Difference between Levitra and Viagra

Key difference: Levitra and Viagra work the same way and are used to primarily treat erectile dysfunction; however they differ in dosage, price, how long it takes to start its effects and how long it lasts. They both take effect in about the same time, i.e. 30 minutes. However, Levitra works a little longer than Viagra.

Erectile dysfunction has started taking center stage due to modernization and openness with regards to sex. With sex becoming an important part in today’s society, men facing erectile dysfunction have started to become more open regarding their condition. Erectile dysfunction is when a man fails to achieve an erection during sexual intercourse. It is known to disrupt love life and leave their sexual partners unsatisfied. With the turn of the century, many pills have become available today in order to treat erectile dysfunction, with the most popular being Viagra. Both, Levitra and Viagra are used for the same purpose but have significant differences among them.

In order to understand the properties of both the Levitra and Viagra, let’s first look at how the penis functions during an erection. When a man is sexually aroused, blood fills up in his penis causing the penis to become erect. In a non-erect state, the arteries that supply blood to the corpus cavernosum, a tissue responsible for erection, are constricted, while the veins that drain blood are open. Now, when the man becomes aroused, the arteries that leads blood into the corpus cavernosum open up allowing pressurized blood to enter, while the veins that drain blood constrict. The pressurized blood trapped in the corpus cavernosum causes the penis to stiffen and gives the man an erection. The most common type of erectile dysfunction is when the arteries, which allow the blood into the penis, do not relax and allow blood in to the corpus cavernosum. The ED pills basically help those muscles to relax and allow blood flow.

Levitra, generic name Vardenafil, is a PDE5 inhibitor used for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). The brand name, Levitra, is owned and marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, and Schering-Plough. Levitra works similarly to Viagra and Cialis and is a close competitor. Chemically the only difference between Viagra and Levitra is the position of a nitrogen atom, and that Viagra’s piperazine ring methyl group is changed to an ethyl group. In addition to erectile dysfunction, Levitra has also proved effective in the treatment of premature ejaculation, as it has shown to significantly increase the time from vaginal penetration to ejaculation.

Viagra, generic name Sildenafil citrate, is also a PDE5 inhibitor, similar to Levitra and also works in the same way. It protects cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) from degradation by cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) in the corpus cavernosum. It is popularly known as the little blue pill and also sold under the name of Revatio. Though, primarily used for erectile dysfunction, Viagra is also used to include pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and altitude sickness. Viagra is produced by the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

Though, both work the same way and are used to primarily treat the same thing they differ in dosage, price, how long it takes to start its effects and how long it lasts. While, Viagra was the first drug on the market to effectively treat ED, and hence once has that largest market share, Levitra and Cialis have been giving it competition. This is mainly because Levitra takes about the same time to take effect, i.e. 30 minutes but it tends to last longer. Levitra lasts for approximately 5 hours, opposed to the 4 hours of Viagra.

The side effects of Levitra include headache, flushing, stuffy/runny nose, and/or dizziness, as well as some increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or trouble telling blue and green colors apart. Viagra has shown similar side-effects such as headache, upset stomach or heartburn, flushing, nasal congestion, dyspepsia, nasal congestion and impaired vision, including photophobia and blurred vision.

Due to the popularity of these pills, they have started being used in recreational uses. Rumors surrounding the ED pills suggesting that they can help increase libido or sexual performance; however none of this has been proven by research. In contrary, research suggests that a 20 gm dosage shows no effect on a person without ED. Prior to using such pills; one should visit and consult with the doctor regarding the severity of their condition, the dosage required and which brand is best for them.

 

Levitra

Viagra

Generic name

Vardenafil

Sildenafil citrate

Other names

Staxyn, Vivanza

Viagra or Revatio

Release Year

2003

1998

Pharmacies producing the medicine

Bayer Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, and Schering-Plough

Pfizer

Chemical Formula

C23H32N6O4S

C22H30N6O4S

Medical uses

Levitra is mainly for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). In addition to erectile dysfunction, Levitra has also proved effective in the treatment of premature ejaculation.

The primary usage of sildenafil is to treat erectile dysfunction in all settings. Other uses include pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and altitude sickness.

Side-effects

The frequent vardenafil-specific side-effect is nausea; the infrequent side-effects are abdominal pain, back pain, photosensitivity, abnormal vision, eye pain, facial edema, hypotension, palpitation, tachycardia, arthralgia, myalgia, rash, itch, and priapism.

Headache, upset stomach or heartburn, flushing, nasal congestion, dyspepsia, nasal congestion and impaired vision, including photophobia and blurred vision.

How it works

Vardenafil prevents an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) from destroying cGMP so that cGMP persists longer. The longer cGMP persists, the more prolonged the engorgement of the penis. The cGMP is primarily responsible for increasing and decreasing the size of the blood vessels carrying blood to and from the penis, respectively.

Sildenafil protects cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) from degradation by cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) in the corpus cavernosum. Nitric oxide (NO) in the corpus cavernosum of the penis binds to guanylate cyclase receptors, which results in increased levels of cGMP, leading to smooth muscle relaxation (vasodilation) of the intimal cushions of the helicine arteries. This allows increased inflow of blood into the spongy tissue of the penis, causing an erection.

Intake

Oral

Oral

Time to start effect

Levitra takes around 30 minutes to start showing effects.

Viagra takes around 30 minutes to start showing effects.

Half-life

4–5 hours

4-5 hours

Doses

2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg

20 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg.

Image Courtesy: viagraaustralia.ws, caasimada.com

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