Generic name: Vardenafil
Vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men age 18 years or older. Vardenafil increases the body's ability to achieve and maintain an erection during sexual stimulation.
Vardenafil does not directly cause an erection of the penis, but it alters the body’s response to sexual stimulation by enhancing the effect of the nitric oxide, a chemical that is normally released during stimulation. Nitric oxide causes relaxation of the muscles in the penis, which allows for better blood flow to the penile area. This medication does not cure impotency, increase a man’s sexual desire, protect from sexually transmitted diseases, or serve as birth control. It only helps maintain an erection when a man is sexually excited.
Before Taking this Medication
Before taking vardenafil,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to vardenafil or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking especially medications for high blood pressure; medications to treat an irregular heart rate; alpha-blockers such as terazosin (Hytrin), tamsulosin (Flomax), prazosin (Minipress), and doxazosin (Cardura); and medications called “nitrates” such as isosorbide (Imdur, Ismo, Isordil) or nitroglycerin (Nitro-Bid, Nitrostat). Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you take erythromycin, itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), phenobarbital, rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), ritonavir (Norvir), indinavir (Crixivan), any other medications to treat impotence, or any vitamins or herbal supplements.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had an erection that lasted more than 4 hours; stomach ulcers; bleeding disorders; heart, kidney, or liver disease; a heart attack; irregular heartbeats or heart rate; angina; a stroke; high or low blood pressure; sickle cell anemia; leukemia or other blood cancers; conditions affecting the shape of the penis (for example, angulation, cavernosal fibrosa, or Peyronie's disease); or a rare genetic eye condition known as retinitis pigmentosa.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you take vardenafil.
- tell your doctor if you use illicit or recreational drugs called "poppers" such as amyl nitrate or butyl nitrate.
- tell your doctor if you have been previously told by a health care provider to not be engaged in sexual activity because of your health condition.
Although side effects from vardenafil are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these side effects are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- flushing (feeling of warmth)
- stuffy or runny nose
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- painful erection
- prolonged erection (longer than 4 hours)
- changes in vision
- chest pain
- itching or burning during urination
Taking this Medication
Vardenafil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It should be taken as needed about 1 hour before sexual activity. Some form of sexual stimulation is needed for an erection to occur with vardenafil. Vardenafil should not be taken more than once a day.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take vardenafil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Vardenafil can be taken with or without food.
Missing a Dose
Vardenafil should only be taken as needed approximately 60 minutes prior to sexual intercourse. However, vardenafil should not be taken more than one time per day. Doses should be taken at least 24 hours apart.
Storing this Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.