Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or keep an erection. ED usually has a physical cause.
LEVITRA helps improve erectile function by increasing blood flow to the penis. LEVITRA has helped many men and it may help you, too.
LEVITRA can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly to an unsafe level if it is taken with certain other medicines. With a sudden drop in blood pressure, you could get dizzy, faint, or have a heart attack or stroke.
If, like millions of other men, you have noticed changes in your erections, you can do something about it. Talking to your doctor is the first step.
Did you know
ED usually has
a physical cause?
Erectle Dysfunction Treatment – LEVITRA
See your doctor.
LEVITRA is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.
Important Safety Information
- LEVITRA can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly to an unsafe level if it is taken with certain other medicines. With a sudden drop in blood pressure, you could get dizzy, faint, or have a heart attack or stroke.
- Do not take LEVITRA if you:
- Take any medications called “nitrates” (often used to control chest pain, also known as angina), or if you use recreational drugs called “poppers” like amyl nitrate and butyl nitrate. Nitrates may cause abnormally low blood pressure and LEVITRA may increase that risk
- Take riociguat (Adempas ® ), a guanylate cyclase stimulator. a medicine that treats pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic-thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
- Have been told by your healthcare provider not to have sexual activity because of health problems. Sexual activity can put an extra strain on your heart, especially if your heart is already weak from a heart attack or heart disease
- Tell all your healthcare providers that you take LEVITRA. If you need emergency medical care for a heart problem, it will be important for your healthcare provider to know when you last took LEVITRA.
- LEVITRA does not protect a man or his partner from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
- Before taking LEVITRA, tell your doctor about all your medical problems, including if you:
- have heart problems such as angina, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, or have had a heart attack—ask your doctor if it is safe for you to have sexual activity
- have low blood pressure or have high blood pressure that is not controlled
- have pulmonary hypertension
- have had a stroke
- have had a seizure
- or any family members have a rare heart condition known as prolongation of the QT interval (long QT syndrome)
- have liver problems
- have kidney problems and require dialysis
- have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic (runs in families) eye disease
- have ever had severe vision loss, or if you have an eye condition called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)
- have stomach ulcers
- have a bleeding problem
- have a deformed penis shape or Peyronie’s disease
- have had an erection that lasted more than 4 hours
- have blood cell problems such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia
- have hearing problems
- Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. LEVITRA and other medicines may affect each other. Especially tell your doctor if you take any of the following:
- Ritonavir (Norvir ® ) or indinavir sulfate (Crixivan ® ), saquinavir (Fortavase ® or Invirase ® ) or atazanavir (Reyataz ® ), or other HIV protease inhibitors
- Ketoconazole or itraconazole (such as Nizoral ® or Sporanox ® )
- Erythromycin or clarithromycin
- Tell your doctor if you take alpha-blockers. These include Hytrin ® (terazosin HCl), Flomax ® (tamsulosin HCl), Cardura ® (doxazosin mesylate), Minipress ® (prazosin HCl), Uroxatral ® (alfuzosin HCl), or Rapaflo ® (silodosin). Alpha-blockers are sometimes prescribed for prostate problems or high blood pressure. In some patients, the use of PDE5 inhibitor drugs, including LEVITRA, with alpha-blockers can lower blood pressure significantly, leading to fainting.
- Contact the prescribing physician if alpha-blockers or other drugs that lower blood pressure are prescribed by another healthcare provider
- Tell your doctor if you take medicines that treat abnormal heartbeat. These include quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, and sotalol. Patients taking these drugs should not use LEVITRA.
- Do not use LEVITRA with other medicines or treatments for ED.
- Take LEVITRA exactly as your doctor prescribes. LEVITRA comes in different doses (2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg). For most men, the recommended starting dose is 10 mg. Do not take more than one tablet of LEVITRA per day. Doses should be taken at least 24 hours apart. Some men can take only a low dose of LEVITRA because of medical conditions or medicines they take. Your doctor will prescribe the dose that is right for you.
- If you are older than 65 or have liver problems, your doctor may start you on a lower dose of LEVITRA
- If you have prostate problems or high blood pressure for which you take medicines called alpha-blockers, your doctor may start you on a lower dose of LEVITRA
- If you are taking certain other medicines, your doctor may prescribe a lower starting dose and limit you to one dose of LEVITRA in a 72-hour (3-day) period.
- The most common side effects with LEVITRA are headache, flushing, stuffy or runny nose, indigestion, upset stomach, dizziness, and back pain.
- LEVITRA may uncommonly cause:
- An erection that lasts more than 4 hours. Get medical help right away to avoid lasting damage to your penis
- Color vision changes. such as seeing a blue tinge to objects or having difficulty telling the difference between the colors blue and green
- In rare instances, men taking PDE5 inhibitors (oral erectile dysfunction medicines, including LEVITRA) reported a sudden decrease or loss of vision in one or both eyes or a sudden decrease or loss in hearing, sometimes with ringing in the ears and dizziness. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the PDE5 inhibitors, to other diseases or medications, to other factors, or to a combination of factors. If you experience sudden decrease or loss of vision or hearing, stop taking LEVITRA and contact a doctor right away.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please read the Patient Information and discuss it with your doctor.
The physician Prescribing Information is also available.
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Cost of Buying Viagra at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart Pharmacy
Viagra can be purchased online as well as from bricks and mortar pharmacies.
What You’ll Pay for Prescription Viagra Pills at Major U.S. Pharmacies
If you live in the United States, you are probably used to high costs for prescription drugs. Even the largest pharmacy chains — like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart — can only reduce costs so much with their enormous bulk purchases.
