Erectile dysfunction is a very unpleasant condition that is, fortunately, very easy to get rid of in 99% of the cases. All it takes is one little pill taken right before sex (Viagra, Levitra or Cialis for use as needed) or daily (Cialis for everyday use). What is not that easy, however, is finding the medication that would be right for you. There are at least 4 or 5 famous brand-name options and dozens, or even hundreds of generic ones. So, how do you choose the best one? By comparing their capabilities and characteristics, of course.
Being one of the most effective and least dangerous meds, Levitra is currently the third most popular ED medication worldwide. It helps in around 80% of the cases, it takes it only 30-60 minutes to start working, it has fewer side effects as compared to Viagra or Cialis… But hey, how long does Levitra last? Can it compare to its competitors when it comes to the duration of action? Does it last long enough to ensure a perfect sexual experience each time you take it? These are the questions that we will try to answer in today’s article. If you’re interested in the answers, keep reading!
What is Levitra and how does it work?
Before we get to the duration of Levitra’s effect, let’s take the time to see what exactly it is and how it works. Even though it has been discovered and introduced to the market over a decade ago, there are still quite some people who have barely any idea on what Levitra really is. How does it help you get rid of erection problems? What is the magic behind its effect due to? Read on and let’s try to get these questions answered as well.
Brought out to the public in 2003, Levitra is very similar to one of its main competitors – Viagra. It works exactly the same way, has the same duration of action and time to onset of action, even most of its side effects are very similar to those of Viagra, though somewhat milder. The only real difference between Levitra and Viagra is that the former appears to be less likely to be affected by alcohol and food. For instance, taking Viagra with food extends the time to the onset of its action, which means that this medication won’t work as fast as you expect it to be if you take it during or after a meal. Levitra, in its turn, can only be affected by exceptionally fatty foods, so… Feel free to take it over dinner, lunch, breakfast or whatever meal you like – just make sure it’s not too rich in fats.
Now a quick look at the mechanism of Levitra’s action. Belonging to a type of medications called PDE5 inhibitors, its main ingredient, vardenafil, doesn’t just give men erections but rather restores healthy sexual function in them. When you’re healthy, here’s how you get an erection: responding to sexual stimulation, the nerve endings in your body release increased amounts of nitric oxide, which reacts with a special enzyme called cGMP, relaxes smooth muscles lining your blood vessels and allows blood to enter the body of your penis, making it swell and get harder. When you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction, another enzyme called PDE5 blocks cGMP and your body fails to interpret nerve signals right. Hence, sexual excitement doesn’t lead to an erection. Vardenafil lessens the negative effect of PDE5, restores the healthy balance of chemicals in your system and… Bingo! Your penis functions exactly the way you expect it to – like back in those days when you were young!
How long does Levitra last?
Unfortunately, there are currently no medications that can make ED go away for good. All PDE5 inhibitors including Levitra reduce the amount of PDE5 in your system only for a limited period of time called their ‘half-life’. After that they are digested and taken out of your system and PDE5 returns to its original levels.
The duration of action of Levitra varies from patient to patient depending on every single person’s physiological peculiarities. According to the official information released by the FDA and the manufacturers of Levitra (GlaxoSmithKlein and Bayer AG), you should be perfectly ready for sex for up to 4-5 hours after taking the pill. In fact, judging from our own experience as well as from what other people say about Levitra, 4-5 hours is the absolute shortest you can expect from this medication. Most men say Levitra keeps them going all night long and well into the next day, which makes it 10-12 hours. Of course, that depends on a variety of different factors, such as how bad your ED is, whether you are taking any other meds or not, whether you are suffering from any other health disorders that might make your ED worse and so and so on. Anyway, you can use that information about 4-5 hours as a starting point and see further how Levitra works for you.
How long will my erection last on Levitra?
Okay, you have probably heard the rumors about Levitra giving people erections that last for hours and turning them into totally restless sex machines. Unfortunately (or, fortunately for most), this is not true. While Levitra does extend the duration of your sexual intercourse significantly (many doctors even prescribe it off-label as treatment for premature ejaculation), it’s not supposed to keep you hard for hours.
In fact, if you get an erection that lasts for more than 4 hours after taking Levitra, you have to seek emergency medical help immediately as this might be a symptom of a very dangerous condition called priapism. Such outstandingly long-lasting erections mean that blood stays for too long inside the cavernous structures in your penis, which leads to tissue necrosis, or death of tissues. As the result, you might lose the ability to achieve erection permanently and might even have to have parts of your penis removed. Thus, don’t get too excited over exceptionally lasting hard-ons – they might actually be dangerous.
All in all, Levitra gives you natural, healthy erections that last for just as long as it is required for you to complete a sexual intercourse. Don’t expect anything out-of-this-world – and if you actually notice an abnormally lasting erection (more than 4 hours) after popping a pill, call 911.
