Vardenafil vs Sildenafil: Let Us Clear Your Doubt!

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Written By Julie Ingram
Vardenafil vs Sildenafil

Vardenafil and Sildenafil are two popular Erectile Dysfunction (ED) medications.

Both medicines are PDE5 inhibitors which help increase blood flow to attain and sustain an erection.

Although they both work similarly to treat ED, some differences can affect a person’s choice. 

In this article on Vardenafil vs Sildenafil, we will compare these two medicines so that you can make an informed decision. 

Basics of Vardenafil and Sildenafil

Vardenafil is an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction.

The FDA gave its approval to Vardenafil in 2003 to treat ED.

Bayer Corporation produced and marketed Vardenafil under the brand name Levitra.

On the other hand, Sildenafil is the first drug to get FDA approval for treating ED.

Initially, Sildenafil was to be used for treating Hypertension and Angina Pectoris. 

However, during trials, Sildenafil was found to have unexpected effects on improving erections.

In 1998, Sildenafil was approved by FDA for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. 

Pfizer marketed it under the brand name Viagra.

Various ED medications containing Sildenafil are now available in the market. They are the economic alternatives of Viagra with the same efficacy. 

Alternatives of Viagra that contain Sildenafil include Cenforce, Kamagra, Suhagra, etc. 

Sildenafil, marketed under Revatio, is also used for treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Confused between Revatio and Viagra due to their shared active ingredient? Clarify your doubts by exploring this articleRevatio vs Viagra: Are They The Same

Yellow and Blue PillsSource: FotografiaBasica _From_Getty_Images_Signature
Yellow and Blue Pills

Quick overview: Vardenafil vs Sildenafil

The working of Vardenafil and Sildenafil is similar but has some notable differences.

Key factorsVardenafilSildenafil 
Brand name LevitraViagra
Drug class Phosphodiesterase Type 5 inhibitorsPhosphodiesterase Type 5 inhibitors
How fast does it work?Becomes effective within 25-60 minutesStarts showing its effects in 30-60 minutes
How long does it last?Remains active for 4-6 hoursEffects last up to 4 hours
How to takeMay be taken with or without food. But it may take longer to be effective if you eat a high-fat mealMay be taken with or without food. But it may take longer to be effective if you eat a high-fat meal
Side effectsHeadache, facial flushing, stuffy noseHeadaches, Back pain, vision changes
Treats Pulmonary Arterial HypertensionNo Yes
Generics availableYesYes
Doses available 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 60mg25mg, 50mg, 100mg

Read the elaborated differences of the brand name medicines for these drugs in this articleLevitra vs Viagra: A Comparative Analysis of Two ED Pills

Working of Vardenafil and Sildenafil

Sildenafil and Vardenafil both belong to the medicinal class known as PDE-5 inhibitors. Therefore, they work exactly the same. 

Nitric Oxide is released when a man is sexually aroused.

When Nitric Oxide gets into the smooth muscles of the penis, it helps to produce cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP).

This cGMP is required to dilate smooth muscle tissue, which boosts blood flow through the vessels. 

This process is essential to induce a long-lasting firm erection.

PDE-5 inhibitors prevent the PDE5 enzymes from breaking the levels of cGMP, which is required to dilate blood vessels. 

As PDE-5 Inhibitors, this is how Vardenafil and Sildenafil work to help get and maintain an erection. 

For a detailed understanding of how these PDE5 inhibitors work, check out this articleScience Behind the Magic Pill: How Does Viagra Work

Which starts working faster: Vardenafil or Sildenafil

Sildenafil and Vardenafil both have almost the same onset of action.

Vardenafil begins to function within 25-60 minutes of consumption. 

On the other hand, Sildenafil starts working within 30 minutes after consumption.

However, the individual’s health and other factors affect how quickly the medication will take to start working.

Suppose you consume a high-fat meal before taking Sildenafil or Vardenafil. In that case, it will slow down the absorption of the medications.

This will potentially delay their onset of action and reduces their effectiveness.

Therefore, it is recommended to take these medications 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity.

Sildenafil vs Vardenafil: Whose effects last longer

In this comparison on Vardenafil vs Sildenafil, it is clear that the effects of both last for almost the same duration. 

Vardenafil and Sildenafil are intended to alleviate the symptoms of ED for a few hours. 

