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Vardenafil (Levitra)

A pile of round yellow pills

Other names: Levitra

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

What is vardenafil used for in MS?

Vardenafil is used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men, which can be a symptom of MS. 

How do I take vardenafil?

Vardenafil is a tablet taken with a glass of water from between 25 minutes to an hour before sexual activity is planned. Dosage ranges from 5-20mg as necessary and the maximum dose is once a day. The effects last around four hours. 

It will take longer for vardenafil to take effect if it is taken with food.

What side effects could I get?

Common side effects include headaches, flushing, upset stomach, visual disorders, nasal congestion and dizziness. You should not take vardenafil if you are receiving treatment with drugs containing nitrates, such as those used to treat angina. Vardenafil must also be used with caution if you have an existing heart condition, problems with liver or kidney function, or low blood pressure.

How does vardenafil work?

Erectile dysfuntion is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. In multiple sclerosis this is commonly associated with bladder symptoms and both disorders are believed to be as a direct result of damage to the nerves in the spinal cord.

Vardenafil works by delaying the action of enzymes called PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5), which regulate blood flow in the penis. Altering levels of this enzyme means that normal sexual stimulation leads to better erections.

Ask an expert: Sex and MS

Ask an expert: Sex and MS

Research suggests that sexual problems affect more than half of people with MS, but starting a conversation about them with a health professional can often feel daunting. Lesley Catterall and Denise Middleton, two MS specialists with an interest in the sexual problems associated with MS, answered your questions

Last Updated: August 2018
Last reviewed: August 2018
This page will be reviewed within three years

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