When it comes to buying 10 Viagra tablets of 100mg each. costs are as follows at each of these chain pharmacies:
- CVS: $446.99 ($44.70 per tablet)
- Walgreens: $420.99 ($42.10 per tablet)
- Walmart: $421.20 ($42.12 per tablet)
There are ways to work around these costs. For example, many pharmacies price 100mg tablets the same as 50mg tablets.
That means if a physician deliberately prescribes 100mg tablets for someone who needs 50mg tablets the patient can cut the 100mg tablets in half and essentially get their Viagra for half price.
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A large number of men with ED prefer to use online facilitators like AccessRX.com to fill their prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs. For only $20 more per order than your local pharmacy, the benefits by ordering online outweigh the costs of going to your local pharmacy. Customers choose Accessrx.com due to cost, convenience, or to maintain privacy. Some men are uncomfortable with the idea of their local pharmacist knowing that they take an ED drug, and so they use an online pharmacy for privacy and have the medications delivered right to their door.
Sales of ED drugs have soared as baby boomers approach retirement.
The Cost of Treating ED
The cost of treating erectile dysfunction is a subject of increasing interest as baby boomers approach retirement age. The incidence of ED increases with age, and with health conditions such as diabetes and coronary artery disease. But with the cost per tablet at around $30, the expense can be difficult to justify for many people. Furthermore, neither Medicare nor many private insurance plans covers the cost of ED drugs.
In 2005, Congress removed coverage for ED drugs from both Medicare and Medicaid, and many self-funded health coverage plans and private insurers followed their lead. A number of health insurance programs contractually excluded treatment for ED shortly after Viagra was introduced to the market back in 1998.
In the clinical journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics . M.C. Hornbrook and J. Holup of The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente, asserted that exclusion of insurance coverage of ED drugs “is arbitrary and discriminatory (particularly against older men) and has no business, medical, or ethical rationale. Coverage of ED prescriptions should be included in basic health benefits by all public and private payers and health-care delivery systems when indicated to maintain, restore, or compensate for loss of function caused by disease, injury, or medical treatment.”
This should not discourage men with ED from discussing their concerns with a physician. Many doctors are willing to work with patients to help get the costs down, with techniques like the process described above of prescribing 100mg tablets that can be cut in half.
Only a Fraction of Men with Erectile Dysfunction Use ED Drugs
Insurance companies excluded Erectile Dysfunction drugs from their contracts for fear that the costs would be prohibitive. However, a study of a managed care claim database of 28 million individuals in 51 health plans in the U.S found 285,436 claims for men with ED whose health plans covered ED treatment.
The estimated cost of ED care — including physician evaluation, diagnostic procedures, and ED drugs — in health plans with 100,000 members or more was only about 71 cents per member.
Insurance plans that cover ED drugs are able to control costs by limiting dispensing of ED drugs. For example, one plan allows coverage of up to 6 tablets per month, with plan members paying out of pocket if they want more. One study estimated median annual Viagra use at only 29 tablets per year, or around 2.5 tablets per month. Whether such studies will eventually result in more plans covering ED drugs remains to be seen.
Inflation rates for drug costs have far exceeded national inflation rates.
Changes in Costs of ED Drugs
Since its introduction to the market in 1998, the price of Viagra has risen by more than 100%. The same has been true of Cialis, which increased in price even more rapidly. While many generic drug makers were looking forward to the expiration of Pfizer Inc.’s patent for Viagra in late March 2012, a court ruling in August 2011 is putting the kibosh on generic versions.
According to a report by Bloomberg News. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in particular was blocked from marketing a generic version of Viagra until 2019.
The court ruling was a surprise, according to Bloomberg’s Asthika Goonewardene, who said, “The patent was a method-of-use patent, and usually these don’t hold up that well in court for small molecular drugs. The court’s decision to uphold this patent means other filers wanting to enter in 2012 are not likely to do so then.”
While some men will take chances with so-called generics from overseas, the FDA has shown that many counterfeit medications entering the U.S. are ineffective or even harmful.
A 2011 court ruling may mean delays for generic ED drugs coming onto the market.
Reactions from Organizations like AARP
The increase in prices for ED drugs only reflects the overall trend toward high rates of inflation for pharmaceuticals. A 2010 report by the AARP says that around 75% of prescriptions in the U.S. are generic, and that in 2009 the costs of most popular name-brand drugs increased by more than 8%, despite the fact that U.S. consumer prices on average that year actually dropped by about 0.5%.
From 2004 to 2010, overall inflation was 13.3%, yet the cost of non-generic drugs increased by 41.5% over that same time period.
These increases hit older Americans particularly hard. Many Medicare recipients are instructed to use name-brand drugs, yet choose generics to avoid reaching the “donut hole” in Medicare drug coverage. Once medication costs surpass $2,830 in a year, the recipient must foot the entire bill for medications until costs reach $4,550.
From 1998 to 2006, Viagra’s wholesale price went up by 36.4%, followed by an additional 78.1% price hike from 2006 to 2010. And with the court ruling against Teva Pharmaceuticals, price relief may be slow in arriving.
For those interested in getting a great price on ED drugs like Viagra, online facilitators like AccessRX.com provide competitive prices along with the discretion and privacy that many consumers want.
AccessRx is a USA corporation founded in 1998. Since, we have become one of the top online providers in FDA-approved, brand-name medications. We specializes in providing our over 500,000 customers with relevant product and condition information created by our professional editorial staff which includes our team of medical writers, medical practitioners and health educators. AccessRx Staff on Facebook
Mary Hiers – AccessRx Medical Writer
Mary Hiers is a full-time writer with a background in engineering and print journalism as well as writing about a wide variety of health care topics. She lives in Tennessee and is the author of two works of fiction. Mary earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee Space Institute. Mary Hiers on Google+
Lisa Furgison – AccessRx Medical Writer
As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+
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