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What Are the Uses of Vardenafil HCL?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Vardenafil HCL is prescribed to men to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). In the U.S., it is commonly marketed under the brand name Levitra®. It is classified as a phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, which means that it inhibits the action of an enzyme. This facilitates an erection by increasing blood circulation to the penis and allowing for muscle relaxation. Vardenafil HCL will only cause an erection when the penis is physically stimulated.

This erectile dysfunction medication is available in regular and disintegrating tablets. Adults who are 65 or older taking the regular tablets will likely be prescribed 5 milligrams (mg) once daily, one hour prior to sexual intercourse, while those who are younger than 65 years old may be prescribed up to 10 mg. Those using the disintegrating tablets may take 10 mg once daily, one hour prior to sexual intercourse.

Patients may expect the drug to work in about one hour and to continue to work for about four hours. Vardenafil HCL may be taken with or without food. Those who take the disintegrating tablet should ensure their hands are dry prior to handling it. The tablet should be placed on the tongue and allowed to fully dissolve. Patients should avoid chewing it or consuming liquids with it.

Some side effects may occur with the use of this medication, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become bothersome. It may cause dizziness, headache, and an upset stomach. Some men may notice the sensation of warmth or redness, particularly in the chest and facial area. Vardenafil HCL may also cause back pain and cold symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose.

More serious side effects require immediate medical attention. Men should cease sexual activity and go to the emergency room if they experience nausea, severe dizziness, or numbness and tingling. Other serious side effects can include sudden vision or hearing loss, irregular heartbeat, and seizures. Chest pain, shortness of breath, and an erection that lasts longer than four hours may also occur.

Vardenafil HCL may interact with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and similar products, as well as other medications intended to treat erectile dysfunction. Men should also avoid consuming alcohol while using it. Before using this ED treatment, patients should disclose all of their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements to avoid a possible interaction. Those with diabetes, heart problems, or vision conditions may be unable to use this drug. Vardenafil HCL may interact with certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and antifungal drugs, as well as medications intended to treat prostate disorders, high blood pressure, or heart rhythm disorders.

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