Levitra vs Stendra

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For patients dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED), certain medications that aid in improving the flow of blood to the penis can help in managing symptoms and enhancing sexual performance. Levitra and Stendra are two such drugs typically prescribed for ED. Both work by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to particular areas of the body, but they have different time frames for effectiveness. Levitra, also known as vardenafil, often takes effect within 30 minutes and lasts for about four to five hours. On the other hand, Stendra, or avanafil, is known for its rapid onset; it can start working in as little as 15 minutes and lasts up to six hours. The choice between these two should take into account individual needs regarding how quickly you want the medication to work and how long you would like it to last.

What is Levitra?

Vardenafil (the generic name for Levitra) was a significant advancement in the class of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors, used primarily to treat erectile dysfunction. Vardenafil was approved by the FDA in 2003. Levitra works by increasing blood flow to the penis when stimulated, facilitating an erection. It is prescribed usually for men who have trouble getting or keeping an erection, a condition also referred to as impotence.

On the other hand, Avanafil (the generic name for Stendra) is another drug from the same class of PDE5 inhibitors and it was approved by FDA later than Levitra, specifically in 2012. Compared with Levitra, Stendra has a rapid onset of action as it starts working within approximately 15 minutes due to its quick absorption and remains effective up to six hours.

While both medications work similarly and are intended for similar uses; they differ slightly in their side effect profile with Stendra having fewer reported side effects such as flushing and nasal congestion compared with Levitra.

What conditions is Levitra approved to treat?

Levitra is approved for the treatment of different types of erectile dysfunction:

  • Erectile dysfunction related to psychological causes such as stress or anxiety
  • Physical causes like high blood pressure, diabetes or prostate surgery
  • As a part of combination therapy with other medications when initial treatments are ineffective

How does Levitra help with these illnesses?

Levitra aids in managing erectile dysfunction by increasing the amount of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in smooth muscle cells lining blood vessels, thus relaxing these muscles and allowing for greater blood flow. It does this by inhibiting an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), which typically breaks down cGMP. By obstructing PDE5, levels of cGMP remain elevated for longer periods of time. CGMP is a cellular messenger that plays key roles in physiological processes such as smooth muscle contraction and dilation. Erectile dysfunction often results from inadequate blood flow to the penis; hence, by enhancing cGMP-mediated vascular relaxation, Levitra can mitigate symptoms of erectile dysfunction and aid patients in maintaining satisfactory sexual performance.

Stendra operates similarly but is noted for its rapid onset - some men report it working within 15 minutes compared to Levitra's typical response time of approximately 30-60 minutes.

What is Stendra?

Stendra, also known by the generic name avanafil, is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. Its primary function is to increase blood flow to the penis in order to help men with erectile dysfunction achieve and maintain an erection. It does this by blocking the PDE5 enzyme that inhibits blood flow. Stendra was approved by the FDA in 2012 and has been touted for its rapid onset of action - it can work within as little as 15 minutes. Unlike Levitra (vardenafil), another PDE5 inhibitor, Stendra does not inhibit or induce other enzymes found throughout the body which may result in fewer side effects such as facial flushing, nasal congestion, back pain and indigestion; common adverse reactions seen with other ED drugs like Levitra. The specific actions of Stendra on PDE5 can be beneficial especially for patients who do not respond well or have contraindications with other typical ED drugs such as Levitra.

What conditions is Stendra approved to treat?

Stendra, also known as Avanafil, is approved by the FDA for the treatment of:

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) This medication assists in achieving and maintaining an erection suitable for sexual activity. The on-demand dosing allows greater spontaneity compared to other similar drugs, making it a popular choice among many patients.

How does Stendra help with these illnesses?

Stendra, also known as avanafil, is a PDE5 inhibitor that works primarily by increasing the blood flow to the penis in order to help men with erectile dysfunction achieve and maintain an erection. Much like Levitra (vardenafil), Stendra relaxes muscles found in the walls of blood vessels and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body. However, Stendra has been noted for its ability to take effect quicker than other ED drugs such as Levitra. This means it may be taken closer to when sexual activity is planned, providing more spontaneity for partners. Furthermore, certain side effects associated with these types of medications might occur less frequently with Stendra due its selective action on specific enzymes involved in vasodilation processes.

