Valif is a medicine based on Vardenafil, which is approved by the FDA for erectile dysfunction (ED).  ED is characterized by difficulty in initiating or maintaining a penile erection adequate for sexual activity. Vardenafil, with the brand name of Levitra, is manufactured by Bayer.

It falls under the class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, which works by allowing more blood to flow to the penis and making it easier to achieve an erection.

Here, we’ll discuss everything you should know about Valif before you use it.

We cover how it works, how much it costs, and where to buy it.

We even offer tips on how to use the drug safely and when to avoid it altogether.

What is Valif?

Valif is the brand name for an erectile dysfunction medication called vardenafil. Erectile dysfunction is a common pathology associated with men. Men who are having this condition are not able to achieve complete sexual intercourse, which leads to various psychosocial issues like problems in relationships, stress, depression, and anxiety.[1] Some studies have also shown that Valif can help with premature ejaculation.[2]

 The chemical structure is nearly identical to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.

The medicine is taken 60 minutes before the sexual activity and lasts for up to 5-7 hours. However, the medicine must be taken as prescribed by the doctor, and you must provide the information regarding your medical history and information of all the medications that you are taking.

What is the Dose of Valif?

Valif comes in three doses — 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg. Valif hydrochloride orally disintegrating tablets are available in 10 mg orally disintegrating tablets. However, the orally disintegrating tablet should not be used as an alternative to the film-coated tablet. 

The medication must be used “as needed”. That means it is not used for daily use. It should be taken into consideration that vardenafil 20 mg is the maximum recommended dose of the drug. So, do not take more than 1 pill in a day. 

Most doctors will start their patients on the standard 10 mg dose and wait to see how their patients respond before adjusting to the higher or lower dosage form based on the effectiveness of the drug or side effect profile. You should not increase the dose on your own.

How Long Does it Take for Valif to Start Working?

Valif takes about 60 minutes to start working, and the effect lasts up to 5-7 hours. Thus, it takes longer to kick in compared with viagra.

This drug doesn’t induce erection on its own. You’ll still need to be aroused for the drug to work.

How Much Does Valif Cost?

The price of Valif is around $8. It can be found at a much lower price in its generic form.

The country you live in can also affect the cost of Vardenafil. The company prices the drug based on local competition, the average income of the area, and the prevalence of erectile dysfunction.

The History of Valif

Vardenafil was first developed by Bayer. In 2001, the company first announced it had a promising new candidate for treating erectile dysfunction and it was approved by FDA for erectile dysfunction in 2003.

Bayer then joined forces with another pharmaceutical giant — GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to market and distribute the new drug worldwide.

GSK was also involved in the early marketing efforts of Cialis but was eventually bought out by Eli Lilly for the full owner of the drug.

Just two years later, in 2005, Bayer severed its marketing cooperation with GSK and took full control over the drug.

For the next 13 years, Vardenafil was sold under the brand names Levitra (Bayer) and Vivanza (GSK) until the patents protecting the drug from the generic market expired, and today you can find vardenafil in generic form from other manufacturers.

Who Should Take Valif?

Valif is indicated for erectile dysfunction only.[1] Off-label uses include treatment for premature ejaculation, and athletic enhancement (neither are approved uses of the drug).

This medication is prescription-only which means that to get ahold of Valif yourself, you’ll need to visit a doctor for a written prescription.

Furthermore, Valif must be prescribed by your doctor. Before prescribing, the doctor would assess your current and past medical condition and all the medicines you are taking.

The risk of using Valif needs to be weighed with the potential benefits before a prescription is written.

Valif Safety & Side-Effects

While Valif is generally regarded as safe by the FDA and other regulatory agencies, it’s not without any side effects.

The side effects and safety considerations of Valif are the same as any other PDE5 inhibitor medications — including Cialis, Vivanza, and Viagra. Therefore, if you experience side effects on any of these other medications, it’s unlikely Valif will be any different.

