Levitra (vardenafil) is one of several medications available today to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). With ED, a man has trouble getting an erection. He may also have trouble keeping an erection long enough for sexual activity.
Alcohol can sometimes play a part in sexual activity, so it’s important to understand how a drug you take for ED can interact with alcohol. Here’s what you need to know about Levitra, alcohol, ED, and your safety.
Men who took the first ED medications were often told to avoid drinking alcohol while using their drugs. But today, several ED medications can be taken with alcohol. In general, Levitra is safe to use with alcohol.
However, other ED drugs can still cause issues. For example, Cialis and Stendra can cause low blood pressure when used with large amounts of alcohol, so users are encouraged to have only a few drinks when using these medications.
|ED drug||Safe to use with alcohol?|
|Cialis (tadalafil)||only with moderate alcohol use (up to four drinks)|
|Stendra (avanafil)||only with moderate alcohol use (up to three drinks)|
For some people, alcohol can increase the amount of Levitra in the body. This can lead to increased side effects of Levitra. Serious side effects are rare but possible, and some can be sudden and dangerous. These effects include vision loss, heart attack, and sudden death.
Another reason to avoid using alcohol while taking Levitra is that alcohol use itself can be a problem for men with ED.
Whether you’re taking an ED medication or not, chronic alcohol use or misuse may prevent proper erectile function. Heavy alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of ED, so taking Levitra while drinking heavily may be unhelpful at best.
Even light drinking can sometimes cause problems with getting an erection. Avoiding alcohol could be helpful for people having any kind of erectile problems, whether or not they’re taking medication for them.
Although it’s generally safe to take with alcohol, Levitra does not mix well with certain medications and other substances. It’s important that you discuss all of the medications and supplements you’re taking with your doctor before you begin using Levitra.
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can interact with Levitra and may even cause a dangerous increase in the effects of the medications. Blood pressure medications, including alpha blockers such as prazosin (Minipress), should not be taken with Levitra. Nitrates, which are often used to treat angina (chest pain), should also be avoided. You should also stay away from street drugs called “poppers,” which contain nitrates.
Other substances that may interact with Levitra include:
- Herbal products: If you’re taking any supplements or herbs, especially St. John’s wort, tell your doctor before using Levitra.
- Grapefruit juice: Don’t drink grapefruit juice if you take Levitra. It can increase the amount of the drug in your body and cause harmful effects.
- High-fat meals: Taking Levitra with a high-fat meal can make the drug less effective.
- Tobacco: Tell your doctor if you smoke. Smoking may worsen ED, making Levitra less effective.
There’s no research that says it’s unsafe to use Levitra and alcohol together. If you’re still concerned about using them together, try taking Levitra without alcohol the first few times you use it. This will help you figure out if the drug works well on its own. Later, you can try using it along with alcohol. If you notice that Levitra doesn’t seem to be as effective, you’ll know that using it with alcohol may be a problem for you.
It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about your concerns. They can help answer any questions you might have, such as:
- Would a different ED medication work better for me?
- Could alcohol use be causing my ED problems?
- What symptoms should I watch for if I drink alcohol while taking Levitra?
- Are there natural options that might help relieve my ED symptoms?
How does Levitra work?
Levitra increases the blood supply to the penis. This only happens during sexual arousal. That is, you won’t get an instant erection after taking the drug. In fact, you should take the pill about 60 minutes before sexual activity. Levitra doesn’t cure ED and it can’t increase your sex drive. However, for many men, it can help ease ED problems.Healthline Medical TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.