Viagra vs. Levitra

Weighing the benefits and risks of both Viagra and Levitra requires some basic knowledge of each. A comparison can be made by examining how they can be used, the time it takes for them to work, the length of time they work, the restrictions on how they can be taken, the contraindications to their use, and their side effects.

Yet, one issue is rarely the sole factor men consider when taking a medication for erectile dysfunction. It is the interplay between a man’s social circumstances (and that of their partner), his need for a rapid onset of medication activity versus a prolonged duration of action, the individual reaction to the drug in terms of side effects, a person’s prior medical history, the other medications they take, and the very personal definition of what it means to achieve an erection satisfactory for sexual activity.

Sildenafil (Viagra) can be effective in as little as 1 hour as can Vardenafil (Levitra), though for some patients these medicines can work more rapidly. In fact, some patients find that Viagra (sildenafil) and Levitra (vardenafil) can start to have an effect in 15 minutes. Nevertheless, each should be approached as reliably taking effect in 1 hour.

Viagra and Levitra both leave the body in about 6 to 8 hours. That means that while they are both very effective–approximately 75% of patients will achieve a satisfactory erection with either–they will work reliably only for 6-8 hours. Nevertheless, the effect of a medication may not be needed beyond 6 or 8 hours, and any side effects (in addition to any positive effect) they cause will fade rapidly as the medication leaves the bloodstream. That means that someone who experiences nasal congestion or flushing when they use either Viagra (sildenafil) or Levitra (vardenafil) may find it an advantage to take the shorter acting medications, as opposed to Cialis–which last far longer (up to 36 hours). It might be worth a bit of nasal congestion during the time when sex will occur but there would be no reason to endure a stuffy nose once sexual intimacy had concluded.

Sometimes, a peculiar side effect might prevent a person from taking Sildenafil but not Vardenafil.

Let’s consider two men. One might be able to predict when sexual activity will occur. A drug that works rapidly and leaves his system quickly thereafter would be perfect. Either medication will do. However, if dining is part of the evening’s plan, Vardenafil (Levitra) may be a more practical choice, as it is unaffected by food. One restriction on the meal exists, however. It is not necessary to take Levitra on an empty stomach but it is best to avoid a very fatty meal. Fat interferes with its absorption if fat constitutes more than 55% of the calories consumed.

You may think that gives Levitra (vardenafil) a clear advantage over Viagra (sildenafil), but there is another important consideration. Levitra (Vardenafil) can cause an abnormality seen on EKG called QT prolongation or make long QT syndrome more pronounced. If that occurs, serious irregular heartbeats can follow. There are numerous medications and conditions that can complicate taking this medication. The list of medications that can cause QT prolongation is quite large. A man who might have chosen Levitra would not if he were also on a medication that could cause a heart problem when combined with Levitra.

One other point about the Levitra and Viagra (sildenafil) comparison: Levitra, which is vardenafil, is almost identical to Viagra (sildenafil) in onset of action and the duration of its effect. It has been shown to be more potent and more selective than Viagra at inhibiting phosphodiesterase 5 biochemically. That doesn’t seem to translate into being more effective in treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED), but it does give Levitra one solid advantage over Viagra. Though uncommon, Viagra can cause men to see a bluish tint. That is because Viagra not only affects phosphodiesterase 5 but also phosphodiesterase 6, which has a role in regulating the retina. Levitra has very little impact on phosphodiesterase 6 and significantly decreases the possibility of that side effect.

Again, it is never as simple as considering just one factor. There is a good deal of trial and error in finding the right medicine, the most effective dose, and the plan that results in the fewest side effects. Sometimes, a side effect is worth the benefit, sometimes not.

On occasion, a man will be on medications that require a dose adjustment. Even a simple antibiotic like erythromycin can alter how the body handles either medication and the dose must be adjusted. Grapefruit juice can do so as well. Some medications lower blood pressure and each of these medications, Viagra or Levitra, can add to that blood pressure lowering effect and be quite dangerous. Nitrates, nitrites, and nitroglycerin can all be dangerous when combined with medications that treat erectile dysfunction.

The key is to get educated and share all your information with each of your healthcare providers. Only by doing so can a safe, effective, and personalized treatment plan be crafted with your goals and your safety preserved.