Levitra (vardenafil) is currently the third most popular erectile dysfunction medication in the world after Viagra and Cialis. Even though it has lower reported success rate as compared to its main competitors, many men still choose it because of 2 main reasons: first, it appears to have fewer side effects than Viagra and Cialis and, second, vardenafil seems to work in men, for whom sildenafil and tadalafil (Viagra and Cialis respectively) have proven to be ineffective.
Of course, just like any other medication, Levitra works only when taken properly. This article aims at answering your questions regarding Levitra dosage and covers many related topics, such as the right ways to take Levitra, waiting times, recommended daily dosage, drug interactions, etc. Please, read it carefully if you want your experience with Levitra to be enjoyable and free from any discomfort.
Please, note that it’s best to talk to your doctor prior to trying Levitra in order to understand whether this drug is right for you or not. The recommendations in this article are intended solely for informational purposes. Please, rely on them only if you’re fully aware of you current health condition.
How to take Levitra
Levitra comes in 2 forms: regular film-coated tablets and orodispersible (dissolving in the mouth) pills that have the strengths of 2.5, 5, 10 and 20mg. Different forms of this medication call for different usage directions – for instance, regular tablets work best when taken 25 to 60 minutes before sexual activity and washed down with a glass of water. Orodispersible ones, in their turn, work better when taken without any liquid. Besides, the time period between the intake and the onset of action is somewhat longer for regular tablets.
There are certain factors that may affect the effectiveness of Levitra or the time it takes this medication to start working. For example, if you precede the intake of Levitra with a fatty meal, it is likely to start working with a significant delay. Fat prevents the active ingredients from being absorbed into the blood flow as quickly as you expect them to, which results in delayed effect and, sadly, quite a few ruined dates. Thus, be prepared: if tonight’s sexual adventure will only come after a hearty meal, consider taking Levitra in advance. There’s nothing too risky about it: this ED medication works for 4-5 hours after being taken, so don’t be afraid of its effect wearing off too soon. Besides, sexual stimulation is necessary for Levitra to start working, which is why your chances of getting an unexpected erection when the time is not quite right yet are rather low.
Note that Levitra should never be taken more often than once daily. Thus, if you intend to have several intercourses within the 24 hours after taking the pill or can’t quite predict when exactly your partner will be ready for sex, consider taking ED medications with a more prolonged duration of effect.
Even though many Levitra users report that drinking alcohol prior to taking Levitra didn’t affect their sexual performance, most doctors still recommend avoiding mixing vardenafil with liquor. The point is that this medication lowers your blood pressure and so does alcohol. As the result, you may experience such unpleasant side effects as dizziness, headache, lightheadedness or even fainting. Clearly not the things you want to feel in bed with your partner. Moreover, you are strongly advised to refrain from drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit when taking Levitra as it may increase plasma levels of vardenafil.
How to choose the right dosage
When it comes to choosing the right Levitra dosage, the most obvious way to do everything right is actually quite simple. Let your doctor decide, which Levitra strength is right for you. The point is that there are lots of factors that need being taken into account when choosing the initial dose that would be right for you. Most patients will be advised to start with 10mg of vardenafil, which is usually enough to bring your sexual performance back. However, if you have certain liver or kidney problems, you will have to start with a much lower dose and see how that works for you.
While most patients start with 10mg of Levitra, many actually change the dosage afterwards depending on how they respond to treatment with this medication. For instance, those who experience unpleasant side effects of vardenafil, oftentimes find that 10mg pills are actually too much for them and they can perform perfectly well in bed after taking 5mg or even 2.5mg ones – with little to no side effects. On the other hand, there are people who claim that Levitra 10mg tablets are not enough for them and they have to switch to taking 20mg ones to achieve an erection strong enough for an enjoyable sexual intercourse.
Remember that you can lower your Levitra dose and check how it works for you without any risks. However, always talk to your healthcare provider prior to increasing the dosage – there’s a chance you will be advised a safer alternative, such as switching to another ED med.