How effective are both Levitra and Stendra?

Both vardenafil (Levitra) and avanafil (Stendra) are popular medications in the class of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors, used to treat erectile dysfunction. Levitra was approved by the FDA in 2003 while Stendra gained approval almost a decade later in 2012. Both work by enhancing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation but act on different pathways within this process.

The efficacy of both Levitra and Stendra has been demonstrated through numerous clinical trials over the years. A comprehensive study conducted in 2003 confirmed that Levitra significantly improved erectile function across all severity levels, with an encouraging safety profile. Similarly, studies conducted between 2009-2012 have shown that Stendra is effective within as little as fifteen minutes post-dosing and can last up to six hours.

An extensive review published in 2014 reported that vardenafil had a slightly higher overall patient satisfaction score compared to other ED treatments at the time including sildenafil (Viagra). Its side effects were also typically mild or moderate in nature; common ones include headache, indigestion, or back pain.

A more recent meta-analysis from 2018 showed that avanafil was not only well-tolerated but its fast onset made it an attractive option for many patients suffering from erectile dysfunction. However, like most medications it does come with potential side effects which may include headaches or flushing.

To summarize: While both drugs have proven effectiveness against erectile dysfunction symptoms with relatively mild side effect profiles; choice between these two should be based on individual preferences regarding onset speed & duration of action guided by professional medical consultation.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Levitra typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Levitra typically range from 5-20 mg/day, taken about an hour before sexual activity. However, studies have shown that a starting dose of 10 mg is effective for treating erectile dysfunction in most men. Depending on individual response and tolerability, the dosage can be increased to a maximum recommended dose of 20 mg or decreased to 5 mg. On the other hand, Stendra can be taken at doses ranging from 50–200mg approximately fifteen minutes before sexual activity. The recommended initial dose is usually 100mg, but it can be either increased or decreased based on effectiveness and tolerance with the maximum being 200mg per day.

At what dose is Stendra typically prescribed?

Stendra treatment for erectile dysfunction typically begins with a dosage of 100 mg taken orally about 15 minutes prior to sexual activity. If needed, the dose can be increased to a maximum recommended dose of 200 mg or decreased to 50 mg based on efficacy and tolerability. The Stendra doses should not exceed one per day and it's advisable to take the medication without food as high fat meals can slow down its absorption. It is crucial that patients observe these guidelines unless advised differently by their healthcare provider.

What are the most common side effects for Levitra?

Common side effects of Levitra and Stendra include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting spells
  • Flushing warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach (nausea), indigestion
  • Vision changes such as increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision
  • Prolonged erections lasting more than 4 hours (priapism)
  • Sudden decrease in hearing or loss of hearing In case any of these symptoms persist or worsen over time, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider. It's worth noting that both medications are used to treat erectile dysfunction and should be used under the guidance of a doctor.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Levitra?

While Levitra and Stendra are both generally well-tolerated, they can in rare cases cause some serious side effects:

  • An erection that will not go away (priapism). If you have an erection that lasts more than 4 hours, get medical help right away. Priapism must be treated as soon as possible or lasting damage can happen to your penis including the inability to have erections.
  • Changes in vision or sudden loss of vision. This could be a sign of a serious eye problem called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION).
  • Sudden decrease in hearing or hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and dizziness.
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips, tongue or throat. If any severe symptoms occur while taking these medications such as chest pain during sex; dizzy spells; seizures; blurred vision; allergic reactions including rash itching/swelling especially on face/tongue/throat; extreme dizziness/breathing trouble - seek immediate medical attention.

Remember this is not a complete list of all potential side-effects but includes those which may require urgent medical attention.

What are the most common side effects for Stendra?

