How to store

  • Keep out of the reach of children
  • Store at room temperature (between 15-30 degrees Celsius)
  • Protect from moisture and keep container tightly closed
  • Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date

Stop taking if

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

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