vardenafil, Levitra, Staxyn ODT

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is vardenafil, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Vardenafil is an oral drug that is used to treat impotence, the inability to attain or maintain a penile erection. It has a mechanism of action that is similar to sildenafil (Viagra), and tadalafil (Cialis). Penile erection is caused by the engorgement of the penis with blood. This engorgement occurs when the blood vessels delivering blood to the penis increase in size and increase the delivery of blood to the penis. At the same time, the blood vessels carrying blood away from the penis decrease in size and decrease the removal of blood from the penis. Sexual stimulation that leads to the engorgement and erection causes the production and release of nitric oxide in the penis. Nitric oxide then activates the enzyme, guanylate cyclase to produce cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The cGMP is primarily responsible for increasing and decreasing the size of the blood vessels carrying blood to and from the penis, respectively. Vardenafil prevents an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) from destroying cGMP so that cGMP persists longer. The longer cGMP persists, the more prolonged the engorgement of the penis. Vardenafil was approved by the FDA in August 2003.

What brand names are available for vardenafil?

Levitra, Staxyn ODT

Is vardenafil available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for vardenafil?

Yes

What are the side effects of vardenafil?

The most common side effects of vardenafil are facial flushing (reddening), headaches, stomach upset, diarrhea, flu like symptoms, and nausea. Vardenafil also may cause chest pain, low blood pressure, blurred vision and changes in color vision, abnormal ejaculation and priapism (painful erection lasting more than 6 hours). Patients should seek immediate medical help if they experience an erection lasting more than 4 hours. Rare cases of sudden loss of hearing have been reported with phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as vardenafil, sometimes associated with ringing in the ears and dizziness. If changes in hearing occur, patients should discontinue their vardenafil and seek immediate medical attention.

Quick GuideErectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes and Treatment

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes and Treatment
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

See more info: vardenafil on RxList
RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Men's Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors