Levitra (vardenafil) is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. It works by helping to relax muscles and increase blood flow into the penis during sexual stimulation. This helps men to achieve and maintain an erection.
Levitra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence).
Do not take Levitra if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems (such as nitroglycerin). Taking Levitra with a nitrate medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure, leading to fainting, stroke, or heart attack.
During sexual activity, if you become dizzy or nauseated, or have pain, numbness, or tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw, stop and call your doctor right away. You could be having a serious side effect of Levitra. 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.
Stop using Levitra and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss.
Do not take Levitra if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems. This includes nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur, Nitro-Bid, and others), isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil, Sorbitrate), and isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO, Monoket). Nitrates are also found in some recreational drugs such as amyl nitrate or nitrite (“poppers”). Taking Levitra with a nitrate medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure.
To make sure you can safely take Levitra, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- heart disease, heart rhythm problems;
- a recent history (in the past 6 months) of a heart attack, stroke, or congestive heart failure;
- a personal or family history of “Long QT syndrome”;
- high or low blood pressure;
- liver disease, 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;
- hearing or vision problems, history of vision loss;
- an eye disorder such as 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.
Levitra 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 Levitra is the actual cause of vision loss. Stop using Levitra and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss.
FDA pregnancy category B: Although Levitra is not for use in women, this medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Although Levitra 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.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Levitra: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. During sexual activity, if you become dizzy or nauseated, or have pain, numbness, or tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw, stop and call your doctor right away. You could be having a serious side effect of Levitra. Stop using Levitra 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;
- irregular heartbeat;
- swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
- shortness of breath;
- vision changes;
- feeling light-headed, fainting;
- penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer; or
- seizure (convulsions).
Less serious Levitra side effects may include:
- warmth or redness in your face, neck, or chest;
- runny or stuffy nose;
- headache, dizziness;
- upset stomach; or
- back pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.