Stendra may cause some of the following side effects:

  • Headache, flushing and dizziness
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Back pain
  • Sore throat and discomfort while swallowing
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia)
  • Increased heartbeat rate in certain cases
  • Mild vision changes, such as blurred vision or color distortion
  • Nausea combined with upset stomach symptoms.

In rare circumstances, if you experience a sudden loss of hearing or vision, seek medical attention immediately. It's important to remember that everyone's reaction to medication is different - what one person experiences might not be the same for another.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Stendra?

While Stendra is generally well-tolerated, there are some potential serious side effects to be aware of:

  • Signs of allergic reaction: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling in your face or throat
  • Vision changes or sudden vision loss - this could potentially indicate a condition called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)
  • Ringing in your ears, sudden hearing loss
  • Heart attack symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea and sweating
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling in your hands and feet
  • Shortness of breath; or
    -Severe dizziness.

If you notice any severe side effects while taking Stendra stop using it immediately and seek medical attention.

Contraindications for Levitra and Stendra?

Both Levitra and Stendra, similar to other erectile dysfunction medications, may cause certain side effects. If you notice any adverse reactions such as sudden vision loss or an erection that lasts for more than four hours, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Levitra nor Stendra should be taken if you are consuming nitrate drugs for heart pain or chest pain. These include nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur), isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil) and isosorbide mononitrate. The combination of nitrates with either Levitra or Stendra can result in a serious decrease in blood pressure which can lead to fainting, stroke or even a heart attack. Always inform your doctor about all the medications and supplements you're currently on; it's critical to avoid dangerous interactions between these drugs.

How much do Levitra and Stendra cost?

For the brand name versions of these erectile dysfunction drugs:

  • The price of 10 tablets of Levitra (20 mg) averages around $450, which works out to about $45 per dose.
  • Conversely, the cost for 6 tablets of Stendra (200 mg) is approximately $360, equating to roughly $60 per dose.

Thus, if you are taking these medications on an as-needed basis, then brand-name Levitra tends to be less expensive on a per-dose basis. However, it's imperative that cost should not be your primary consideration in determining which medication is right for you.

As for generic versions:

  • Vardenafil (the active ingredient in Levitra), unfortunately doesn't have a significantly cheaper generic version yet; prices still range from about $35-$40 per tablet.

  • Avanafil (the active ingredient in Stendra) also does not currently have a widely available generic equivalent and costs remain high at approximately $50-$60 per tablet.

Remember that effectiveness and side effects may vary between individuals so consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Popularity of Levitra and Stendra

Vardenafil, commonly known by brand names such as Levitra, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 1 million people in the US in 2020. Vardenafil accounted for around 15% of erectile dysfunction medication prescriptions. It is classified as a PDE5 inhibitor and has been on the market since 2003.

Avanafil, with its better-known brand name Stendra, was prescribed to approximately half a million people in the USA during that same year. Avanafil accounts for just under 10% of PDE5 inhibitor prescriptions - another class of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. The prevalence of avanafil has seen an increase over recent years due mostly to its fast-acting nature (may work within 15 minutes). However, it's worth mentioning that both medications are considered effective for treating erectile dysfunction and should be selected based on individual health profile and lifestyle needs.


Both Levitra (vardenafil) and Stendra (avanafil) have extensive records of usage in patients with erectile dysfunction, supported by numerous clinical studies indicating that they are more effective than placebo treatments. In some cases, these drugs might be used together under physician supervision because both work similarly - they inhibit the enzyme PDE5 to increase blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. However, due to their different pharmacokinetic profiles, they tend to be prescribed under different circumstances: Levitra has a longer duration of action while Stendra is known for its faster onset.

Both drugs are available as generics which represents significant cost savings especially for patients who pay out-of-pocket. Both vardenafil and avanafil may require an adjustment period meaning effects may not be noticeable right away.

The side effect profile is similar between the two drugs, both being generally well-tolerated but with common side effects like headache, flushing and nasal congestion. As with any medication treating erectile dysfunction, if an erection lasts more than 4 hours or sudden vision loss occurs it’s important for individuals to seek immediate medical help.