Released in 2003, Levitra was the second oral tablet treatment for ED to arrive on the market, after Viagra in 1998.
Like Viagra, Levitra contains an ingredient called a PDE5 inhibitor. Vardenafil works by loosening blood vessels, easing blood flow to the penis.
Does this mean that Levitra and Viagra are effectively the same drug? Not quite. Some men may notice differences in the way these medicines work, and be more suited to one than another.
This can make settling on the right medication for erectile dysfunction tricky, particularly for men seeking treatment for the first time.
Some may turn to the internet to read Levitra reviews from men who have used it before, to find out more about how well it works, and whether it is likely to cause side effects.
Reviews can be a useful tool in helping us to get an idea of what to expect from a product before we buy it. However, when reading reviews online for Levitra, or any medicine for that matter, there are some important factors to take into account.
The most critical among these is that reading medicine reviews online should never be considered a substitute for discussing a medicine with your doctor.
- Are online patient reviews accurate?
- How do reviews stand up to the clinical data?
- When should I see my doctor?
Whether online medicine reviews are reliable is a subject of ongoing debate.
The majority of reviewers who post online about a particular drug may do so with the best of intentions; to inform others who might, in the future, find themselves in a similar scenario.
But there are reasons why online drug reviews may sometimes give a somewhat disproportionate view.
The website hosting the review is one factor. For instance, if it has no processes in place to properly curate submissions, or verify users, this might create an inaccurate or distorted account of a medicine.
A website can employ certain processes to help ensure the reviews on it are genuine. This might be verifying the IP address of the person leaving the review, to ensure they aren’t making multiple posts under different names. It might also be getting a member of staff with clinical expertise to moderate or check posts before making them live.
The process reviewers are asked to follow can also make a difference. For instance, are they required to provide other information that could have affected their experience of a medicine, such as the dosage they used? Generally, the more detail the poster is asked to provide, the more informative their review will be.
In some cases, reviews may paint a polarising or distorted picture of a medicine for other reasons. For instance, those patients who have had a markedly good experience, or a markedly bad experience, may feel more compelled to go online and leave a review than someone who has had an even or average experience. This can result in a picture of dramatically varying extremes, with little or no middle ground.
Clinical trials can help patients to get a more accurate statistical overview of a how well a medicine works, or how likely it might be to cause side effects.
These are carried out in a controlled environment, and every patient participating will be asked to provide an account of their experience. This means that data from the middle ground between the two extremes is more likely to be captured.
Another advantage of clinical trials is that every medicine is required to go through them, prior to its release on the market; so there will always be a record somewhere of how effective it is.
But not all clinical trial reports are straightforward for the layperson to interpret. Some may describe their results using complex medical or mathematical terminology.
So while clinical trials may give a clearer and more balanced representation when assessing the performance of a medicine, reviews may seem more readily accessible to those who aren’t familiar with medical jargon.
Ultimately, every patient is different, and the best option if you are seeking ED treatment for the first time is to approach your own doctor for advice.
However helpful you may find any Levitra reviews you come across online, your doctor knows you, and will be able to take into account your individual needs and medical profile, before advising you on which (if any) medicine to use. They will also be familiar with the medical consensus of the drug, and be able to put information on efficacy and potential side effects into relatable terms during your discussion.