Vardenafil helps men with erectile dysfunction get and maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Do not take vardenafil if you are taking or have recently taken nitrates or nitroglycerin.

Vardenafil Overview


Vardenafil is a prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in adult men. Vardenafil belongs to a group of drugs called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors, which work by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation.

This medication comes in tablet and orally disintegrating tablet form and that is taken one hour before sexual activity, with or without food.

Common side effects of vardenafil include facial flushing, headache, stuffy nose, and upset stomach. 

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Vardenafil Cautionary Labels


Uses of Vardenafil

Vardenafil is a prescription medicine for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Vardenafil Brand Names

Vardenafil may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Vardenafil Drug Class

Vardenafil is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Vardenafil

The most common side effects with vardenafil are:

  • headache 
  • flushing
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • indigestion
  • upset stomach
  • dizziness 

These side effects usually go away after a few hours. Call your doctor if you get a side effect that bothers you or one that will not go away.

Vardenafil may uncommonly cause:

  • an erection that won’t go away (priapism). If you get an erection that lasts more than 4 hours, get medical help right away. Priapism must be treated as soon as possible or lasting damage can happen to your penis including the inability to have erections.
  • color vision changes, such as seeing a blue tinge to objects or having difficulty telling the difference between the colors blue and green.

In rare instances, men taking PDE5 inhibitors (oral erectile dysfunction medicines, including vardenafil) reported a sudden decrease or loss of vision in one or both eyes. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to these medicines, to other factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or to a combination of these. If you experience sudden decrease or loss of vision, stop taking PDE5 inhibitors, including vardenafil, and call a doctor right away.

Sudden loss or decrease in hearing, sometimes with ringing in the ears and dizziness, has been rarely reported in people taking PDE5 inhibitors, including vardenafil. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the PDE5 inhibitors, to other diseases or medications, to other factors, or to a combination of factors. If you experience these symptoms, stop taking vardenafil and contact a doctor right away.

These are not all the side effects of vardenafil. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Vardenafil Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Vardenafil and other medicines may affect each other. Always check with your doctor before starting or stopping any medicines. Especially tell your doctor if you take any of the following:

  • medicines called nitrates
  • medicines called alpha-blockers. These include Hytrin (terazosin HCl), Flomax (tamsulosin HCl), Cardura (doxazosin mesylate), Minipress (prazosin HCl) or Uroxatral (alfuzosin HCl). Alpha-blockers are sometimes prescribed for prostate problems or high blood pressure. In some patients the use of PDE5 inhibitor drugs, including vardenafil, with alpha-blockers can lower blood pressure significantly leading to fainting. You should contact the prescribing physician if alpha-blockers or other drugs that lower blood pressure are prescribed by another healthcare provider.
  • medicines that treat abnormal heartbeat such as quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, and sotalol
  • medicines that treat HIV such as ritonavir (Norvir), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Fortavase or Invirase), and atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • erythromycin or clarithromycin
  • other medicines or treatments for ED

Vardenafil Precautions

Do not take vardenafil if you:

  • take any medicines called “nitrates”. Nitrates are commonly used to treat angina. Angina is a symptom of heart disease and can cause pain in your chest, jaw, or down your arm.
    Medicines called nitrates include nitroglycerin that is found in tablets, sprays, ointments, pastes, or patches. Nitrates can also be found in other medicines such as isosorbide dinitrate or isosorbide mononitrate. Some recreational drugs called “poppers” also contain nitrates, such as amyl nitrate and butyl nitrate. Do not use vardenafil if you are using these drugs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if any of your medicines are nitrates.
  • you have been told by your healthcare provider to not have sexual activity because of health problems. Sexual activity can put an extra strain on your heart, especially if your heart is already weak from a heart attack or heart disease.
  • are allergic to vardenafil or any of its ingredients. The active ingredient in vardenafil is called vardenafil. 

Vardenafil Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with vardenafil and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Inform MD

Before taking vardenafil, tell your doctor about all your medical problems, including if you:

  • have heart problems such as angina, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, or have had a heart attack. Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to have sexual activity.
  • have low blood pressure or have high blood pressure that is not controlled
  • have had a stroke
  • have had a seizure
  • or any family members have a rare heart condition known as prolongation of the QT interval (long QT syndrome)
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems and require dialysis
  • have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic (runs in families) eye disease
  • have ever had severe vision loss, or if you have an eye condition called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)
  • have stomach ulcers
  • have a bleeding problem
  • have a deformed penis shape or Peyronie’s disease
  • have had an erection that lasted more than 4 hours
  • have blood cell problems such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Vardenafil and other medicines may affect each other. Always check with your doctor before starting or stopping any medicines.

Vardenafil and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category B. Vardenafil is only for use in men. Additionally, there are no studies of vardenafil use in pregnant women. No evidence of potential for harm to unborn babies in animal studies have been observed.

Vardenafil and Lactation

You should know that vardenafil is only for use in men. It is not known if vardenafil is excreted in human breast milk.

Vardenafil Usage

  • Take vardenafil exactly as your doctor prescribes.  
  • Take 1 vardenafil tablet about 1 hour (60 minutes) before sexual activity. Some form of sexual stimulation is needed for an erection to happen with vardenafil. Vardenafil may be taken with or without meals.
  • Do not change your dose of vardenafil without talking to your doctor. Your doctor may lower your dose or raise your dose, depending on how your body reacts to this medication.
  • Take vardenafil no more than once a day. Doses should be taken at least 24 hours apart. 
  • The orally disintegrating tablet is not interchangeable with the regular release tablet.
  • The orally disintegrating tablet should be placed on the tongue where it will disintegrate. It should be taken without liquid.

Vardenafil Dosage

Take vardenafil exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you.

For most patients, the recommended starting dose of vardenafil is 10 mg, taken by mouth approximately 60 minutes before sexual activity. The dose may be increased to a maximum recommended dose of 20 mg or decreased to 5 mg based on efficacy and side effects. The maximum recommended dosing frequency is once per day. 

A starting dose of 5 mg vardenafil should be considered in patients 65 years of age or older.

Vardenafil Overdose

If you take too much vardenafil (more than the prescribed amount) call your doctor or local Poison Control Center right away or seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store vardenafil at room temperature.
  • Keep vardenafil and all medicines out of the reach of children.