Header Image for Levitra vs Viagra

Levitra vs Viagra

Listen to the article instead of reading through it.
--:--
--:--

Overview

Levitra Information

Viagra Information

Comparative Analysis

Levitra Prescription Information

Viagra Prescription Information

Levitra Side Effects

Viagra Side Effects

Safety Information

Cost Information

Market Analysis

Summary

Introduction

For patients dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED), certain medications that enhance the effect of nitric oxide, a natural chemical your body produces to relax muscles in the penis and increase blood flow, can help in managing symptoms. Levitra and Viagra are two such drugs commonly prescribed for ED. These medications work similarly but have distinct differences in their duration and timing of effectiveness. Levitra, also known as vardenafil, tends to be less affected by food or alcohol consumption and so provides more flexibility with meal choices prior to its use. Viagra, on the other hand, is generally recommended to be taken on an empty stomach for optimal absorption into the bloodstream. Both these drugs require sexual stimulation to activate their function effectively.

Levitra vs Viagra Side By Side

AttributeLevitraViagra
Brand NameLevitraViagra
ContraindicationsUse of nitrate drugs for chest pain or heart problems, grapefruit juiceUse of nitrate drugs for chest pain or heart problems, grapefruit juice
CostBrand: ~$510 for 30 tablets of 10 mg, Generic: $1 to $3 per pillBrand: ~$600 for 30 tablets of 50 mg, Generic: Under $1 to several dollars per pill
Generic NameVardenafilSildenafil
Most Serious Side EffectPriapism, vision changes, sudden hearing loss, chest pain indicating a heart attackPriapism, vision changes, sudden vision loss, symptoms of heart attack
Severe Drug InteractionsNitrates, leading to potentially fatal drop in blood pressureNitrates, leading to potentially fatal drop in blood pressure
Typical Dose10 mg prior to sexual activity, adjustable up to 20 mg or down to 5 mg50 mg taken about one hour before sexual activity, adjustable up to 100 mg or down to 25 mg

What is Levitra?

Vardenafil (the generic name for Levitra) was a significant development in the class of PDE5 inhibitors used to treat erectile dysfunction, following the first drug of this type known as sildenafil or Viagra. Vardenafil was approved by the FDA in 2003, several years after Viagra's initial approval in 1998. Levitra works by increasing blood flow to the penis upon sexual stimulation by inhibiting enzyme phosphodiesterase-PDE5 in smooth muscle cells lining the blood vessels supplying corpus cavernosum of the penis. It is prescribed for men with problems achieving and maintaining an erection, essentially aiding them to perform better sexually. Though similar to Viagra's mechanism of action, Levitra has a more selective influence on Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5), resulting in fewer side effects related to vasodilation than some other drugs used for erectile dysfunction that have stronger effects on multiple phosphodiesterases.

What conditions is Levitra approved to treat?

Levitra is approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) and can help men with ED 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:

  • Erectile Dysfunction: Levitra increases blood flow to the penis helping achieve an erection
  • Premature Ejaculation: Some studies suggest it may help in delaying ejaculation although not specifically licensed for this use.

How does Levitra help with these illnesses?

Levitra manages erectile dysfunction by increasing the amount of nitric oxide available in the blood vessels of the penis. It accomplishes this by blocking PDE5, an enzyme that breaks down cGMP, a chemical that relaxes smooth muscles and increases blood flow to facilitate an erection. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning it helps expand blood vessels to increase blood flow throughout the body and plays an important role in sexual arousal and response. Men with erectile dysfunction often have lower levels of cGMP due to overproduction of PDE5. Therefore, by inhibiting PDE5, Levitra can enhance the effects of nitric oxide, improve blood flow to the penis and help patients manage their condition while improving sexual performance.

What is Viagra?

Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil, an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5), which effectively increases blood flow to certain parts of the body by relaxing muscles in the walls of blood vessels. It was first approved by the FDA in 1998 as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Unlike vardenafil (the active ingredient in Levitra), sildenafil does not have an effect on other types of phosphodiesterases, making its action more specific and targeted. This selectivity means that Viagra's side-effect profile can be slightly different than that of Levitra, particularly regarding potential vision issues related to PDE6 inhibition (a known side effect with non-selective PDE inhibitors like Levitra). The benefits on increased blood flow make Viagra a go-to treatment for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction who may not respond well to other treatments or therapies.