This primary cause for concern with Valif is its effects on blood pressure. The drug works by relaxing the arteries that supply blood to the penis. However, it can also affect other arteries as well. When the arteries relax, blood pressure drops.

If you already suffer from low blood pressure or use antihypertensive medications — blood pressure may fall too low. This results in dizzy episodes or fainting.

Valif may cause side effects. You need to see your doctor if these symptoms are severe or persistent.

  • headache
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • flushing (feeling of warmth)
  • nosebleeds
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • numbness, burning or tingling in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • muscle aches
  • color vision changes (blue-green color blindness. It means difficulty in differentiating blue and green colors)
  • sensitivity to light

There are some rare but serious side effects. You need to see your doctor if you experience any of these: 

  • sudden severe loss of vision[3]
  • blurred vision
  • sudden decrease or loss of hearing
  • ringing in ears
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • chest pain
  • worsening shortness of breath
  • Painful or prolonged erections lasting more than 4 hours
  • itching or burning during urination
  • rash

If you develop any other symptom which is not mentioned above, you need to see your doctor.

Drugs That May Interact with Valif

Valif could interact with certain medicines, herbs, or supplements. Sometimes the interactions can lead to serious deteriorating outcomes. Thus, you need to provide information regarding any form of medicine that you are taking to your doctor before the prescription. This could prevent those unwanted outcomes.

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Valif. This list doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Valif.

1. Nitroglycerine & Other Nitrates

Nitroglycerine and nitrate medications are used to dilate the coronary arteries. They’re used to treat angina and coronary artery disease.

The coronary arteries feed blood to the heart. When these arteries become blocked, it can result in a heart attack.

Nitrate medications are exceptionally strong vasodilators. When combined with Valif it can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure leading to side effects.[4]

Anybody using nitrate medications will not be prescribed Valif, Viagra, or Cialis.

2. CYP3A4 Inhibitors

Most drugs are eventually metabolized by the liver into smaller, water-soluble compounds, which can then get filtered out of the body by the kidneys.

The liver contains a series of enzymes known as the cytochrome 450 (CYP450) isoenzymes. These enzymes are responsible for metabolizing drugs, hormones, and metabolic byproducts produced by the body.

Every medication you take is metabolized by a specific CYP450 enzyme group. Valif is broken down by the CYP3A4 enzymes.

If other medications that also require this enzyme class are used at the same time as Valif, it can lead to a backup in the liver — making it much slower at metabolizing each medication.

Therefore, Valif is not recommended for use with other known CYP3A4 medications, which include:

  • HIV Protease inhibitors (indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, or atazanavir)
  • Antifungals (ketoconazole, and itraconazole)
  • Antibiotics (erythromycin)

Grapefruit is also a well-known CYP3A4 inhibitor to avoid while using Valif or other PDE4 medications.

3. CYP3A4 Inducers

The same concept works in the other direction.

Some drugs have a stimulating effect on the CYP3A4 enzymes, which can make the liver break down and metabolize Valif too quickly. This would make the effects of the drug much less potent, and can dramatically shorten the duration of effects.

Some CYP3A4 Inducers Include:

  • Rifampin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenytoin
  • Phenobarbital

4. Anti-Hypertensive Medications

Hypertension means high blood pressure. There are many different forms of anti-hypertensive medicine, and not all have a negative interaction with Valif.

The problem with blood pressure medications and Valif is that both drugs have similar side effects. When taken together, these effects can become stronger resulting in a sudden drop in blood pressure.

When blood pressure falls too low, the heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood into the brain, making us feel dizzy or confused.

The most problematic antihypertensive drugs your doctor will need to review before prescribing Valif include:

  • Alpha-blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • ACE II receptor blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers

Who Should Avoid Using Valif?

