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What is Vardenafil?

Vardenafil is the active ingredient in the sexual enhancer Levitra and some generics. The drug is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. The active ingredient belongs to the group of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors.

How does Vardenafil work?

Vardenafil is used to reduce erectile dysfunction. It works by stimulating blood flow in the penis, thus ensuring a stronger or longer erection. The active ingredient has no aphrodisiac (lust-increasing) effect and does not “automatically” lead to an erection, but improves the ability to respond to sexual arousal with an erection.

Vardenafil belongs to the group of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. The enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) is located specifically in the erectile tissue of the penis, the inhibition counteracts the relaxation of the penis.


Vardenafil is available in doses of 5, 10, and 20 mg. Usually, it is recommended to take one tablet of 10mg of Vardenafil 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. If necessary, the dose can be increased to a maximum of 20 mg or reduced to 5 mg. As a starting dose, or in older men, a dose of 5 mg should be started. It can be taken with or without food. The onset of action may be delayed if a high-fat meal is taken at the same time. The sexual enhancer may only be taken once a day.

Intake and duration of action of Vardenafil

Vardenafil is taken in tablet form and reaches its maximum concentration in the blood after about two hours. The effects of vardenafil start within a period of 30 minutes to a maximum of one hour after ingestion and last for four to five hours. At this point, the drug also develops its maximum effect. After that, the liver slowly processes the non-endogenous substance and breaks it down again. Any number of erections and ejaculations can occur during the duration of the effect.

Side Effects

In terms of tolerability, the active ingredient Vardenafil (Levitra) has relatively few side effects.

  • Headache
  • Reddening of the face
  • A stuffy nose (rhinitis)
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion in the upper abdomen (dyspepsia)
  • Colour vision disorders
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Eye pain and eye redness
  • Vomit
  • Skin rash
  • Priapism (painful permanent erection)
  • Racing heart
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden cardiac death

How long has Vardenafil been around?

The active ingredient was first developed by the German company Bayer HealthCare and launched in 2003 in the form of the drug Levitra. Since the patent expired in 2018, there have also been imitation products, so-called generics. These contain the same active ingredient as the original preparation and are therefore just as effective. However, the copycat preparations are significantly cheaper.

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