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Over the past 20 years, there have been huge advances in the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. While for many it is an occasional embarrassing inconvenience brought on by excessive alcohol or recreational drugs. For others, it is a very upsetting and embarrassing condition that without help, cannot be rectified. There are now a number of options available to those with this problem. Some involve a mechanical solution such as inserts for the penis to help it erect. While others deal with the vascular problem to help with the blood flow. One of the drugs that helps with the latter treatment is Levitra. Levitra or to use its other name Vardenafil, is a PDE5 inhibitor marketed by pharmaceutical companies Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Schering-Plough.

PDE5 inhibitors were originally trialled as treatment for heart conditions in the 1990’s. During these trials, scientists noticed that men were having penile erections as a side effect from taking the medication. This prompted further clinical trials in 1995 and 1997 to assess its effectiveness for erectile dysfunction. The drug was given approval in the United States in 2003, and a orally disintegrating version called Staxyn is also gaining approval. Staxyn, dissolves on the tongue instead of being swallowed, but still needs to be taken at the same time before sexual intercourse. In 2005 the rights to the drug were returned to Bayer who continue to use its current name. GlaxoSmithKline however, also continue to make the drug, but under the name Vivanza. Due to European trade laws, it is possible for both makes to be sold side by side.

The medication works as a PDE5 enzyme inhibitor, this causes blood vessels to widen and consequently temporarily reverse any constricted vessels that may be causing a problem. Levitra has a half life of 4-5 hours which is approximately the same as other on the market with the exception of Cialis. The drug usually need to be taken shortly before any sexual activity, although it will not begin to have an effect until there is sexual stimulation. It is also thought to be effective for premature ejaculation, significantly increasing the amount of time. As with all medications, there are possible side effects from taking this drug. The most common are back pain, photosensitivity, palpitation and rashes or itching. These side effects will usually pass within a few hours and leave no permanent problems. It is not recommended that those suffering from heart problems, liver or kidney problems or those with high blood pressure, use this drug.

Those men taking nitrate medication are also advised not to take this drug as it can cause low blood pressure. It is always important to seek medical advice before taking any medication. You need to be assessed to see if there are any interactions to your existing medications if any, and also to check that you are healthy, check here. There is no doubt though that this medication has significantly helped millions of men all over the world.

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