The active substance vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction (male impotence). The drug belongs to the class of so-called phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDE inhibitors). In sexual stimulation, vardenafil increases blood flow to the penis, which usually causes an erection.

What is Vardenafil?

The active substance vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction (male impotence).

Vardenafil is taken as a tablet about half an hour to 60 minutes before the intended sexual intercourse. The effect of Vardenafil can last up to 12 hours. The substance delays the degradation of the body's own enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) and thus allows the erection or can extend the duration of an erection. Taking the drug is not tied to a meal.

The diagnosis of male impotence can only be made by a doctor. The medical prescription of Vardenafil is always preceded by a thorough history and thorough medical examination. In particular, the physician will thoroughly examine the patient's cardiovascular and blood vessel systems.

Vardenafil, for example, is marketed under the brand names Levitra®, Staxyn® and Vivanza®.

Pharmacological action

Vardenafil intervenes in the balance of two of the body's own substances, which control the erection of the penis during sexual stimulation. The substance cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) causes the erection.

It relaxes the smooth muscles of the cavernosum so that the blood can flow into the penis. The second substance, phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5), breaks down the cGMP and thus relieves the erection.

As an antagonist of PDE-5, Vardenfil blocks its action, which in turn prevents the breakdown of cGMP and results in a sustained erection of the penis.

Medical application & use

Vardenfil is a prescription only approved for the treatment of adult erectile dysfunction. Women should not take the drug. Even with children and adolescents, the drug must not be used.

The initial dose is usually five milligrams, a maximum of 20 milligrams of the drug may be administered daily. Vardenafil should be taken at most once within 24 hours, and less frequently in certain pre-existing conditions. In any case, the attending physician should be consulted here. As a general rule, vardenafil must be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor or the information given in the leaflet. Naturally, pregnancy can not be prevented with vardenafil as well as the infection with a venereal disease.

With Vardenafil can be eliminated neither the mental or physiological causes of erectile dysfunction, nor can be with such a drug sexual desire generally produce or increase. That is, the active ingredient does not automatically lead to an erection.

Risks & Side Effects

Everybody reacts differently to the intake of a drug or a specific drug. In addition to the desired effect, the intake of vardenafil may therefore also result in more or less severe side effects.

Examples of known side effects of vardenafil include headache and abdominal pain, nausea or mild diarrhea, heartburn and hot flashes. There are also side effects that suggest a cold ("stuffy nose") or a flu.

Considerably more serious as an undesirable side effect is the possibility of blurred vision, which can be massive in part. Also, in the course of taking Vardenafil sometimes more or less severe drowsiness, from ear noises or deafness, hoarseness, fainting, hives and rashes as well as swelling of the throat and tongue (with difficulty swallowing or breathing) and lip swelling reported.

Vardenafil must not be taken concomitantly with the so-called nitro-based alpha-blockers or vasodilators ("nitrates"). In such cases, there can be a severe and life-threatening drop in blood pressure. Also in patients with severe diseases of the cardiovascular system such as angina pectoris, severe heart failure or cardiac arrhythmia, the use of vardenafil is not indicated.

Stroke and cardiac infarction patients and men with severe arterial circulatory disorders should take the drug only after careful medical consideration of benefit and risk. Severe disorders of liver or kidney function exclude the use of the drug vardenafil as well as a low blood pressure (systole value less than 90 mmHg) or the presence of retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary retinal disease of the eye.