Vardenafil (Levitra)

Other names: Levitra

Vardenafil is a prescription medicine for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men, a symptom that can affect men with multiple sclerosis (MS).

How do I take vardenafil?

Vardenafil is a tablet taken from between 25 minutes to an hour before sexual activity is planned. Dosage ranges from 5-20mg as necessary and the maximum dose is once a day. The effects last around four hours. A soluable tablet version is also available.

It takes longer for vardenafil to take effect if it is taken with food.

What side effects could I get?

Common side effects include headaches, flushing, upset stomach, visual disorders, nasal congestion and dizziness.

You should not take vardenafil if you:

  • are receiving treatment with drugs containing nitrates, such as are used to treat angina or are using recreational drugs such as poppers 
  • have serious heart disease
  • have low blood pressure or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

If you have problems with liver or kidney function, talk to your doctor before starting treatment with vardenafil.

How does vardenafil work?

Erectile dysfuntion is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. In multiple sclerosis this is commonly associated with bladder symptoms and both disorders are believed to be as a direct result of damage to the nerves in the spinal cord.

Vardenafil works by delaying the action of enzymes called PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5), which regulate blood flow in the penis. Altering levels of this enzyme means that normal sexual stimulation leads to better erections.

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