What conditions is Viagra approved to treat?

Viagra, also known by its generic name sildenafil, is approved for the treatment of:

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition where a man has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection suitable for sexual intercourse
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and right side of your heart.

How does Viagra help with these illnesses?

Nitric oxide is a molecule that plays key roles in many biological processes, including blood vessel dilation, immune response, and neurotransmission. In relation to erectile function, it plays a major role by stimulating the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which relaxes smooth muscle cells in the penis allowing more blood flow. A lack of nitric oxide can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Viagra works primarily by inhibiting an enzyme called PDE5 that breaks down cGMP in the penis thereby increasing its levels resulting in improved erectile function. Its effect on other phosphodiesterases may also play roles in Viagra's overall action as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Since it does not significantly affect testosterone levels or desire, it is often prescribed when patients do not respond well to treatments focused on hormonal imbalances such as testosterone replacement therapy. While it has similar effects to Levitra, some studies suggest that Viagra might have a slightly longer duration of action.

How effective are both Levitra and Viagra?

Both vardenafil (Levitra) and sildenafil (Viagra) have proven to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction, with both drugs gaining FDA approval in the late 1990s and early 2000s respectively. They operate on a similar mechanism of action by inhibiting phosphodiesterase type-5 enzyme, thereby increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation.

The effectiveness of Levitra and Viagra was directly compared in several controlled studies; these two drugs displayed comparable efficacy in managing symptoms of erectile dysfunction as well as similar safety profiles. In these studies, no significant difference was observed between patients receiving Levitra or Viagra regarding the overall satisfaction with their erection hardness and duration.

A comprehensive review undertaken in 2012 reported that both medications are largely equivalent concerning efficacy and side effects, though there may be slight variations from person to person due to individual metabolic differences. A single recommended dose for most individuals is around 10 mg for Levitra and 50 mg for Viagra taken approximately an hour before sexual activity although adjustments can be made based on response and tolerability.

Although some research indicates that certain populations might respond better one medication over another - such as diabetics who appear to have slightly improved outcomes with Levitra - more often than not preference comes down to personal experience including onset time, duration of effect, tolerance towards side effects among others rather than any significant pharmacological dissimilarities.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

Find Top Clinical Trials

Choose from over 30,000 active clinical trials.

At what dose is Levitra typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Levitra range from 5–20 mg/day, but studies have shown that for many individuals a dose of 10 mg prior to sexual activity is sufficient. This can be adjusted up to a maximum of 20 mg or down to 5 mg depending on efficacy and side effects. For Viagra, the typical starting dose is 50 mg taken as needed before sexual activity, but it may be increased up to a maximum dosage of 100mg or decreased to 25mg based on effectiveness and tolerability. In either case, these medications should not be used more than once per day.

At what dose is Viagra typically prescribed?

Viagra treatment for erectile dysfunction typically begins with a dosage of 50 mg/day taken approximately one hour before sexual activity, but can range from 25 to 100 mg. Depending on effectiveness and toleration, the dose may be increased to a maximum recommended dose of 100 mg or reduced to 25 mg. Viagra should not be used more than once daily, taking into account an appropriate spacing period between doses due to its duration of effect that lasts up to four hours. The efficacy and safety of this medication will be evaluated after several weeks or months depending upon individual response.

What are the most common side effects for Levitra?

Potential side effects of Levitra and Viagra, two medications commonly used for erectile dysfunction, include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • Upset stomach including indigestion and nausea
  • Stuffy nose
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain or muscle pain
  • Changes in vision such as increased sensitivity to light or blurred vision
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) It's important to note that while these drugs share many similar side effects due to their similar mechanisms of action, individuals may experience different reactions depending on their specific health conditions and tolerances. If you experience more severe side effects like chest pain during sex, sudden vision loss or a painful erection lasting more than 4 hours seek immediate medical attention.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Levitra?

While both Levitra and Viagra are generally safe, there are potential side effects that users should be aware of. These can include:

  • Priapism or prolonged erections that last longer than 4 hours
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty in breathing, swelling on your face or throat.
  • Vision changes including blurred vision, sensitivity to light and difficulty distinguishing between blue and green color
  • Sudden hearing loss or ringing in the ears
  • Chest pain associated with nausea, sweating and general ill feeling which might indicate a heart attack
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Seizure (convulsions)

It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list - if you experience any unusual symptoms after taking either medication, immediately seek medical attention.

