How does Levitra 40 mg work?
Levitra 40 mg contains the monohydrochloride (HCl) salt of vardenafil which is a selective inhibitor of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-specific PDE-5. PDE-5 is responsible for the breakdown of cGMP which in turn causes decreased blood flow in the penis. Vardenafil is structurally similar to cGMP and easily replaces it in binding with the PDE-5 enzyme, thus preventing cGMP from getting destroyed. Physiologically, it takes effect when nitric oxide (NO) is released in the corpus cavernosum (muscles lining the inner walls of the penis) as a response to sexual stimulation. Nitric oxide activates the guanylate cyclase enzyme which in turn increases the level of cGMP, this makes the dilation and contraction of blood vessels easier. All this leads to increased blood flow in the penis resulting in an erection.
Levitra doesn’t directly relax the muscles but works by enhancing the effect of nitric oxide. This cannot occur without sexual stimulation because the activation of the NO/cGMP system depends is dependent on it.
Uses of Levitra 40 mg
It is used as a standard prescription drug for treating severe male sexual function problems like erectile dysfunction (ED). It helps in getting and maintaining a firm erection during sexual intercourse by increasing the blood flow in the penis.
The recommended dosage is one Levitra 40 mg tablet a day. It has to be taken 30 to 60 minutes before having sexual intercourse. Don’t take it more than four hours before the sexual intercourse as it would have lost its potency by then. You may take it with or without food. If you’re taking it as a long-term medication, do consult your doctor before finalizing the dose. In any case, don’t take more than one tablet a day.
What Happens if I Miss a Dose?
Although it’s rare to miss a dose as it is taken on a need basis, however, if you take it daily on the prescription of your doctor and have missed a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if the time for the next scheduled dose is due soon, skip the missed dose, and take your regular dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one. Talk to your doctor about the same in detail.
What Happens if I Take an Overdose?
Avoid taking an overdose of Levitra 40 mg at all costs. Severe side-effects like ‘abnormal vision’ or myalgia can be experienced as a result of an overdose. Levitra 40 mg overdose is also known to cause severe back pain. Seek medical support right away in case of an overdose.
Before You Take This Medicine
Levitra 40 mg may not be safe for people with certain health conditions. Tell your doctor about these before taking the medicine.
- If you have had allergic reactions to vardenafil hydrochloride or any other drug in the past.
- If you take riociguat, a guanylate cyclase stimulator that is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic- thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.
- If you have had heart-related problems like stroke or congestive heart failure.
- If you suffer from Peyronie’s disease or physical deformity of the penis.
- If you have a high or low blood pressure problem.
- If you take recreational drugs (aka poppers) like butyl nitrate or amyl nitrate.
- If you have blood-related issues like sickle-cell anemia, leukemia, etc.
- If you suffer from diabetes or high cholesterol levels.
- If you take nitrates for relieving chest pain.
- If you have eye-related problems like retinitis pigmentosa.
- If you suffer from seizures or epilepsy.
- If you suffer from liver or kidney-related conditions.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you suffer from ischemic heart disease.
- If you consume large amounts of alcohol or have a history of substance abuse.
Side Effects of Levitra 40 mg
As for most of the drugs, there are certain side-effects of Levitra 40 mg but most of them are temporary and get cured in some time.
- Dizziness or fainting
- Hot flushes
Other rare but possible side-effects of Levitra include-
- Chest pain/seizure
- Priapism (a prolonged and painful erection that won’t go away for four or more hours)
- Troubled breathing
- Sudden loss of eye vision (Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy-NAION)
- Changes in the color vision
- Sudden loss of hearing ability
This is not an exhaustive list of side-effects, so if you experience any other symptoms, immediately contact your doctor.
If you take any prescription or non-prescription medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements, let your doctor know about them. Always check with your physician before starting or suddenly stopping the use of this medicine. Certain drugs may interact with Levitra 40 mg and affect its working.
- Alpha-blockers such as alfuzosin and doxazosin can suddenly lower the blood pressure
- Oral antifungals such as ketoconazole
- Medicines for treating abnormal heartbeats like quinidine and sotalol
- Medications for seizures such as carbamazepine
- HIV Protease inhibitors such as indinavir and ritonavir
- Erythromycin or clarithromycin
- Other medicines for ED
This isn’t a complete list of potential drug interactions. Discuss potential drug interactions with your doctor.
Interaction with alcohol
Consuming a moderate amount of alcohol is generally not known to affect the working or efficacy of Levitra. But consuming large amounts of alcohol may make you feel dizzy as your blood pressure drops suddenly. Avoid consuming too much alcohol while taking this medication.
Interaction with grapefruit juice
Levitra is broken down by an enzyme called CYP3A4 in the liver. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice along with it can raise its levels in the body and delay the time it takes for the medication to work.
Levitra 40 mg tablets should be stored safely at room temperature (between 59–86° F or 15–30° C) in their original packaging.
- These pills should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
- Keep the pills away from direct heat, moisture, and sunlight.
- If the pack has expired, do not consume the pills.
- Keep these pills 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 with the help of a medicine take-back program or talk to your pharmacist regarding the same.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does Levitra 40 mg last?
Ans- It usually remains effective for 4 to 5 hours but time may vary from individual to individual depending on their age, medical conditions, and body metabolism.
Is Levitra 40 mg safe?
Ans- Yes. It is considered largely safe for treating erectile dysfunction or impotence in men. However, there may be certain side-effects like nausea, headache, and dizziness. Tell your doctor about your medical history and other medicines you take before consuming Levitra.
Which is better Levitra or Viagra?
Ans- Both are used to treat ED and have very similar efficacy but Levitra is considered more potent by some. Ask your doctor which of the two should be taken by you.