Vardenafil is the name of the active chemical ingredient contained in Levitra. Vardenafil along with sildenafil and tadalafil belong to a class of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors. The first among the PDE5 inhibitor class was viagra, patented in 1996 and hitting the market in 1998. Levitra was the second product to be introduced and marketed as an erectile dysfunction medication after the FDA approved it in September 2003. Initially co-developed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline and Schering Plough, GSK no longer promotes the drug in the markets outside the U.S. In Italy, it sold by the name Levitra by Bayer Pharmaceuticals and GSK sells it under the name Vivanza.
Vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Erectile dysfunction is the sexual disorder in which a men is unable to attain and retain the desired strength of erection for a period long enough to have a sexual intercourse. Although the three drugs are used to treat the same condition, vardenafil is structurally similar to sildenafil but its effective time is longer than sildenafil but still less than tadalafil. Vardenafil is also effective in the treatment of premature ejaculation besides the intended treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Vardenafil is available in round orange coloured hard tablets known as Levitra and in orally disintegrating tablet form known as Staxyn.
How does vardenafil work?
Vardenafil works the same way as viagra and cialis. These drugs are known as PDE5 inhibitors. PDE5 is an enzyme that degrades cGMP. cGMP is what is responsible for an erection. An increased level of cGMP relaxes the smooth muscle blood vessels, which increases the blood flow to the penis.
With enough sexual stimulation, nitrous oxide is released in the corpus cavernosum of the penis. Due to the release of nitrous oxide cGMP is produced.
PDE5 degrades cGMP which leads to a reduction in the erection. Vardenafil readily gets degraded in the place of cGMP which leads to a sufficient levels of cGMP remaining to sustain an erection.
One should not take vardenafil if:
- They are on a nitric medication
• They are advised not to engage in sexual activities owing to their cardiovascular health
• They suffer from hepatic impairment
• They suffer from kidney diseases
• They suffer from low blood pressure
• They had a recent heart attack
• They had a recent stroke
• They have a retinal disorder
Not everyone experiences a side effect. If you suffer from any side effect, you can always switch to a lower dosage strength.
The most common side effects of Sildenafil are:
• Nasal congestion
• Impaired vision
• Back pain
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