Call customer care on: 0333 358 0200
Dr Ruch Karunadasa

Authored on 24 January 2024 by Dr Ruch Karunadasa,

Reviewed 24 January 2024 by Dr Adeel Arshad.

Levitra & Vardenafil

Oral medication

Levitra/Vardenafil is a prescription tablet for men with ED (erectile dysfunction), a condition that affects your ability to get or keep an erection. It is a phosphodiesterase 5 type inhibitor (PDE5), which makes it from the same family of drugs as other well know ED medicines such as Viagra and Cialis. Levitra has been available on the market as an ED treatment since 2003 and more recently in its generic form as Vardenafil. It comes in 3 different strengths; 5mg tablets, 10mg tablets and 20mg tablets.

Medication effect duration

Levitra/Vardenafil is one of the fastest acting treatments for ED, taking as little as 25 minutes in some men to take effect and can last for up to five hours. But don’t worry, Levitra/Vardenafil will only work when you are sexually stimulated.

 Nutrition information for medication

The time it takes to work is different for each man. However, if taken with food it can have a slower effect, so it’s best you take on an empty stomach or after a low-fat meal. What you drink can also affect your performance, so avoid drinking alcohol to excess and avoid grapefruit juice which may possibly affect the absorption of Levitra/Vardenafil.

How does Levitra/Vardenafil work?

When you are aroused your tissues release a chemical called nitric oxide (NO). NO triggers the release of a second chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). cGMP causes the muscles at the sides of your penis to relax allowing blood to rush in. The veins that drain the blood from your penis also get compressed, trapping the increased blood in your penis resulting in an erection. An enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) breaks down the cGMP and your penis will return to its original state.

Levitra/Vardenafil is a PDE5 inhibitor, meaning it blocks the action of PDE5. Your levels of cGMP remain high, the muscles at the side of your penis relax, more blood rushes in, and you can achieve a firmer and longer-lasting erection. It is important to remember that Levitra/Vardenafil only exerts its action when you are sexually aroused. It does not increase your sexual desire. It will not resolve any underlying physical causes of your ED.

How much does Levitra/Vardenafil cost?

Levitra/Vardenafil medication pack


10mg 20mg

Pack size

* available in packs of 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 32

How long does Levitra/Vardenafil take to work?

Levitra/Vardenafil is one of the fastest-acting treatments for ED. Taking as little as 25 minutes, in some men, to take effect and can last for up to five hours. But don’t worry, Levitra/Vardenafil will only work when you are sexually stimulated. The time it takes to work is different for each man. However, if taken with food it can have a slower effect, so it’s best you take on an empty stomach or after a low-fat meal.

Get Started

How do I take Levitra/Vardenafil?

The recommended starting dose of Levitra/Vardenafil is 10mg, but it is available in 5mg and 20mg doses, so your treatment can be tailored to suit you.

You take one tablet with a glass of water about 25 to 60 minutes before you anticipate you will have sexual activity. With sexual stimulation, you may achieve an erection anywhere from 25 minutes up to four to five hours after taking Levitra/Vardenafil.

If I take more tablets, do I get a better effect?

You must not take more than one tablet a day or exceed the dose recommended for you. If you feel that your dose is not appropriate, the effects of the medication are too much or not enough, your doctor can alter your dose.

If you do take more than the recommended dose, your risk of side effects, including serious ones, like low blood pressure or an erection that won’t go away even after 4 hours, dramatically increases. If you do experience any side effects, particularly serious side effects, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Get Started

Is it safe to buy Levitra/Vardenafil online?

While many online retailers claim to supply genuine medicines, they may be unregulated, provided without a genuine doctor consultation and potentially very dangerous. You can rest assured, PrivateDoc is a fully registered digital health service. We have UK registered doctors that review and assess every consultation. All the medicines we supply are 100% genuine and fully regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Special considerations when taking Levitra/Vardenafil

Levitra/Vardenafil cannot be used if you:

