Levitra and Alcohol

by on July 12, 2012

Studies show that combining alcohol with Levitra (vardenafil) generally does not present actual adverse side effects or harm. However, since both alcohol and Levitra have vasodilating effects (causing blood vessels to open wider), it is best to be aware of the possible interactions that may arise if these two substances are mixed.

Potential Side Effects

Theoretically, combining alcohol with Levitra can have additive vasodilating effect which can potentially cause problems such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)

If you decide to drink alcohol while taking Levitra, be sure to watch out for any of these possible side effects.

What Studies Say?

According to its manufacturer, concomitant use of alcohol and Levitra is not expected to cause significant changes in the levels of alcohol and Levitra in the blood. In one of the studies participated by healthy volunteers, Levitra did not potentiate the hypotensive (blood pressure-lowering) effects of alcohol during the 4-hour observation period.

Separate studies reveal that phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which include vardenafil, sildenafil and tadalafil, may have an additive hypotensive effect when combined with alcohol. This is because both alcohol and PDE5 inhibitors can cause mild systemic vasodilation. Of the three commonly prescribed PDE5 inhibitors, tadalafil (Cialis) has shown the most significant drop in blood pressure when taken with alcohol. There were also reports of dizziness and low blood pressure, especially when on standing position, in patients who took tadalafil and alcohol together. Meanwhile, sildenafil (Viagra) and vardenafil (Levitra) has not shown any change in plasma levels when dosed together with alcohol. There were no untoward signs and symptoms noted.

Although studies show that alcohol may be safe for individuals who are taking Levitra, health experts recommend limiting alcohol intake while taking this medication. Since Levitra is considered a PDE5 inhibitor, the risk of additive hypotensive effects should not be disregarded.

Preventing Potential Interactions

To avoid any possible adverse effects, individuals taking Levitra should avoid drinking too much alcohol. If you decide to drink, do not consume large amount of alcohol at one time, especially if you are new to the drug. Drink small amounts to see its effects on you. If you notice any of the potential side effects, stop drinking. Do not drink alcohol and drive.

Although consuming too much alcohol is officially contraindicated with Levitra, feel free to discuss with your healthcare provider about your alcohol consumption. Your healthcare provider, together with you, can come up with a recommendation that will best suit your health situation. In addition, there may be other medical purposes why you may not be able to safely drink alcohol.