What are the most common side effects for Viagra?

Viagra, a commonly used medication for erectile dysfunction, may have certain side effects:

  • Headache
  • Flushing of the face or warmth in the neck and chest
  • Indigestion or upset stomach
  • Abnormal vision (blurred vision or changes in color perception)
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Back pain and muscle pain
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Rash

It is important to note that while these are common side effects, they do not occur in all individuals taking Viagra. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider if you experience any discomfort while using this medication.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Viagra?

While Viagra is generally well-tolerated, it can cause certain side effects that may be a reason for concern. Note the following:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Vision changes or sudden vision loss
  • Ringing in your ears or sudden hearing loss
  • Symptoms of heart attack like chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea and sweating
  • Erection that is painful and lasts longer than 4 hours (prolonged erection can damage the penis)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Viagra, seek immediate medical attention.

Contraindications for Levitra and Viagra?

Both Levitra and Viagra, along with other erectile dysfunction medications, may cause certain side effects in some individuals. If you experience severe or persistent symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, or vision disturbances after taking these drugs, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Levitra nor Viagra should be taken if you are using nitrate drugs for chest pain or heart problems. Always inform your physician about all the medications you are currently taking; nitrates can have potentially fatal interactions with both Levitra and Viagra due to a significant drop in blood pressure.

It's also necessary to avoid grapefruit juice while on these treatments since it could increase the level of the drug in your bloodstream leading to more pronounced side effects. Remember that responsible use is key when managing erectile dysfunction medication like Levitra and Viagra.

How much do Levitra and Viagra cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 tablets of Levitra (10 mg) averages around $510, which works out to about $17/day.
  • The price for 30 tablets of Viagra (50 mg) averages at approximately $600, translating into roughly $20/day.

Thus, if you are taking the standard dosage for each medication (Levitra at 10mg per day and Viagra at 50mg per day), then brand-name Levitra is less expensive on a daily treatment basis. However, cost should not be your primary consideration in determining which drug is right for you.

Turning our attention to their generic counterparts:

  • Vardenafil Hydrochloride (generic version of Levitra), costs between $1 and $3 per pill depending on dosage strength.
  • Sildenafil Citrate (generic version of Viagra), ranges from as low as under a dollar up to several dollars per pill also based on dosage strength.

So while brand prices might differ slightly favoring Levitra, when it comes to generics both products become substantially more affordable with no clear-cut winner in terms of cost alone.

Popularity of Levitra and Viagra

Vardenafil, available under the brand name Levitra, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 1.8 million people in the US in 2020. The drug accounted for approximately 5% of prescriptions for erectile dysfunction (ED) medications in the US. Although not as popular as other ED drugs such as sildenafil and tadalafil, vardenafil has maintained a steady prescription rate since its introduction.

Sildenafil, sold under the brand name Viagra among others, remains one of the most recognized names when it comes to ED treatment. In 2020 alone, an estimated number of over 12 million people were prescribed with this medication making up around 45% of total ED prescriptions issued within that timeframe. Over the past decade or so since its release on market shelves globally, sildenafil's prevalence has remained fairly stable cementing its status as one of if not THE go-to solution for those suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Conclusion

Both Levitra (vardenafil) and Viagra (sildenafil) have been widely used in treating erectile dysfunction, with numerous clinical studies backing their efficacy over placebo treatments. Occasionally, these drugs may be used together under careful physician supervision as they can intensify each other's effects, but this combination could also increase the risk of side effects. Both work by enhancing the effect of nitric oxide in relaxing muscles around blood vessels in the penis, allowing increased blood flow during sexual stimulation.

Levitra tends to act a bit longer than Viagra and is less affected by food or alcohol intake, so it can be taken with meals. On the flip side, Viagra might be considered as first-line therapy due to its longer history of use and slightly lower cost.

Both medications are now available in generic forms which helps patients save on costs significantly especially for those who must pay out of pocket. It's important to note that neither drug will produce an erection immediately after taking; both require sexual stimulation to work.

The side effect profiles are similar between these two drugs and they're generally well-tolerated. However, some users report fewer visual disturbances like blue-tinted vision with Levitra compared to Viagra. As always when starting new medication - even ones for treatment of erectile dysfunction - patients should closely monitor themselves for any unusual reactions or worsening symptoms and seek immediate medical help if needed.