Levitra 20mg, which is the strongest of brand-name vardenafil-based ED meds, is available in round orange tablets with the logo of the manufacturer (“BAYER” cross) on one side and a big number 20 indicating the strength on the other. Note, however, that not all vardenafil medications look the same – with so many generics currently available in the market, the variety of pill shapes and colors is virtually unlimited.
Many people choose the 20mg pills as a more cost-efficient alternative to vardenafil tablets of lower strength. While the price of 20mg pills is usually identical to or insignificantly higher than that of 10mg, 5mg and 2.5mg ones, you can easily use a pill cutter available in virtually any drugstore to split the 20mg tablet into several parts, each having exactly the strength you need. For instance, $360 can buy you 10 tablets of Levitra 20mg in the US. Instead of buying 10 5mg tablets at exactly the same price, split each 20mg pill into 4 parts, thus momentarily reducing the cost of 5mg of vardenafil from $36 to $9 for yourself.
Levitra 10mg is the most popular version of vardenafil. Its brand-name version is available in round orange tablets with the imprint of the manufacturer’s logo on one side and with a big number 10 on the other. Needless to say, its numerous generics may look different, so don’t be alarmed if your vardenafil comes to you in blue oval-shaped capsules, for instance.
Just like the 20mg pills, 10mg ones can be split into several parts by patients, for whom a lower dose of vardenafil is sufficient. We actually recommend you to go with this Levitra strength, especially if you need 2.5mg of vardenafil per intake – it’s much easier to split a pill into 4 even parts than into 8.
The price of 10mg vardenafil pills depends on the manufacturer and the country where you are purchasing them. If you want to go for the brand-name medication by Bayer Pharmaceuticals and you’re shopping for your ED meds in the US, be prepared to pay up to $40 per pill. Generic Levitra from India is around 25 times cheaper – the price you will find on the Web most often is $1.50 per pill. We don’t recommend buying Levitra for less than that – your chances of running into a fake or counterfeit medication will be significantly higher if you decide to go for tablets costing $1 or less.
Levitra overdose and drug interactions
Levitra can be a perfectly safe drug if taken in full accordance with directions for use. Of course, there are certain minor side effects (headache, blushing, nasal congestion, etc.) that it may cause even in those patients who follow the prescribed dosage but those don’t happen too often.
However, failure to follow the prescribed dosage recommendations may result in much more dangerous side effects, which require emergency medical attention. Call your doctor immediately if you have chest pain or vision problems after taking Levitra.
There are a number of other medications and substances that shouldn’t be used along with vardenafil – nitrates being the most obvious example. Don’t take Levitra or any similar meds if you use nitrates for chest pain or as recreational drugs as it may result in sudden drop of blood pressure, which may even be life-threatening. Besides, you will most probably be recommended to refrain from using Levitra if you’re currently undergoing therapy with CYP3A4 inhibitors or alpha-blockers.
Older patients (65+) are usually prescribed a lower dose of Levitra in order to avoid possible heart or blood pressure problems. If you’re older than 65, you will most probably be advised to stick to no more than 5mg of vardenafil daily.
Levitra as opposed to similar drugs
Being a PDE5 inhibitor, just like sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra) works by increasing blood flow in the pelvic area. That allows more blood to enter the penis and triggers a healthy strong erection.
Most patients refer to vardenafil as a somewhat ‘milder’ alternative to sildenafil and tadalafil, which is less likely to cause any side effects. Many men switch to Levitra after trying Viagra and Cialis because it doesn’t give them headaches. When it comes to duration of effect, Levitra is identical to Viagra (works for 4-5 hours after being taken) but inferior to Cialis (up to 48 hours of action).
Other vardenafil-based erectile dysfunction drugs are usually identical to Levitra in terms of ingredients and mechanism of action. Nevertheless, comparing the pills by several different manufacturers may still be advisable in order to see, which ones work best for you.
We hope that this short guide has managed to answer all your questions about Levitra dosage. Remember to follow the simple rules laid out above to make your experience with Levitra a flawless one. Additionally, always read the package insert thoroughly prior to taking vardenafil as directions for use may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.