"What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction is different from other conditions that interf"...
The following serious adverse reactions with the use of LEVITRA (vardenafil) are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:
- Cardiovascular Effects [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Priapism [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Effects on Eye [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Sudden Hearing Loss [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- QT Prolongation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Clinical Studies Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
LEVITRA was administered to over 4430 men (mean age 56, range 18-89 years; 81% White, 6% Black, 2% Asian, 2% Hispanic and 9% Other) during controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials worldwide. Over 2200 patients were treated for 6 months or longer and 880 patients were treated for at least 1 year.
When LEVITRA was taken as recommended in placebo-controlled clinical trials, the following adverse reactions were reported (see Table 1).
Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported By ≥ 2% of Patients
Treated with LEVITRA and More Frequent on Drug than Placebo in Fixed and Flexiblea
Dose Randomized, Controlled Trials of 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg Vardenafil
|Adverse Reaction||Percentage of Patients Reporting Reactions|
N = 1199
N = 2203
|Increased Creatine Kinase||1%||2%|
|a Flexible dose studies started
all patients at LEVITRA 10 mg and allowed decrease in dose to 5 mg or
increase in dose to 20 mg based on side effects and efficacy.
b All the events listed in the above table were deemed to be adverse drug reactions with the exception of accidental injury. Back pain was reported in 2.0% of patients treated with LEVITRA and 1.7% of patients on placebo.
Placebo-controlled trials suggested a dose effect in the incidence of some adverse reactions (headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nausea, and rhinitis) over the 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg doses of LEVITRA.
All Vardenafil Studies
LEVITRA film-coated tablets and vardenafil orally disintegrating tablets have been administered to over 17,000 men (mean age 54.5, range 18–89 years; 70% White, 5% Black, 13% Asian, 4% Hispanic and 8% Other) during controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials worldwide. The number of patients treated for 6 months or longer was 3357, and 1350 patients were treated for at least 1 year.
In the placebo-controlled clinical trials for LEVITRA film-coated tablets and vardenafil orally disintegrating tablets, the discontinuation rate due to adverse events was 1.9% for vardenafil compared to 0.8% for placebo.
The following section identifies additional, less frequent adverse reactions ( < 2%) reported during the clinical development of LEVITRA film-coated tablets and vardenafil orally disintegrating tablets. Excluded from this list are those adverse reactions that are infrequent and minor, those events that may be commonly observed in the absence of drug therapy, and those events that are not reasonably associated with the drug:
Musculoskeletal: increase in creatine phosphokinase (CPK), increased muscle tone and cramping, myalgia
Urogenital: increase in erection, priapism
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of LEVITRA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Ophthalmologic: Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a cause of decreased vision including permanent loss of vision, has been reported rarely postmarketing in temporal association with the use of PDE5 inhibitors, including vardenafil. Most, but not all, of these patients had underlying anatomic or vascular risk factors for development of NAION, including but not necessarily limited to: low cup to disc ratio (“crowded disc”), age over 50, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia and smoking. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of PDE5 inhibitors, to the patient's underlying vascular risk factors or anatomical defects, to a combination of these factors, or to other factors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and PATIENT INFORMATION].
Visual disturbances including vision loss (temporary or permanent), such as visual field defect, retinal vein occlusion, and reduced visual acuity, have also been reported rarely in postmarketing experience. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of vardenafil.
Otologic: Cases of sudden decrease or loss of hearing have been reported postmarketing in temporal association with the use of PDE5 inhibitors, including vardenafil. In some cases, medical conditions and other factors were reported that may have also played a role in the otologic adverse events. In many cases, medical follow-up information was limited. It is not possible to determine whether these reported events are related directly to the use of vardenafil, to the patient's underlying risk factors for hearing loss, a combination of these factors, or to other factors [see PATIENT INFORMATION].
Read the Levitra (vardenafil hcl) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
Potential for Pharmacodynamic Interactions with LEVITRA
Nitrates: Concomitant use of LEVITRA and nitrates and nitric oxide donors is contraindicated. The blood pressure lowering effects of sublingual nitrates (0.4 mg) taken 1 and 4 hours after vardenafil and increases in heart rate when taken at 1, 4 and 8 hours after vardenafil were potentiated by a 20 mg dose of LEVITRA in healthy middle-aged subjects. These effects were not observed when LEVITRA 20 mg was taken 24 hours before the nitroglycerin (NTG). Potentiation of the hypotensive effects of nitrates for patients with ischemic heart disease has not been evaluated, and concomitant use of LEVITRA and nitrates is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.
Alpha-Blockers: Caution is advised when PDE5 inhibitors are co-administered with alpha-blockers. PDE5 inhibitors, including LEVITRA and alpha-adrenergic blocking agents are both vasodilators with blood-pressure-lowering effects. When vasodilators are used in combination, an additive effect on blood pressure may be anticipated. Clinical pharmacology studies have been conducted with co-administration of vardenafil with terazosin or tamsulosin. [See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.]
Antihypertensives: LEVITRA may add to the blood pressure lowering effects of antihypertensive agents. In a clinical pharmacology study of patients with erectile dysfunction, single doses of vardenafil 20 mg caused a mean maximum decrease in supine blood pressure of 7 mmHg systolic and 8 mmHg diastolic (compared to placebo), accompanied by a mean maximum increase of heart rate of 4 beats per minute. The maximum decrease in blood pressure occurred between 1 and 4 hours after dosing. Following multiple dosing for 31 days, similar blood pressure responses were observed on Day 31 as on Day 1.
