Generic Name: vardenafil (var DEN a fil)Brand Names: Levitra
Vardenafil relaxes muscles and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body.
Vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence).
Vardenafil may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Vardenafil can decrease blood flow to the optic nerve of the eye, causing sudden vision loss. This has occurred in a small number of people taking vardenafil, most of whom also had heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or certain pre-existing eye problems, and in those who smoke or are over 50 years old. It is not clear whether vardenafil is the actual cause of vision loss.Stop using vardenafil and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a vardenafil dose adjustment or special tests:
heart disease or heart rhythm problems;
a recent history (in the past 6 months) of a heart attack, angina (chest pain), or congestive heart failure;
a recent history of stroke or blood clots;
a personal or family history of "Long QT syndrome";
high or low blood pressure;
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
a blood cell disorder such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia;
a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia;
a stomach ulcer;
retinitis pigmentosa (an inherited condition of the eye);
a physical deformity of the penis (such as Peyronie's disease); or
if you have been told you should not have sexual intercourse for health reasons.
Vardenafil can decrease blood flow to the optic nerve of the eye, causing sudden vision loss. This has occurred in a small number of people taking vardenafil, most of whom also had heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or certain pre-existing eye problems, and in those who smoke or are over 50 years old. It is not clear whether vardenafil is the actual cause of vision loss.Stop using vardenafil and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss.FDA pregnancy category B: Although vardenafil is not for use in women, this medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Although vardenafil is not for use in women, it is not known if vardenafil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. You may need a lower dose of this medication if you are older than 65. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Take each dose with a full glass of water.
Vardenafil can be taken with or without food.
Vardenafil is usually taken only when needed, about 60 minutes before sexual activity. The medication can help achieve an erection when sexual stimulation occurs. An erection will not occur just by taking a pill. Follow your doctor's instructions.Do not take vardenafil more than once a day. Allow 24 hours to pass between doses. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if your erection is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours. A prolonged erection (priapism) can damage the penis. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Vardenafil dosage in more detail
Since vardenafil is used as needed, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule.
Overdose symptoms may include back pain, muscle pain, or vision problems.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with vardenafil. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.Do not use any other drug to treat impotence, such as alprostadil (Caverject, Muse, Edex) or yohimbine (Yocon, Yodoxin, others), unless your doctor tells you to.
Stop using vardenafil and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
sudden vision loss;
ringing in your ears, or sudden hearing loss;
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
shortness of breath;
feeling light-headed, fainting;
Less serious side effects may include:
warmth or redness in your face, neck, or chest;
upset stomach; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Erectile Dysfunction:
10 mg orally administered as needed 1 hour prior to anticipated sexual activity. A maximum of one dose per day is recommended. Sexual stimulation is required for response to treatment.
Usual Geriatric Dose for Erectile Dysfunction:
5 mg orally as needed 1 hour prior to anticipated sexual activity. Sexual stimulation is required for response to treatment.
Before taking vardenafil, tell your doctor about all other medications you use for erectile dysfunction, or if you are using any of the following medications:
diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Solareze);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), or telithromycin (Ketek);
an antifungal medication such as clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend);
drugs to treat high blood pressure or a prostate disorder, such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), tamsulosin (Flomax);
heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac), nicardipine (Cardene), quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), quinidine(Quinidex, Quinaglute), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), or sotalol (Betapace); or
HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Norvir).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with vardenafil. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over the counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.