Even though Levitra is usually prescribed to men by professional healthcare specialists who provide very specific recommendations regarding its use, it’s still important to have the information about suggested Levitra dosage close by in case you lose or forget your doctor’s initial directions for the use of this drug. Besides, since Levitra is currently available over the counter in quite a few countries and lots of men begin using it without consulting their healthcare providers, such information becomes totally vital. That’s why we decided to make it available here on our site as part of our extensive knowledge base.
Read this short article and you will know how to calculate your Levitra dosage right based on your medical history and possible interactions with other drugs you are taking. Besides, we will teach you how to distinguish the symptoms of Levitra overdose and how to act in the unlikely event of you overdosing on this medication. Hope you will find this information valuable!
What conditions does Levitra treat and how does it work?
As of now, Levitra has been approved for the treatment of only one condition: erectile dysfunction in men. Unlike other similar meds like Cialis, for instance, it is not usually used to treat BPH, though some doctors may prescribe it off-label for treatment of premature ejaculation. Many men claim that Levitra helps them to last longer in bed, so using it to extend the duration of sexual intercourse in those who reach orgasm too fast seems perfectly reasonable.
Let’s take a closer look at the mechanism of Levitra’s action, which will help us understand how exactly one should take this medication for it to function properly.
Vardenafil, which is the main active ingredient in Levitra, belongs to the class of so-called ‘PDE5 inhibitors’ – the medications that block the enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), which is known to impair blood circulation in pelvic area, thus causing impotence in men. Basically, what PDE5 does is blocking the signals sent by the nerve endings when you are sexually stimulated. In a healthy man, such signals lead to increased release of nitric oxide, which, in combination with an enzyme called cGMP, makes the smooth muscles lining the blood vessels relax, leading to an increase in blood flow and allowing the cavernous structures inside the penis to get filled with blood and harden. In a man with erectile dysfunction, the release of NO is not followed by any reaction as PDE5 doesn’t allow cGMP to function properly.
When you take Levitra, Tadalafil makes the levels of PDE5 drop temporarily, which returns the ability to achieve a perfectly healthy erection and hold it hard for a period of time long enough for a successful sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, as the result of relatively short half-life of Tadalafil, it leaves your system almost completely in about 6 hours, after which the concentration of PDE5 returns to its original levels and inability to reach erection returns.
It’s important to remember that Levitra doesn’t work without sexual stimulation. You should not expect to get an erection out of the blue after taking the pill – you should be sexually excited on a psychological level or stimulated physically for this medication to work. Levitra only works in those cases when erectile dysfunction is caused by blood circulation problems and doesn’t increase your libido or help you get excited when you are not physically attracted to your partner.
Recommended Levitra dosage
Levitra is a medication intended for use on as-needed basis. Most doctors will recommend you to take it about 1 hour prior to expected sexual activity, with or without food. However, most Levitra users claim that it starts working much sooner after being taken – in most of the cases you should be perfectly ready for sex in as short as 30 minutes after taking the pill. Still, 1 hour remains the recommended waiting time in most of the cases in order to make up for all possible deviations.
Levitra comes in four different strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg, the numbers denoting the actual amount of Vardenafil per tablet. Most patients with ED are recommended to start off with 10 mg of Levitra. If it doesn’t perform as well as expected, you might be advised to increase the dosage to 20 mg. On the contrary, if the 10 mg pills are working perfectly for you, you might as well try 5 mg or even 2.5 mg ones. This amount of Vardenafil is likely to be enough to ensure a perfectly healthy sexual intercourse and cause fewer side effects.
Please, remember that you are only allowed to take 1 dose of Levitra a day, which means that there should be at least 24 hours separating the doses. Even though Vardenafil works for 6 hours, a certain amount of it might still remain in your system for up to 24 hours, which means that you might end up overdosing on this medication if you take it more often than once daily.
