- What is vardenafil, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for vardenafil?
- Is vardenafil available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for vardenafil?
- What are the side effects of vardenafil?
- What is the dosage for vardenafil?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with vardenafil?
- Is vardenafil safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about vardenafil?
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?
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
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