Vardenafil was co-marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals,GSK, and SP under the trade name Levitra. As of 2005, the co-promotion rights of GSK on Levitra have been returned to Bayer in many markets outside the U.S. In Italy, Bayer sells vardenafil as Levitra and GSK sells it as Vivanza, thus, because of European Union trade rules, parallel imports might result in Vivanza sold next to Levitra in the E.U.
Vardenafil's indications and contra-indications are the same as with other PDE5 inhibitor; it is closely related in function to sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis). Structurally, the difference between a vardenafil molecule and the others is a methyl group and a nitrogen atom's position. Vardenafil's relatively short effective time is comparable to sildenafil's.
The common, adverse drug reactions (side effects) are the same as with other PDE5 inhibitors. The frequent vardenafil-specific side effect is nausea; the infrequent side effects are: abdominal pain, back pain, photosensitivity, abnormal vision, eye pain, facial oedema, hypertension, palpitation, tachycardia, arthralgia, myalgia, rash, itch, and priapism. (Rossi, 2004)
One possibly serious, but rare, side effect with vardenafil is heart attack. Also in rare cases, vardenafil use may damage penile tissue, resulting in permanent impotence. Health Canada (2006)
Vardenafil should not be used by men taking nitrate medications, because combining them with vardenafil might provoke potentially life-threatening hypotension (low blood pressure).