How does Levitra 10 mg work?
Monohydrochloride (HCl) salt of vardenafil is the active ingredient of Levitra. It selectively inhibits the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-specific PDE-5. The PDE-5 enzyme causes the disintegration of cGMP which further results in decreased blood flow in the penile muscles. Vardenafil, being structurally similar to cGMP, easily replaces it and binds with the PDE-5 enzyme. This prevents cGMP from breaking down. The release of nitric oxide (NO) in the corpus cavernosum (muscles that line the inner walls of the penis), which happens because of sexual stimulation is the necessary physiological condition for the working of vardenafil. Guanylate cyclase enzyme is activated by the nitric oxide which then results in the increased concentration of cGMP in the blood. cGMP helps the blood vessels to contract and dilate more easily. This increased vasodilation results in increased blood flow in the penis and helps the person get a firm erection.
It is important to note that Levitra doesn’t directly help get an erection. Rather, it works by augmenting the effect of nitric oxide. Thus, it works when there is enough sexual stimulation as the NO/cGMP system initiation depends on it.
Uses of Levitra 10 mg
It is a standard prescription drug that is used to treat the initial stage of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Levitra helps in gaining and maintaining an erection during copulation by increasing the blood circulation in the penile muscles.
It can be taken on a need basis- swallow one tablet about 30- 60 minutes before engaging in sexual activity. However, if it is prescribed for daily usage, the general recommended dose is one Levitra 10 mg tablet per day. Avoid taking it more than 4 hours before having sex as it will negatively affect the potency. You can take it with or without a meal. In the long-term, you should consult your physician before fixing the dose. In no circumstances you should take more than one pill within 24 hours.
What Happens if I Miss a Dose?
It’s unlikely that you’ll miss a dose if you are taking it on a need basis. However, if you are to take it daily as per your doctor’s advice and have missed one dose, you should take the dose just as you remember it. But if the time for your next dose is near, don’t take the missed dose. Only take the scheduled dose. Don’t take the medicine twice to make up for a missed dose. You can consult your doctor about it.
What Happens if I Take an Overdose?
Refrain from taking an overdose as Levitra 10 mg may cause certain side-effects such as ‘abnormal vision’ or myalgia. Extreme overdose of this drug can also cause severe back pain. Seek instant medical support if you have taken more than the prescribed dose of Levitra and are experiencing some discomfort.
Before You Take This Medicine
Levitra 10 mg should not be taken by people suffering from some health conditions. Tell your doctor about the following problems (if you have them) before taking the medicine.
- If you are allergic to vardenafil or any other drug.
- If you have a physically deformed penis or suffer from Peyronie’s disease.
- If your blood pressure is high or low.
- If you take riociguat, a guanylate cyclase stimulator prescribed for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and chronic- thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.
- If your vision is abnormal/impaired or you suffer from retinitis pigmentosa.
- If you consume certain recreational drugs (also called poppers) such as butyl nitrate or amyl nitrate.
- If you suffer from blood-related conditions e.g., sickle-cell anemia, blood cancer, etc.
- If you have suffered from a cardiac stroke or congestive heart failure before.
- If you are diabetic or have high blood cholesterol levels.
- If you suffer from ischemic heart disease.
- If you take medicines that contain nitrates to relieve chest pain.
- If you have any liver and/or kidney-related problems.
- If you experience seizures or are epileptic.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you consume excessive amounts of alcohol or have a record of substance abuse.
Side Effects of Levitra 10 mg
Like most medicines, Levitra 10 mg also has some side effects but most of them are temporary and will get better with time.
Other less common side effects of Levitra include-
- Chest pain/seizure
- Priapism (a prolonged painful erection that lasts for 4 hours or more)
- Troubled breathing
- Altering of the color vision
- Suddenly losing eye vision (Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy-NAION)
- Sudden deafness
This is not a complete list of side-effects. In case you experience any other symptoms, immediately let your doctor know about them.
If you take any other medicines (either prescription-based or over-the-counter), herbal supplements, or vitamins, tell your doctor about them. Always consult your doctor before initiating or suddenly discontinuing the use of this medicine. Some medicines may interact with Levitra and affect its mode of action and efficacy.
- Alpha-blockers like alfuzosin and doxazosin cause a sudden drop in the blood pressure
- Medicines prescribed for seizures like carbamazepine
- Medicines for the treatment of abnormal heartbeats like quinidine and sotalol
- Oral antifungals such as ketoconazole
- HIV Protease inhibitors like indinavir and ritonavir
- Erythromycin or clarithromycin
- Other medicines for ED
There may be other potential drug interactions that are not mentioned in this list. So, discuss them with your physician.
Interaction with alcohol
Consuming a moderate amount of alcohol doesn’t affect the working of Levitra much but large amounts of it may make one feel dizzy. This is because of a sudden drop in blood pressure. Therefore, alcohol consumption should be avoided while on this medication.
Interaction with grapefruit juice
An enzyme called CYP3A4 breaks down Levitra in the liver. Consuming grapes or grapefruit juice with the medicine can raise this enzyme’s levels in the body and delay the time taken by the drug to take effect.
Levitra 10 mg tablets are best stored at room temperature (that is, 59–86° F or 15–30° C) in the same packet they came in.
- Keep it out of the reach of children and pet animals.
- Keep the pills away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.
- Do not consume the tablets if the due date of expiry is over.
- Keep the tablets in a cool and dry place.
- Do not dispose of this medication by flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away in the bin. Dispose of it either with the help of a medicine take-back program or by talking to your pharmacist about it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How long does Levitra 10 mg remain effective?
Ans- It remains effective for 4-5 hours but the time may vary from person to person depending on their medical conditions, age, and body metabolism.
2. What does Levitra do to a woman?
Ans- Levitra (vardenafil) is not to be used by women, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women. This is because its effect on them is not well-known.
3. When does Levitra not work?
Ans- Levitra fails to take effect in the absence of sexual stimulation which initiates the Nitric Oxide/ cGMP system.