Levitra, generic name vardenafil, is a drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Bayer for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).
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Levitra is available in the following dosages: 2.5 mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg. Levitra comes in the form of orange tablets with a round shape. Normally, physicians start off patients with a 10mg dose. This roughly equal to a 50mg dose of Viagra or sildenafil.
Unlike longer-lasting Cialis, Levitra shares sildenafil's relatively short half-life. This means patients have to take the drug around one to two hours before they have sex. The maximum dosing frequency for this drug is once per day.
Levitra's compound, vardenafil, is also sold under the brand name Vivanza in the EU. Glaxo SmithKline is the pharmaceutical giant behind Vivanza. Levitra is available as a soluble tablet that dissolve on the patient's tongue. This form of Levitra is sold under the brand name Staxyn.
Previously known as impotence, erectile dysfunction is the medical condition where a male is unable to get an erection or keep an erection long enough to ejaculate. The causes for ED are quite varied. In fact, in many cases, ED isn't just caused by one specific cause but a combination of two or more factors. Regardless, the causes for ED fall under two general categories: physical and mental causes.
For a male to get erect, he has to get sexually aroused. Sexual arousal is possible when the male's brain receives external stimuli the brain interprets as sexual. The brain then sends signals to nerve terminals to increase the amount of nitric oxide in the area of the penis and a fairly complicated process kicks into gear which results in an erection. Mental causes of ED interrupt either the brain's interpretation of stimuli or the transmission of signals to the body which triggers physical processes.
Since it all begins with the brain, it can be accurately said that the male brain is the body's most important sex organ. The brain acts as the control center. It interprets signals as meaning something sexual and the body reacts accordingly. If the male suffered traumatic experiences in the past regarding sexual stimulation, this might impact how his brain interprets certain signals. In short, his ability to get aroused might have been compromised by past psychological trauma.
Another fairly common psychological reason for ED is when the patient is taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) for depression and/or anxiety. While the patient's brain accurately interprets certain stimuli as sexual, its sexual arousal isn't conveyed to the nerve terminals in the penis region because of SSRI's impact on the patient's neurotransmitter processes and activity levels.
Unlike psychological reasons for ED, physical causes center on either blood flow, nerve transmission, or blood vessels. Even if the brain is sexually aroused and sends the right chemical signals at the right time, key components of the erection process are not operating optimally and this results in a less than satisfactory erection or no erection at all. Here are the physical reasons for ED and a quick explanation of how these items impact the erection process.
For an erection to occur or for an erection to be more durable, the spongy tissue in the penis' corpus cavernosum needs to fill up with blood. For this to happen, the brain needs to get sexually aroused and send chemical signals to nerve terminals located around the penis area. These nerve endings increase the amount of nitric oxide in the blood around the penis. Under normal circumstances, the nitric oxide binds with a chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). When this happens, the smooth muscles of the penis relaxes and more blood flows to the spongy area of the penis and an erection results ED happens when the amount of cGMP bound with nitric oxide is not high enough. Normally, there is an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) which binds with cGMP and prevents the cGMP from binding with nitric oxide. It inhibits erections. This is why males don't walk around with a 24/7 erection. When a person has ED, the amount of cGMP and nitric oxide binding is not enough to overcome the PDE5 binding. Levitra and other PDE5 inhibitors work by drawing PDE5 to bind to it instead of cGMP. Levitra has a chemical structure that looks very similar to cGMP. This results in Levitra soaking up PDE5 enough to enable enough nitric oxide to bind with cGMP to produce an erection or produce stronger and more durable erections.
Levitra's side effects are similar to other chemicals that inhibit PDE5-headaches, muscle aches, a rare blue tint in the vision, and, in a minority of cases, hearing loss. More extreme side effects include heart attacks.
Any drug that supplies nitrogen should not be taken with Levitra. This includes nitrates, nitrites, and similar drugs. Wait a minimum of 48 hours after or before taking these compounds before you take Levitra.