Alcohol: LEVITRA (20 mg) did not potentiate the hypotensive effects of alcohol during the 4-hour observation period in healthy volunteers when administered with alcohol (0.5 g/kg body weight, approximately 40 mL of absolute alcohol in a 70 kg person). Alcohol and vardenafil plasma levels were not altered when dosed simultaneously.
Effect of Other Drugs on Vardenafil
In vitro studies
Studies in human liver microsomes showed that vardenafil is metabolized primarily by cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms 3A4/5, and to a lesser degree by CYP2C9. Therefore, inhibitors of these enzymes are expected to reduce vardenafil clearance [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS ].
In vivo studies
Potent CYP3A4 inhibitors
Ketoconazole (200 mg once daily) produced a 10-fold increase in vardenafil AUC and a 4-fold increase in maximum concentration (Cmax) when co-administered with LEVITRA (5 mg) in healthy volunteers. A 5-mg LEVITRA dose should not be exceeded in a 24-hour period when used in combination with 200 mg once daily ketoconazole. Since higher doses of ketoconazole (400 mg daily) may result in higher increases in Cmax and AUC, a single 2.5 mg dose of LEVITRA should not be exceeded in a 24-hour period when used in combination with ketoconazole 400 mg daily. [See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS.]
Indinavir (800 mg t.i.d.) co-administered with LEVITRA 10 mg resulted in a 16-fold increase in vardenafil AUC, a 7-fold increase in vardenafil Cmax and a 2-fold increase in vardenafil half-life. It is recommended not to exceed a single 2.5 mg LEVITRA dose in a 24-hour period when used in combination with indinavir. [See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS.]
Ritonavir (600 mg b.i.d.) co-administered with LEVITRA 5 mg resulted in a 49-fold increase in vardenafil AUC and a 13fold increase in vardenafil Cmax. The interaction is a consequence of blocking hepatic metabolism of vardenafil by ritonavir, a highly potent CYP3A4 inhibitor, which also inhibits CYP2C9. Ritonavir significantly prolonged the half-life of vardenafil to 26 hours. Consequently, it is recommended not to exceed a single 2.5 mg LEVITRA dose in a 72-hour period when used in combination with ritonavir. [See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS.].
Moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors
Erythromycin (500 mg t.i.d.) produced a 4-fold increase in vardenafil AUC and a 3-fold increase in Cmax when coadministered with LEVITRA 5 mg in healthy volunteers. It is recommended not to exceed a single 5 mg dose of LEVITRA in a 24-hour period when used in combination with erythromycin. [See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS.]
Although specific interactions have not been studied, other CYP3A4 inhibitors, including grapefruit juice would likely increase vardenafil exposure.
Other Drug Interactions
No pharmacokinetic interactions were observed between vardenafil and the following drugs: glyburide, warfarin, digoxin, an antacid based on magnesium-aluminum hydroxide, and ranitidine. In the warfarin study, vardenafil had no effect on the prothrombin time or other pharmacodynamic parameters.
Cimetidine (400 mg b.i.d.) had no effect on vardenafil bioavailability (AUC) and maximum concentration (Cmax) of vardenafil when co-administered with 20 mg LEVITRA in healthy volunteers.
Effects of Vardenafil on Other Drugs
In vitro studies
Vardenafil and its metabolites had no effect on CYP1A2, 2A6, and 2E1 (Ki > 100 micromolar). Weak inhibitory effects toward other isoforms (CYP2C8, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 3A4) were found, but Ki values were in excess of plasma concentrations achieved following dosing. The most potent inhibitory activity was observed for vardenafil metabolite M1, which had a Ki of 1.4 micromolar toward CYP3A4, which is about 20 times higher than the M1 Cmax values after an 80 mg vardenafil dose.
In vivo studies
Nifedipine: Vardenafil 20 mg, when co-administered with slow-release nifedipine 30 mg or 60 mg once daily, did not affect the AUC or Cmax of nifedipine, a drug that is metabolized via CYP3A4. Nifedipine did not alter the plasma levels of LEVITRA when taken in combination. In these patients whose hypertension was controlled with nifedipine, LEVITRA 20 mg produced mean additional supine systolic/diastolic blood pressure reductions of 6/5 mmHg compared to placebo.
Ritonavir and Indinavir: Upon concomitant administration of 5 mg of LEVITRA with 600 mg BID ritonavir, the Cmax and AUC of ritonavir were reduced by approximately 20%. Upon administration of 10 mg of LEVITRA with 800 mg TID indinavir, the Cmax and AUC of indinavir were reduced by 40% and 30%, respectively.
Aspirin: LEVITRA (10 mg and 20 mg) did not potentiate the increase in bleeding time caused by aspirin (two 81 mg tablets).
Other interactions: LEVITRA had no effect on the pharmacodynamics of glyburide (glucose and insulin concentrations) and warfarin (prothrombin time or other pharmacodynamic parameters).
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/19/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Levitra Information
Levitra - User Reviews
Levitra User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
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.
Sex & Relationships
Get tips to boost your love life.