Even though some patients claim that splitting 20 mg pills into halves or quarters works for them just as fine as taking 10 mg or 5 mg pills, the manufacturers of Levitra do not recommend you to cut the pills as it breaks the special coating and may result in Vardenafil absorbing too quickly into your system, which may bring about shorter duration of effect or unwanted adverse reactions.
What substances and health conditions can affect Levitra dosage?
First of all, let’s start by saying that you are not allowed to take Levitra along with nitrates under any circumstances. As both Levitra and nitrates cause your blood pressure to drop significantly, the effect may double up when you take them together, which may be very dangerous for your health or even life. It’s important to remember that this applies not only to nitrate medications used to treat chest pain but also to recreational drugs called ‘poppers’. As these drugs are most often used during or prior to sexual activity, this is extremely important to make sure you or your partner are not using Levitra or any similar ED medications prior to taking poppers.
There are also a few other medications that might enhance or impede the effect of Levitra, which may result in an overdose or failure of this medication to perform as well as you expect it to. Thus, when discussing the possibility of using Levitra with your doctor, make sure you inform him or her if you are taking any of the following medications: alpha-blockers (or other antihypertensives), HIV protease inhibitors (ritonavir, indinavir sulfate, saquinavir, atazanavir, etc.), ketoconazole or itraconazole, erythromycin or clarithromycin, other ED medications.
Besides, there are two very peculiar food interactions that all Levitra users should be aware of. First of all, you are strongly advised to refrain from drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit when taking Levitra. There are certain substances in grapefruit juice and pulp that may increase the levels of Vardenafil in your system, thus causing an overdose even when you follow your regular Levitra dosage guidelines perfectly. Besides, you should try to limit your alcohol intake whenever you are taking Levitra – being a mild antihypertensive, alcohol can lower your blood pressure, adding up to the effect of Levitra and causing lightheadedness, dizziness and nausea or even fainting and vomiting in some of the cases.
Some health conditions may serve as contraindication to using Levitra or other ED meds too. For instance, you are strongly advised to refrain from using such pharmaceuticals if you are allergic to them, are not recommended to engage in sexual activity due to increased risk of heart problems, have penis deformations or Peyronie’s disease. Additionally, your doctor might want to run some tests on you or lower your Levitra dosage to minimal if you have recent history of heart attack, stroke or priapism, suffer from heart, liver or kidney disorders, have stomach ulcers or a bleeding problem, have ever suffered from sudden hearing or vision loss or have conditions like retinitis pigmentosa or multiple cell myeloma or leukemia. Patients suffering from low blood pressure problems should also take Levitra with care.
Overdosing on Levitra can be really dangerous for your health or even fatal, so if you believe you have taken more than one dose of this medication within the past 24 hours, contact your doctor for advice immediately.
Besides, there are certain symptoms that call for emergency medical assistance when noticed after using Levitra – regardless of whether you have exceeded the recommended Levitra dosage or not. These are very rare but serious, which is why all men taking this medication should be informed about them.
Call for emergency medical assistance if you experience sharp pain, numbness or tingling in your chest, jaw or limbs, difficulty breathing or swallowing, fast or irregular heartbeat, skin rash, sudden loss of hearing or vision or an erection that lasts for 4 hours or more. The latter condition should always be taken seriously as it is a symptom of a condition called priapism, which may result in death of tissues in your penile body and permanent inability to obtain erection.
There are multiple less serious side effects that don’t call for immediate medical help but may require you to consult with your doctor if they get too bothersome. These include back pain, nasal congestion, sneezing, feeling of warmth in the face, neck and arms, stomach problems like indigestion or heartburn and headache.
As you can see, Levitra is far not the most dangerous medication out there but it’s also clearly not the safest too. If it is considered to be a prescription medication in your country, take the time to discuss the pros and cons of using it as well as develop individual Levitra dosage plan with your doctor. If, however, it is available over the counter where you are currently, feel free to use this article as your source of information on how to use Levitra – and also take the time to read the information on the package insert. It is very important as it can save you from potentially unpleasant or even dangerous adverse effects.