Some patients will be denied a prescription for Valif based on their medication program or underlying health conditions:

  1. Patients using nitrate medications (including amyl nitrite “poppers” or nitroglycerine)
  2. Patients with a history of non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION) or a “crowded retina”
  3. patients who have pre-existing cardiovascular disease
  4. Patients who have suffered from myocardial infarction, stroke, or arrhythmia in the last 6-8 months 
  5.  Patients who have blood disorders like sickle cell anemia.
  6. Patients with vascular disorders of the ear and eardrum
  7. Patients with a history of allergy to vardenafil or related medications
  8. Patients taking HIV protease inhibitor medications
  9. Patients using the antifungals ketoconazole or itraconazole

How Does Valif Work?

Once you become sexually aroused, your brain sends a message to the blood vessels in your penis to release a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide diffuses inside your blood vessels and stimulates the formation of another molecule called cGMP ( Cyclic guanosine monophosphate). cGMP relaxes the blood vessels in your penis and allows more blood to flow into its tissues.

Vardenafil inhibits the enzyme PDE5 that breaks down cGMP. Inhibiting this enzyme increases the amount of cGMP available in your blood vessels and allows more blood to flow to your penis. This increase in blood flow to the penis help to maintain the penile erection.

Can Women Use Valif?

Valif is currently not approved for use in women but there are instances of women taking the medicine.

There are reports of women using the medication to increase sexual satisfaction. It’s theorized that Valif and other PDE5 inhibitors can increase blood flow to the corpora cavernosa in the clitoris through a similar response produced in males.[5]

However, this effect has not been officially studied in humans. Due to potential side effects and the unknown impact on women’s health, Valif is not recommended for use in women.

Valif Alternatives

Valif is just one of over a dozen erectile dysfunction medications available on the market. It’s most similar to Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil).

  1. Sildenafil (Viagra)
  2. Vardenafil (Staxyn and Vivanza)
  3. Avanafil (Stendra)
  4. Mirodenafil (Mvix)
  5. Udenafil (Zydena)

Are There Any Natural Alternatives to Valif?

Some herbs have similar effects to Valif that either target PDE5, cGMP, or nitric oxide to improve erection — however, none of these compounds are going to be as potent as the pharmaceutical medications and may not be a reliable alternative for the drug.

  1. Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium spp.)
  2. L-Arginine
  3. Korean Red Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
  4. Yohimbine
  5. Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)
  6. Shilajit (Asphaltum punja- bianum)

Where to Buy Valif in 2020

Valif is only available by prescription from the doctor. After visiting your doctor, you can go to any local pharmacy in person, or order some Valif online at a digital pharmacy.

You must tell the doctor about your medical condition and any medicines, herbs, or supplements that you are taking. The doctor might also assess your general health and may send some investigations if needed.

Then it would be decided by the doctor whether to prescribe the medicine or not. 

References Cited in This Article

  1. Morales, A. M., Mirone, V., Dean, J., & Costa, P. (2009). Vardenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: an overview of the clinical evidence. Clinical interventions in aging, 4, 463.
  2. Aversa, A., Pili, M., Francomano, D., Bruzziches, R., Spera, E., La Pera, G., & Spera, G. (2009). Effects of vardenafil administration on intravaginal ejaculatory latency time in men with lifelong premature ejaculation. International Journal of Impotence Research, 21(4), 221-227.
  3. Roessler, G., Vobig, M., Walter, P., & Mazinani, B. A. (2019). Ocular side effects of levitra®(vardenafil)–results of a double-blind crossover study in healthy male subjects. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 13, 37.
  4. Kloner, R. A. (2005). Pharmacology and drug interaction effects of the phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors: focus on α-blocker interactions. The American journal of cardiology, 96(12), 42-46.
  5. Angulo, J., Cuevas, P., Cuevas, B., Bischoff, E., & Saenz de Tejada, I. (2003). Vardenafil enhances clitoral and vaginal blood flow responses to pelvic nerve stimulation in female dogs. International journal of impotence research, 15(2), 137-141.







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