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Levitra vs. Viagra: Which Is Best For You?

Erectile dysfunction is a common medical condition believed to affect around 30 million men in the United States alone. On a grander scale, this number shoots up, with projections estimating that by 2025, around 322 million men will be living with erectile dysfunction.

Just as prevalent as erectile dysfunction however, are the measures used in treating it. Some of these measures have been approved for use as far back as 1998 — and others have been approved since. 

They include the oral medications: Viagra® (less popularly known by its generic name, sildenafil) and Levitra®, otherwise known as vardenafil. Others include Cialis® (tadalfil) and Stendra® (avenafil).

These medications are classified as PDE5 inhibitors  (phosphodiesterase-5) — this means that they block the PDE5 enzyme, known to affect cell signalling. 

Instead, they permit the relaxation of muscles and the increase of blood flow to specific areas of the body. 

While all named inhibitors are effective as ED medication, we’ll be focusing on Levitra and Viagra: their benefits, differences, side-effects and how they measure up against the other.

But first, just how do these drugs help to improve erections and sexual activity?

How Do Levitra and Viagra Work?

When ingested, these two ED medications act in a similar fashion by boosting the levels of a chemical in your body called nitric oxide. 

Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, it helps in widening blood vessels to permit an increase in blood flow. This chemical encourages the muscles in the penis to relax, stimulating the easier flow of blood to the penis. This free flow ensures that when aroused, the penis is able to get, and remain erect long enough to engage in sexual activity.

This role is a similarity in their functions. In distinguishing between both medications, while Viagra can be used in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, Levitra is marketed exclusively for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

We'll make further comparisons between both medications, looking into additional similarities and differences.

Levitra Vs Viagra Comparisons

With Levitra and Viagra performing the identical role of treating erectile dysfunction, comparisons are routinely made on the effectiveness of one over the other. We’ll be examining these comparisons, and also highlighting the similarities, differences and known side-effects of the medications.

Similarities between Levitra and Viagra

Viagra and Levitra are recognised as effective means to treat erectile dysfunction.

In a study which examined the results of 11 randomized trials of Sildenafil citrate  (Viagra), patients, who ranged from 23 years old to 89 years old, recorded significantly improved erectile function following Viagra use. 

Around 95 percent of patients who engaged in long-term use (one to three years) reported that the drug had improved their ability to engage in sexual activity.

A study on erectile function carried out on 323 randomly selected patients also confirmed the efficacy of Levitra. 

The trial tested the effectiveness of its generic — vardenafil — when used in flexible doses. 

A significant improvement was recorded in erectile function, with men reporting an 80 percent to 86 percent improvement in erectile function following weeks of Vardenafil usage.

Without the interference of food, both drugs use roughly the same amount of time to take effect. 

A study conducted on 732 men with erectile dysfunction saw 50%/53% of subjects on Vardenafil ( Levitra brand name) report erections 25 minutes after dosing. Some recorded erections as early as 10 minutes after use.

Likewise, two randomized studies on patients with erectile dysfunction saw 17 and 16 patients try out 50mg and100 mg of sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) respectively. 

The trial revealed a performance time as early as 12 minutes, with 30 minutes being the average time for most patients after ingesting sildenafil.

How Is Levitra Different From Viagra?

Due to a delayed effect when consumed with food, users may find Viagra is better used on an empty stomach. If ingested after eating, Viagra may take slightly longer to start working. 

In comparison, the onset of action in Levitra, like Viagra, may be prolonged by a high fat meal.

This difference is in addition to the already stated effect of Viagra in treating pulmonary hypertension.

Levitra Vs Viagra Side Effects

Ranking with the already stated similarities, Levitra and Viagra share another common factor: side effects.

Nasal congestion, flushing in the face, and heartburn are common side effects of using Levitra and Viagra.

Levitra and Viagra may also cause temporary ocular side effects. Disturbed color vision in the form of a blue tinted view may be an effect of PDE5 inhibitors, especially when taken in high doses.Another adverse side effect of both drugs includes priapism.

Not all side effects are shared however. Patients at risk for QTc prolongation are warned against using Levitra, while Viagra poses no known challenge to this medical condition.

Related Post: Is Viagra Over The Counter?

Which Drug Is Safer: Levitra or Viagra?

When it comes to selecting the safer ED medication, a clear winner may be hard to decide. As we've seen, Levitra and Viagra share similar functions and effects with very few differences.

They are both popularly accepted as effective medication when used in safe doses.  However, caution must be applied when consuming these drugs with other products. These products include:

  • Viagra and Levitra should not be used in conjunction with nitrates like nitroglycerin tablets or patches. This is because their mixture could cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. If you are on medication to treat hypertension, it is strongly advised that you consult with your healthcare provider before selecting drugs for erectile dysfunction.

  • Men with a history of congestive heart failure, heart attacks, strokes or lapses in the pumping of the heart are strongly advised to observe caution in using erectile dysfunction pills like Cialis, Stendra, Levitra and Viagra.

Levitra and Viagra Dosages

Following an evaluation with your healthcare provider, Levitra or Viagra may be prescribed in the following doses:

Levitra: 5mg, 10mg and 20mg.

Viagra: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg

Levitra, and its active ingredient vardenafil works for up to four or five hours after consumption. It is most effective when taken an hour before sex.

Like Levitra, Viagra can be taken with or without food. But it’s worth noting that according to the FDA labels on both products, the effects of the pills may be slowed if taken with particularly fatty meals. It can last between four and five hours.

Other ED medication like Tadalafil (Cialis) may be effective for up to 36 hours, while the effects of Avanafil (Stendra) can last for approximately five hours.

Which Is the Better ED Medication, Viagra or Levitra?

Since their approval for use by the FDA in 1998 and 2003 respectively, Viagra and Levitra have shown almost identical attributes in treating erectile dysfunction. 

This makes selecting the better option, a truly tough, and sometimes personal call.

With their shared similarities in effectiveness and side-effects, selecting the better medication for treating ED may lie as a question of preference.

If you’re trying to figure out which ED medication may be right be you, your best bet, as always, is to consult with a certified healthcare professional. They’ll know best.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.