Vardenafil 20mg is a very popular medication which is used to treat the problems of Erectile Dysfunction in men. It is basically a phosphodiesterase inhibitor and helps in achieving and maintaining erection during sexual activity. It is also known by its brand name Levitra, and was approved by the FDA in 2003.
Mechanism of Action
Engorgement of the penis leads to the penile erection in men. This occurs with an increase in diameter of the blood vessels which deliver blood to the penis due to which, the amount of the blood being delivered to the penis is increased as well.
Simultaneously, the blood vessels which are responsible to carry the blood away from the penis decrease in diameter, which decreases the blood removal from the penis and sustains penis engorgement.
This increase and decrease in the diameter of the blood vessels is regulated by the release of a chemical nitric oxide during sexual stimulation as it is responsible for activating an enzyme called Guanylate Cyclase. This in turn produces cGMP i.e. Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate. cGMP is the key element that plays a part in the change of the diameter of the blood vessels.
Consumption of Vardenafil stops the activity of an enzyme Phosphodiesterase, which is responsible for metabolizing cGMP. Therefore, the activity of cGMP increases and results in prolonged engorgement of the penis.
In this way, Vardenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction i.e. the inability to obtain a penile erection, which leads to impotence in men.
Usually, the recommended dose of this drug is 10mg/day, taken one hour before sexual activity. In certain cases, the doctor may increase the dose to 20mg/day or reduce it to 5mg/day, depending upon the physical condition and response of each individual. Vardenafil should never be consumed without consulting a registered medical practitioner.
The common adverse effects of Vardenafil include; facial reddening or flushing, gastrointestinal disorders such as; nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and headache.
If Vardenafil is consumed in more than the recommended dose, it can cause adverse effects which include; hypotension or low blood pressure, chest pain, priapism i.e. painful penile erection which lasts for more than six hours, abnormal ejaculation, blurred vision, dizziness, and ringing of the ears. In such cases, the Vardenafil therapy should be discontinued and the patient must seek immediate medical help.
Vardenafil is contraindicated in case of the following conditions:
• The patient is advised to refrain from sexual activity because of cardiovascular problems.
• The patient suffers from liver diseases, or kidney problems which require dialysis.
• The patient suffers from chronic high or low blood pressure
• The patient has a medical history of stroke, heart attack, or irregular heartbeat
• The patient suffers from degenerative ophthalmic problems, such as; retinitis or glaucoma.
• The patient is on any kind of nitrate therapy, such as; nitroprusside or nitroglycerin
The elimination and breakdown of Vardenafil is deceased by certain drugs which include; clarithromycin, erythromycin, ketoconazole, indinavir, and ritonavir.
Hence why these drugs should never be used in combination with Vardenafil as they’ll increase its blood concentration which may cause high blood pressure and increased heart rate in an individual.
Grapefruit juice also increases the blood concentration of this drug. Hence, Vardenafil should only be consumed after proper consultation from a specialized medical practitioner.