Health Facts PlusDrug Information: Vardenafil (Systemic)
belongs to a group of medicines that delay the enzymes (proteins in your body) called phosphodiesterases from working too quickly. The penis is one of the areas where these enzymes work. Vardenafil is used to treat men who have erectile dysfunction (also called sexual impotence). Erectile dysfunction is a condition where the penis does not harden and expand when a man is sexually excited, or when he cannot keep an erection. Vardenafil may help a man get and keep an erection when he is sexually excited. Vardenafil helps to increase the blood flow to the penis and may help men with erectile dysfunction get and keep an erection satisfactory for sexual activity. Once a man has completed sexual activity, blood flow to his penis decreases, and his erection goes away. Vardenafil does not help to cure erectile dysfunction. This medicine is available only with your doctor''s prescription, in the following dosage form(s): Oral
Before Using This MedicineReturn to top
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For vardenafil, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to vardenafil. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Vardenafil is not indicated for use in women. Vardenafil has not been studied in pregnant women. However, vardenafil has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether vardenafil passes into breast milk. Vardenafil is not indicated for use in women.
Older adults—Elderly people are especially sensitive to the effects of vardenafil, which may increase their chance of having side effects. Patients 65 years of age and older are started on a lower dose than younger adults. The dose may be increased by a doctor as needed and tolerated.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking vardenafil, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following: Medicine for irregular heart beats, such as
Procainamide (e.g., Procan SR, Promine, Pronestyl, Pronestyl-SR) or
Quinidine (e.g., Cardioquin, Quinaglute Dura-tabs, Quinidex Extentabs, Quin-Release) or
Sotalol (e.g., Betapace, Sotacor)—These medicines should not be used together with vardenafil
Alpha blockers (medicine for high blood pressure) such as
Terazosin (e.g., Hytrin)—These medicines should be used with caution because together with vardenafil they can cause low blood pressure. Your doctor may want to adjust your dose of vardenafil.
Erythromycin (medicine used to treat infection)—This medicine may cause there to be more vardenafil in your body; your doctor may want to adjust your dose of vardenafil.
Ketoconazole (e.g., Nizoral)—These medicines may cause there to be more vardenafil in your body; your doctor may want to adjust your dose of vardenafil.
Ritonavir (e.g., Norvir, Kaletra)—These medicines may cause there to be more vardenafil in your body; your doctor may want to adjust your dose of vardenafil.
Nitrates, such as nitroglycerin (e.g., Nitrostat or Transderm-Nitro)—Vardenafil increases the chance of very low blood pressure and using these medicines together is not recommended
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of vardenafil. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:Age greater than 50 years or
Hyperlipidemia (excess of lipids in the blood) or
Low cup to disc ratio (“crowded disc”) or
Smoking—These conditions may increase risk for a serious eye problem called NAION.
Heart attack (within the last 6 months) or
Retinal disorders (rare hereditary eye problem) or
Stroke (recent history of)—Vardenafil has not been studied in patients with these medical conditions and should not be used.
Abnormal penis, including curved penis and birth defects of the penis—Chance of problems occurring may be increased and should be used with caution in these patients
Stomach ulcers—Chance of problems occurring may be increased; it is not known if the medicine is safe for use in these patients.
Sickle-cell anemia—Vardenafil should be used with caution in these patients.
Heart disease, underlying—Chance of low blood pressure occurring is greater; vardenafil should be used carefully in these patients.
Liver disease, moderate—This condition may cause there to be more vardenafil in your body; your doctor may want to start these patients on a lower dose.
Heart blood flow problems—These conditions may cause you to be more sensitive to vardenafil.
NAION (serious eye condition) in one or both eyes, previously—May increase your chance of getting NAION again.
QT prolongation (rare heart condition)—Vardenafil may cause this condition to become worse.
Proper Use of This MedicineReturn to top
Special patient directions come with vardenafil. Read the directions carefully before you start using vardenafil and each time you get a refill of your medicine.This medicine usually begins to work within 60 minutes after taking it. It continues to work for up to 4 hours. Stimulation is required for an erection. If you have any questions about the use and benefits of vardenafil ask your health care professional.Dosing—The dose of vardenafil will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor''s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of vardenafil. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.For oral dosage form (tablets): For treatment of erectile dysfunction: Adults up to 65 years of age—10 mg as a single dose no more than once a day, 1 hour before sexual activity. If needed, your doctor may change your dose.
Adults 65 years of age and older—5 mg as a single dose no more than once a day, 1 hour before sexual intercourse. If needed, your doctor may change your dose.
Storage—To store this medicine:Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
Keep the medicine from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
Precautions While Using This MedicineReturn to top
Vardenafil has not been studied with other medicines used for treatment of erectile dysfunction. Using them together is not recommended .Use vardenafil exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. If too much is used, the chance of side effects is increased.It is important that you tell all of your healthcare providers that you take vardenafil. If you need emergency medical care for a heart problem, it is important that your healthcare provider knows when you last took vardenafil.If you experience a prolonged or painful erection for 4 hours or more, contact your doctor immediately. This condition may require prompt medical treatment to prevent serious and permanent damage to your penis.This medicine does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. Use protective measures and ask your doctor if you have any questions about this.It is important to tell your doctor about any heart problems you may have now or may have had in the past. This medicine can cause serious side effects in patients with heart problems.If you experience sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, stop using vardenafil and contact your doctor immediately.
Side Effects of This MedicineReturn to top
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position;
fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse;
pain or discomfort in arms, jaw, back or neck;
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue;
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.
Feeling of warmth and redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest;
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles" , or tingling feelings;
burning feeling in chest or stomach;
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings;
general feeling of discomfort or illness;
increased sensitivity of eyes to sunlight;
sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or tongue or inside the mouth;
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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