Levitra (vardenafil) belongs to a group of medications that are prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction. These are called PDE5 inhibitors, and examples of other drugs in this group are Viagra and Cialis. These medications are usually well tolerated with few side effects when taken as directed, and are typically safe to take alongside other medications, but that does not mean there are no interactions that will need to be taken into account.
It is therefore vital that you inform your doctor of any other treatments you are currently receiving, as well as any other conditions you have (contraindications), so they can safely prescribe this medication.
Levitra drug interactions
All substances come with some risk of interacting with others, whether that be over the counter medications, prescription medications, herbal supplements or food and drink. While it is not always easy to predict how a medication will be tolerated, there are some known interactions that might prohibit their use. Interactions can cause more severe side effects, decrease the effectiveness of one or both treatments and present serious health risks, so it is important to know what these are before taking them.
PDE5 inhibitors are oral treatments, which means they are absorbed into the system. While Levitra will typically cause few issues, the fact that it is taken orally inevitably leads to some interactions with a very small number of drugs. Thankfully, there are other options available, such as Caverject (which is injected) MUSE (inserted into the penis) and Vitaros (applied as a cream).
These medications, known as PGE1s or prostaglandins, can be more effective for some and might provide an alternative for those with contraindications, or issues tolerating the likes of Cialis, Levitra and Viagra.
How to reduce the risk of Levitra interactions
Once your doctor has been provided with all the relevant information regarding any other treatments you are currently or have recently taken, they can safely prescribe Levitra. They might suggest taking Levitra alongside some other treatments that have the potential to cause interactions with caution, or prescribe a lower dose to minimise the risk. They may also choose not to recommend treatment with Levitra, if they deem that the risks outweigh the benefit, and advise something else instead.
If you require further information on Levitra, you can refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication.
Do not use Levitra if you are also taking the following treatments: nitrates, quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, sotalol, ritonavir or indinavir.
The following medications might make use of Levitra unsuitable: ketoconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, macrolide antibiotics, alpha-blockers and riociguat.
Levitra with food and drink
Levitra can be taken with or without food, but large or fatty meals might slow its effects. You should avoid consuming grapefruit juice within a 24-hour period of taking Levitra as it can interfere with how the medication works.