Are there any other ED meds that last longer than Levitra?
Okay, 4-5 hours sure sounds like a lot of lovemaking time to many – but what can you do if it’s just not enough for you? Of course, there are different cases when you might need more. Like for instance, when your partner needs more foreplay or doesn’t like to limit themselves to one intercourse a night. Besides, just imagine a situation like this: you take the pill, thinking that you’re just minutes away from bedtime with your partner but… It doesn’t go the way that you expected and you end up at the destination point when the effect of the pill starts wearing off already… Not cool, for sure.
If you think that the above can happen to you, there are a few other alternatives that you should consider. No, Viagra is not one of them – just like we have already said above, it lasts for exactly as long as Levitra – at least, 4-5 hours and 10-12 hours for the luckiest ones.
What you should consider in your circumstances is Cialis. It’s not by chance that people call this medication ‘the weekend pill’. Taken on Friday night, it can keep you perfectly ready for whatever opportunities come your way all the way into Sunday morning, afternoon or even night! The least you can expect from 1 Cialis pill is 36 hours of pure virility. Needless to say, most people taking this drug get even more.
Another option is Cialis for daily use, which is actually just a lower-strength form of Cialis. Taken on a daily basis, it keeps the levels of PDE5 low in your system permanently, which allows you to enjoy sex the healthy way whenever you want it. Besides, daily Cialis also cures benign prostatic hyperplasia, so if you have both that and ED, it is exactly the pill you need – ask your doctor about it.
In spite of shorter duration of action, Levitra still remains the preferred option for many men. Why? Well, it’s just that its side effects are usually not as bad as those of Cialis. This is actually one of those cases when less means more.
What can prolong the duration of action of Levitra?
Levitra can interact with quite a few other medications, some of which may increase its half-life significantly. While some patients might think that it’s actually good because it makes Levitra work a little bit longer for them, there are certain risks associated with it too. For instance, people on any of the meds we will mention in the next paragraph might need to take Levitra less often to make sure its concentration doesn’t build up in their system over time and they don’t overdose on it. If you take any of the following meds, don’t forget to mention it to your doctor or pharmacist as you might need to have your Levitra dosage adjusted accordingly.
The first medication to be on the lookout for when considering ED therapy with Levitra is indinavir. It may cause a 2-fold increase in vardenafil half-life, which is why people on indinavir are usually not allowed to take more than one pill of 2.5 mg Levitra a day. It’s almost the same with ritonavir – it increases the half-life of Levitra to 26 hours, so people undergoing treatment with it are only allowed to take one 2.5 mg pill of Levitra in 72 hours.
Another drug that may interact with Levitra is erythromycin. While it’s still not clear whether it can prolong the half-life of vardenafil or not, it’s obvious that it increases the concentration of this medication in the patient’s system. That’s why your vardenafil doses should be lowered to no more than 5 mg in 24 hours when you’re taking erythromycin.
Is there anything that can shorten the duration of action of Levitra?
We did quite a thorough research on this topic and didn’t manage to find any information about medications or other substances that would affect the half-life of vardenafil so that it would become shorter. Thus, our answer to this question would be no: looks like there’s nothing that can make the effect of Levitra wear off sooner than you expect it to.
There’s only one faint possibility that certain drugs stimulating the function of your liver may reduce the half-life of vardenafil and, therefore, make it less lasting. That’s just a logical conclusion that we made though – since vardenafil is mostly metabolized by the liver, there’s a chance that stimulating its function might result in shorter duration of vardenafil’s effectiveness. Are there any doctors reading this? Let us know if we guessed this one right.
How often can one take Levitra?
Even though the half-life of Levitra only totals 4-5 hours, it doesn’t mean that you can pop a new tablet every time you feel the effect of the previous one wearing off. The point is that 4-5 hours are not a time period long enough for the whole of your vardenafil dose to leave your body. It will be washed out of your system completely in 24 hours – only after that are you allowed to take the next one. And that’s provided you’re not taking any of the meds that we mentioned above (the ones that extend the half-life of vardenafil) and don’t have any health conditions that might produce the same effect (for example, any liver or kidney disorders).
It’s very important to remember this simple 1-pill-in-24-hours rule as most cases of vardenafil overdose are the result of people failing to follow it. We bet you already know that vardenafil overdose can be extremely dangerous for your health or even life, so… Don’t act too greedy – 1 tablet of Levitra a day should be more than enough for you and your partner.
Hope that we managed to answer all of the questions you had regarding the duration of effectiveness of Levitra. Of course, you should remember that the exact numbers vary from individual to individual greatly, so even if the FDA says Levitra is only good for 4-5 hours of action, it doesn’t mean that you will have to pack your whole night into a time period this short. Just keep it in mind the first time you try Levitra – but base your following timing decisions based on your own real-life experience. Good luck!