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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)?
Do not take vardenafil if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems. This includes nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur, Nitro-Bid, and others), isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil, Sorbitrate), and isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO, Monoket). Nitrates are also found in some recreational drugs such as amyl nitrate or nitrite ("poppers"). Taking vardenafil with a nitrate medicine can cause a sudden and serious decrease in blood pressure.
To make sure you can safely take vardenafil, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Vardenafil can decrease blood flow to the optic nerve of the eye, causing sudden vision loss. This has occurred in a small number of people taking vardenafil, most of whom also had heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or certain pre-existing eye problems, and in those who smoke or are over 50 years old. It is not clear whether vardenafil is the actual cause of vision loss. Stop using vardenafil and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss.
FDA pregnancy category B: Although vardenafil is not for use in women, this medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.
Although vardenafil is not for use in women, it is not known if vardenafil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Staxyn may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of vardenafil if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
How should I take vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Vardenafil can be taken with or without food.
Vardenafil is usually taken only when needed, about 60 minutes before sexual activity. The medication can help achieve an erection when sexual stimulation occurs. An erection will not occur just by taking a pill. Follow your doctor's instructions.
To take the orally disintegrating tablet (Staxyn):
Do not take vardenafil more than once a day. Allow 24 hours to pass between doses.
Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if your erection is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours. A prolonged erection (priapism) can damage the penis.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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