Vardenafil is a type of oral medication that is used for men suffering from impotence, or the inability to get or maintain penile erection. Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved Vardenafil in 2003.
Penile erection results from the engorgement of the male sex organ with blood. Such engorgement happens when the blood vessels that delivers blood to the penis becomes bigger. At about the same time, blood vessels that carry blood away from the sex organ decrease removal of blood from the penis. Sexual stimulation leads to enlargement and erection of the penis.
Nitric oxide activates an enzyme called guanylate cyclase, which produces the cGMP or cyclic guanosine monophosphate. This is the enzyme responsible for the increase and decrease of the blood vessels that carries blood from and to the sexual organ. Vardenafil prevents a certain enzyme, phosphodiesterase-5, from damaging the cGMP and enabling it to persist even longer. Longer persistence of the cGMP translates to prolonged penile erection.
Vardenafil is available in tablets with dosages from 2.5 milligrams up to 20 mg. It should be stored at temperature not higher than 30 C. Doctors usually recommend that 10 mg of Vardenafil is taken a day, an hour before a sexual activity. In case there is no positive effect, the dosage may be further increased to 20 mg. In case there are side effects, the dosage should be decreased to 5 mg. Men who are over 65 years must start with the 5 mg dosage. Those who are taking drugs meant to increase the size of blood vessels should begin taking up to 5 mg of Vardenafil.
Those who take Vardenafil are advised to stay away from a high fat diet since it can decrease the effectiveness of the medication. It is also advised that they avoid taking grapefruit juice while taking this medication unless told otherwise by a physician.
Certain drugs like ketoconazole, erythromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, and ritonavir may also interact with Vardenafil. Using these drugs simultaneously with Vardenafil may enhance Vardenafil’s concentration in the blood. It is recommended that those who use Vardenafil reduce their dosage when using other drugs as indicated.
Vardenafil may also cause chest pains for those who take nitrates such as nitroglycerine. Individuals who suffer from angina or chest pains must never take Vardenafil. It has also been proven that Vardenafil may enhance the effects of terazosin and other alpha-blocking medications.
Vardenafil can cause side effects like nasal stuffiness, flushing, headache, heartburn, upset stomach, dizziness, runny nose, and nausea. Users of Vardenafil may also suffer from blurred vision. In case any of the abovementioned cases worsen, it is advised that patients inform their physicians immediately.
Some of the more serious side effects of Vardenafil are slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat. Sexual intercourse can increase strain on one’s heart, especially for those who have serious heart ailments. If users experience any of the mentioned side effects while having sex, they should immediately stop and rush to a doctor immediately.
There are also cases when users experienced prolonged erection that lasts more than 3 hours. Those who experience this unlikely side effect should seek medical attention immediately.