  • are a woman (this medicine is for men only)
  • are under 18 years old
  • are allergic to Levitra/Vardenafil or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
  • are taking medications to treat ED
  • are taking medicines containing nitrates, such as glycerol trinitrate for angina, or nitric oxide donors, such as amyl nitrite. Taking these medicines with Vardenafil could seriously affect your blood pressure
  • are taking ritonavir or indinavir, medicines used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections
  • are taking riociguat
  • are over 75 years of age and are taking ketoconazole or itraconazole, anti-fungal medicines
  • have a severe heart or liver problem
  • are having kidney dialysis
  • have recently had a stroke or heart attack
  • have or have had low blood pressure
  • have a family history of degenerative eye diseases
  • have ever had a condition involving loss of vision due to damage to the optic nerve from insufficient blood supply known as non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)

Please tell your doctor if you are using, have recently used or might use any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Some medicines may cause problems, especially these:

  • Medicine for the treatment of arrhythmias, such as quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone or sotalol
  • Ketoconazole or itraconazole, anti-fungal medicines
  • Erythromycin, or clarithromycin, macrolide antibiotics
  • Alpha-blockers, a type of medicine used to treat high blood pressure and enlargement of the prostate (as benign prostatic hyperplasia)

Your doctor must take special care before starting you on Levitra/Vardenafil if you:

  • have heart trouble. It may be risky for you to have sex
  • suffer from irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia) or inherited heart diseases affecting your electrocardiogram
  • have a physical condition affecting the shape of the penis. This includes conditions such as, angulation, Peyronie’s disease and cavernosal fibrosis
  • have an illness that can cause erections which won’t go away (priapism). These include sickle cell disease, multiple myeloma and leukaemia
  • have stomach ulcers (also called gastric or peptic ulcers)
  • have a bleeding disorder (such as haemophilia)
  • are using any other treatments for erection difficulties, including Levitra/Vardenafil orodispersible tablets
  • experience sudden decrease or loss of vision, stop taking Levitra/Vardenafil and contact your doctor immediately

Other considerations:

  • You can take Vardenafil with or without food, but preferably not after a heavy or high-fat meal as this may delay the effect
  • Don’t drink grapefruit juice when you use Levitra/ It can interfere with the usual effect of the medicine
  • Alcoholic drink can make erection difficulties worse
  • Levitra/Vardenafil might make some people feel dizzy or affect their vision. If you feel dizzy, or if your vision is affected after taking Levitra/Vardenafil don’t drive or operate any tools or machines
  • Levitra/Vardenafil contains aspartame (E951), a source of phenylalanine. May be harmful for people with phenylketonuria. If you suffer from phenylketonuria (a rare, hereditary disorder of the metabolism) talk to your doctor before you start to take this medicine.
Get Started

What are the side effects assocoiated with Levitra/Vardenafil?

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Most of the effects are mild or moderate.

Very common side effects of treatment (may affect more than 1 in 10 users)

  • Headache

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 users)

  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Indigestion

Uncommon side effects (may affect 1 in 100 users)

  • Swelling of your skin and mucous tissue including swollen face, lips or throat
  • Sleep disorder
  • Numbness and impaired perception of touch
  • Sleepiness
  • Effects on your vision such as redness of the eye, effects on colour vision, eye pain and discomfort, light sensitivity
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Fast heartbeat or pounding heart
  • Breathlessness
  • Stuffy nose
  • Acid reflux, gastritis, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting; feeling sick, dry mouth
  • Raised levels of liver enzymes in your blood
  • Rash, reddened skin
  • Back or muscle pain; increase in blood of a muscle enzyme (creatine phosphokinase), muscle stiffness
  • Prolonged erections
  • Malaise

Rare side effects (may affect 1 in 1,000 users)

  • Inflammation of your eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Anxiety
  • Fainting
  • Amnesia
  • Seizure
  • Increase pressure in your eye (glaucoma), lacrimation increased
  • Effects on your heart (such as heart attack, altered heartbeat or angina)
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Nosebleed
  • Effect on results of blood tests to check liver function
  • Sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • Painful erections
  • Chest pain

Partial, sudden, temporary or permanent decrease or loss of vision in one or both eyes has been experienced by patients. Stop taking Levitra/Vardenafil and contact your doctor immediately.

Sudden decrease or loss of hearing has also been reported.

There are further very rare side effects that occasionally people can experience when taking Vardenafil, for complete details about all side effects always read the Patient Information Leaflet:

Ready for your online visit?