According to the Boston University School of Medicine, the Vardenafil (Levitra) lasts 4-6 hours.

On the other hand, the effects of Sildenafil (Viagra) last up to 4 hours.

On this ground, Vardenafil is nominally superior to Sildenafil. 

However, if you are looking for an ED pill whose effects last for longer, then Tadalafil can be your sure bet.

Tadalafil’s effects linger in the body for 36 hours. This is why it is often known as the “Weekend Pill.”

Curious about the differences between Tadalafil and Vardenafil? Your answers are here! Dive into this article- Tadalafil vs Vardenafil: Choose Your Right ED Pill

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Vardenafil vs Sildenafil dosage

Vardenafil (Levitra) doses are available in three strengths, i.e., 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg.

The standard dose of Vardenafil is 20mg. 

It is taken orally approximately 25-60 minutes before sexual activity. 

The maximum recommended dose of Vardenafil is 20 mg per day.

Sildenafil (Viagra) also comes in three different doses, i.e., 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg.

The standard recommended starting dose of Sildenafil is 50mg. 

Sildenafil is taken orally 30 minutes before sexual activity. 

The maximum recommended dose of Sildenafil is 100 mg per day.

It’s important to note that the optimal dose of either medication may differ for each person. 

The dosage of either medicine may change from time to time. 

It’s always best to consult a doctor to determine the best dose for your needs.

Vardenafil vs Sildenafil side effects

Both medicines share the same side effects profile. 

These side effects of Sildenafil and Vardenafil include face flushing, headache, and indigestion.

However, there is evidence to suggest that Vardenafil has a lower risk of side effects than Sildenafil, especially regarding vision changes.

This is because Vardenafil does not inhibit Phosphodiesterase-6 to alter color perception. 

Don’t take Viagra or generic Sildenafil if you are taking medicines containing Nitrates.
ED pills interact negatively with Nitrates and cause a sharp drop in blood pressure.

Sildenafil and Vardenafil effectiveness

Sildenafil and Vardenafil effectivenessSource: Elnur
Happy Couple

Sildenafil and Vardenafil are equally effective.

As per a study, Vardenafil improved erections in 92% of users.

Another research showed that Sildenafil Citrate enhanced erections in 95% of individuals. 

Thus, Vardenafil and Sildenafil treat Erectile Dysfunction equally well.

Both medicines improve penile blood flow, which helps in inducing erections.

Is Vardenafil stronger than Sildenafil

Vardenafil is more potent and selective than Sildenafil at inhibiting PDE5 enzymes.

When a medication is more potent and selective, it requires a lower dose to be effective. 

That is why the maximum dose of Levitra (Vardenafil) is 20mg. In contrast, the maximum dose of Viagra (Sildenafil) is 100mg. 

It is not accurate to say that Vardenafil is stronger than Sildenafil. 

When one medicine is referred to as “stronger” than another, it means it is more effective or has a greater impact on the condition.

However, as per the study, Vardenafil is similarly effective to Sildenafil in treating ED. 

This means that both medications are able to produce similar results in improving erectile function. 

Potency in this context refers to the concentration of the medication required to produce a therapeutic effect. 
Selectivity refers to the specific target of the medication. In this case, Phosphodiesterase-5 is an enzyme involved in regulating blood flow. 

Which one to buy: Vardenafil or Sildenafil

Vardenafil and Sildenafil are both commonly used medications for treating Erectile Dysfunction.

They are equally effective. Thus, it is inaccurate to say that one is stronger than the other. 

The effectiveness of these medications may vary from individual to individual.

What appears to work for one individual may not work for another.

The best way to decide which to buy is by consulting a doctor. 

The doctor can assist in determining the optimal course of action. They recommend the most beneficial treatment suiting your condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is more expensive, Vardenafil or Sildenafil?

In terms of cost, Vardenafil is typically more expensive than Sildenafil.
However, the cost of both drugs can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors.
Insurance coverage
Brand or generic

Is Levitra 20mg equal to Viagra 100mg?

Levitra’s highest dose is 20 mg, and Viagra’s highest dose is 100 mg. 
Levitra pills are biochemically ten times more potent than Viagra, as per a study. Thus, it requires a lower dose. 
Therefore, Levitra 20mg is not equal to Viagra 100mg. 
Consult your doctor to determine the right dosage for you.

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