Vardenafil and Levitra are often used as interchangeable terms. However, there are a few main differences between the two you should know. In one way or another, Vardenafil and Levitra are the same, as both medications are prescribed to men with erectile dysfunction and have the same composition. But in terms of costs and brand characteristics, things are slightly different.

Is Vardenafil the same as Levitra? Let’s discuss more each medication and identify their differences, as well as their similarities. 

What is Vardenafil?

Vardenafil is a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor, an active substance that is typically used to treat erectile dysfunction. It works by relaxing your arteries and enhancing blood to the penis, in response to sexual stimulation. To explain, when you are sexually aroused, a substance called nitric oxide is released. This causes an enzyme, guanylate cyclase, to produce cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). When combined with nitric oxide, cGMP causes the vessels that supply your penis to dilate, and those that remove blood from your penis to contract. As a result, vardenafil works by destroying the cGMP enzyme, allowing you to have a long-lasting erection.

What is Levitra?

Levitra is the brand name for Vardenafil. The original product is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Bayer. Another brand name that is available for vardenafil is Staxyn ODT. These medications contain active substance vardenafil.  Both are prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Much like vardenafil, Levitra works in the same way – namely, by increasing blood flow to your penis, facilitating an erection.

In October 2018, the drug patent on Levitra expired, allowing other manufacturers to create their drug versions that contain vardenafil. This also made it possible for Levitra to get a generic version, namely, vardenafil. Generic versions contain the same ingredients as their brand counterparts. Besides, they have the same role. However, the biggest difference is the cost of the products, as generic drug versions are generally much cheaper than the original ones. 

Vardenafil uses, drug interactions, and side effects

Is Vardenafil the same as Levitra in terms of uses, drug interactions, and side effects? The answer is yes! Both function based on the active component vardenafil, which is used in treatments for erectile dysfunction. Due to this, you need to disclose to your doctor if you are currently using other drugs. To clarify, certain drugs can increase the concentration of vardenafil in your blood. Also, the active substance can diminish the effectiveness of other drugs you are taking.

Do not combine vardenafil with the following medications:

  • Nitrate drugs for chest pain or heart problems
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Antifungal drugs
  • Medications for HIV and AIDS
  • Drugs for prostate problems
  • Medications for low/high blood pressure 

Also, do not take vardenafil if you have or recently had any serious health condition, such as a heart attack, low blood pressure, or kidney/liver problems.

Besides drug interactions, you should pay attention to the possible side effects of the drug. Although they are very rare and mild, as with all medications, they can occur.

Common side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Facial flushing
  • Nausea
  • Feeling sick

More serious side effects can occur, like blurred vision or changes in hearing. Discontinue the treatment and seek immediate medical advice if you experience any severe side effects. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet of the product to see the full list of drug interactions and side effects.

How to take the pill

The ingestion process is the same for both Levitra and Vardenafil. You should take one pill, by mouth, 60 minutes before engaging in sexual activity. You will most likely achieve an erection from 30 minutes up to 4 hours after taking the pill. It is not a risk to take the drug with food, but keep in mind that a heavy meal can delay the effect of the medication.

Levitra is available in dosages of 20, 10, or 5 mg vardenafil. The starting dose is usually 10 mg; however, this can vary depending on your health condition. Your doctor will prescribe the right dose for you and your current health state.

Is Vardenafil better than Viagra?

You are probably wondering if this erectile dysfunction treatment is better than Viagra (Sildenafil) and which one you should use. The truth is, the choice is all yours, depending on the way you react to the treatment after you use it. Both Vardenafil and Sildenafil, the active substance found in Viagra, are PDE5 inhibitors – ideal to use when you are dealing with erectile dysfunction.

The biggest difference between Viagra (Sildenafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil) are the doses. Sildenafil is available in doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg, the initial recommended one being 50 mg. However, they both last around 4-5 hours in your system. If you’re looking for a treatment that lasts longer in your bloodstream to ease the pressure of taking the pill, then Cialis, another PDE5 inhibitor, is the solution. This drug stays in your body for up to 36 hours. 


Is Vardenafil the same as Levitra? Yes and no. Levitra is the brand name of vardenafil, an active substance that combats impotence. Vardenafil is also the generic version of Levitra. The main differences between the two are the costs, as well as the manufactures and the packaging. To ensure you are buying medication from reliable sources, check if the products are approved by the FDA.