Generic Levitra Side Effects: You Might Want to Avoid Grapefruit and Alcohol
As more and more people are affected by stress and constant pressure of a modern lifestyle, erectile dysfunction finds its way into the lives of more and more men, regardless of their age, location and ethnicity. Erectile problems can have a significant impact on the quality of life and they are often a result of an underlying medical condition, so it is important to address them as soon as possible. Modern medical science has been able to come up with a number of ways to remedy erectile problems, but none of them turned out to be more successful and popular than taking special medications. The most well-known ED drug is definitely Viagra, but it is certainly not the only option available on the market. Generic Levitra is a viable Viagra alternative that won’t break the bank. Keep reading to find out more about Levitra and how to use it safely.
What You Need to Know about Levitra Generic Erectile Dysfunction Drug
Similarly to Viagra, Levitra is a powerful PDE5 inhibitor. It works by relaxing the smooth penile tissue and muscles while simultaneously directing the blood flow to the penis. As a result, the blood can flow freely into the relaxed penile tissues. In addition, Levitra temporarily hinders the production of PDE5 enzyme, which is responsible for degrading the chemicals which enable an erection in the first place. That way, even men with erectile problems can develop and maintain an erection. The main active component in Levitra is vardenafil.
Levitra is a generally safe medication which has performed quite well during clinical trials and has been officially approved for ED treatment by respective authorities both in the USA and in Europe.
However, it might be potentially dangerous for you if you suffer from one or more of the following medical conditions:
- Cardiovascular problems, particularly arrhythmia
- A history of strokes, congestive heart failures or heart attacks, particularly in the last 6 months
- Blood pressure disorders
- Liver/kidney problems
- Stomach ulcers
- Vision problems and/or a history of vision loss
- Retinitis pigmentosa (a rare inherited eye condition)
- Hearing problems
- Peyronie’s disease or a similar physical deformity of the penis
Even though it is possible to obtain Levitra online without consulting a doctor first, it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the possible implications of Levitra for your health before you start using the medication. This is particularly important if you have one or more of the abovementioned conditions.
Levitra is associated with a rare side effect – complete or partial vision loss. It is still not clear whether Levitra is the exact cause of such impairment because in most cases the patients had retinitis pigmentosa or cardiovascular diseases, which may have been the catalysts of vision loss. Nevertheless, it is still advisable that you pay attention to any vision changes while using Levitra, even the slightest ones. The sudden decrease or even loss of vision happens due to the fact that Levitra causes the blood flow to become weaker in the upper part of the body, temporarily leaving the optical nerves with an insufficient supply of oxygen and necessary chemicals.
You should take Levitra according to the instructions in your prescription. Do not change the dosage without consulting your healthcare provider first. Levitra can be taken during, before, or after a meal. Allow at least 30 minutes to pass for the full effect of Levitra to kick in. Levitra is normally taken as needed, prior to sexual intercourse. Do not take Levitra on a daily basis unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider. Do not take Levitra more than once during one day, even if the first dose was ineffective.
You should not expect Levitra to be effective if you are not exposed to sexual stimulation after taking the pill. Levitra simply creates the right conditions for you to develop an erection, but it will not work if you read a magazine or watch the news while waiting for it to start working. Thus, it is a good idea to engage in foreplay right after popping a Levitra pill, which will serve the double purpose of getting you erect and improving your relationship with your sexual partner.
Levitra should be stored in a dry place away from sources of heat and light. Do not store Levitra in a bathroom cabinet. Make sure that it is out of reach for children and pets, who might consume it by accident. Do not share Levitra with other people, even if their symptoms are similar to yours. If you need to dispose of Levitra, ask your healthcare provider or local pharmacist for instructions on how to do that properly.
Since Levitra is not to be taken on a schedule, you are unlikely to miss a dose. If you happen to overdose on this medication, you should seek professional medical attention immediately because an increased dosage of vardenafil may result in a significantly higher risk of developing Levitra side effects. You can find out more about Levitra adverse reactions in the next section of this article.
Safety First: Levitra Side Effects and Interactions
During clinical trials, only a very small percentage of Levitra users experienced serious side effects of the medication.
The gravest adverse reactions to Levitra include:
- Priapism (painful, prolonged erection that lasts more than 4 hours)
- Dangerously low blood pressure
- Blurred/decreased vision
- Arm, back or jaw pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Dizziness and/or fainting
- Feeling extremely tired
You are quite unlikely to experience these side effects, but if you do, seek professional medical help immediately because leaving these symptoms unattended may lead to serious damage to your health.
As you start taking Levitra, your body may need to adjust itself to the impact of the medication.
Thus, some patients may develop the following adverse reactions to Levitra:
- Facial flushing
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Upset stomach
These side effects may occur while your body gets accustomed to the new medicine. If they persist for more than several days or are particularly bothersome, you may contact your healthcare provider about them. He or she might be able to help you deal with these Levitra side effects. Otherwise, you may need to stop using Levitra.
To reduce the risk of developing an adverse reaction, you should avoid combining Levitra with the following medicines:
- If you take a nitrate-containing drug, you probably won’t be able to use Levitra. Studies have shown that combining these two medications frequently leads to significant drops in blood pressure, which may even be lethal. However, it is completely safe to use Levitra 24 hours later after taking a nitrate-containing medicine.
- Alpha-Blockers. Medications which belong to the alpha-blockers class are vasodilators, and so is vardenafil. This means that combining them is contraindicated since it is bound to cause a drop in blood pressure (similarly to the Levitra + nitrate drugs interaction).
- Any antihypertensive medication (due to the reasons mentioned above).
It is not a good idea to drink alcohol for a few hours before and after taking Levitra because alcohol is known to increase the risk of experiencing serious Levitra side effects. In addition, it may interfere with the onset of Levitra effect.
Levitra and Grapefruit: Why Is This Combination Potentially Dangerous
Similarly to all other ED drugs, Levitra should not be combined with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and any other foods or beverages which may contain grapefruit. What’s more, this rule is true not only for ED remedies, but also for many other classes of medications, including HIV medicines, antidepressants, and blood pressure regulating drugs. Why is grapefruit so incompatible with a lot of pharmaceuticals?
The answer is simple: grapefruit contains certain chemical substances which are known to interact with enzymes responsible for the metabolic processes in the body. As a result, Levitra metabolism may not occur as expected. Grapefruit may have an impact on the time Levitra stays in the body. SInce the medication gets out of the system slower than expected, its concentration in the blood gradually builds up even with a relatively low Levitra dosage. If this goes on long enough, the concentration might become high enough to cause serious adverse reactions.
Combining Levitra and grapefruit is known to significantly increase the chances of experiencing the following side effects:
- Feeling nauseated
- Facial flushing
In addition, drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while using Levitra leads to significant increase in Levitra blood pressure lowering potential. Thus, such interaction may cause dangerous blood pressure drops which could lead to a stroke, heart attack, brain damage, and even death.
It is important to limit your grapefruit intake while you are using Levitra. It is known that a glass of grapefruit juice is only fully cleared from the body in about 72 hours after consuming it. Consequently, you cannot use Levitra within three days after eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice. If you are used to eating grapefruit on a regular basis, you might need to replace it with other citrus fruits, such as limes, lemons, oranges, tangelos, etc. All citrus fruits except for grapefruit are completely compatible with Levitra, so you can combine them safely. If you think that you cannot exclude grapefruit from your diet, you will have to discuss possible solutions to this problem with your healthcare provider.