Levitra vs Viagra: Which One Is Best?

Viagra-vs-LevitraViagra and Levitra are popular ED medications with similar action mechanisms and effects. Both inhibit the PDE5 enzyme while promoting vasodilation and smooth muscle relaxation in the genital area. Since they are so similar in practice, it can be challenging to differentiate them enough to weigh one against the other. There are, however, some differences that distinguish these two drugs.

Background

Viagra

Viagra is the branded product based on sildenafil citrate. Sildenafil wasn’t originally developed to treat erectile dysfunction, but rather hypertension and angina pectoris. Its invigorating effect on erection was only found during clinical trials, which enabled Pfizer – the drug’s manufacturer – to market it as the first oral treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Levitra

Levitra came out after Viagra. It is based on vardenafil, another PDE5 inhibitor. Its molecular composition is slightly different. Levitra is sold by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Schering-Plough and GlaxoSmithKline in several countries around the world. Together with Cialis, the drug has been one of the culprits for Viagra’s progressive loss of market share in later years. There is some evidence that vardenafil may also help with premature ejaculation.

Availability

Viagra is available in oral, sublingual, and spray forms. Levitra is available as an oral pill, however, being also marketed as Staxyn for a tongue-dissolving tablet form. Here, Viagra offers more versatility than Levitra.

Usage

Average onset times are similar for the oral pills of both drugs – around 30-60 minutes. Levitra’s effect lasts just slightly longer – up to 6 hours vs Viagra’s 4 to 5 hours. Although both can be taken 1 hour before intercourse, Levitra’s larger time window offers a little more flexibility and time management options.

Side effects and precautions

Many side effects are similar owing to the shared mechanism of action. Headaches, nasal congestion, visual oddities and back pain are typical. Nausea is more common with Levitra. Side effects are not necessarily common. The likelihood of experiencing them depends on the user’s physiology. To prevent potentially life-threatening adverse reactions, neither drug should be taken while on nitrates. Protease inhibitors can prevent the proper metabolization of sildenafil and vardenafil, thus, care should be taken with these drugs. Levitra should be avoided with medications that affect the QT interval, such as amiodarone.

Which one is best?

Users who prefer to experiment with different administration methods for convenience can opt for Viagra as it offers more options. Those to whom planning and time management are more important, and/or wish to try to accommodate for potential premature ejaculation issues, might prefer Levitra. Otherwise, the only way to find out the best is to try and compare both. The slightly different chemistries of these drugs can entail some mild differences in effectiveness and side effects on the same person.