The Differences Between Levitra, Cialis, and Viagra Appear to Exist Primarily in the Realm of Marketing


Levitra v. The Competition

Essentially, there are three prescription oral medications on the market for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). They are sildenafil (brand name Viagra, manufactured by Pfizer), tadalafil (brand name Cialia, a joint venture of Eli Lilly and ICOS Corporation) and vardenafil (brand name Levitra, a joint venture of Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline). All of them work by increasing the blood flow to the penis which can help ED sufferers achieve an erection following sexual stimulation.

All three have been approved for prescription use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are in a class of medication referred to as type 5 phosphodiesterase (PDE-5) inhibitors.

Similarities

All three of these medications act to relax muscles in the penis and increase blood flow which can lead to more effective erections. None of the drugs increase sexual arousal or produce instant, uncontrolled erections. All of them can be dangerous for men taking certain medications for heart disease or high blood pressure.

All three drugs are effective about 70 percent of the time, and their side effects are similar. All three provide incidences of headache, nasal congestion, and flushing, none of them serious.

Differences

Detailing the differences is slightly more difficult and more in the realm of marketing. Still, each has positioned itself to claim a niche of the market. It is in stressing the differences that each product seeks to capture the interest of ED sufferers.

Viagra is the granddaddy of the three, having been on the market since 1998. Levitra’s makers admit that Viagra is almost synonymous with ED and that it controls the lion’s share of the market. More than 20 million men with ED have been treated with Viagra. Generally it is recommended that the drug be taken at least one hour before sexual activity. It also is slightly more expensive than the other two.

Cialis has acquired the nickname of “Le Weekend” pill in France where it was introduced because it remains effective for up to 36 hours, something neither Viagra nor Levitra can claim. A man who takes Cialis on Friday night can benefit from it effects on Saturday or even Sunday. Neither of the other two are effective for that long.

Levitra is laying claim to being the “spur-of-the-moment” alternative. While its literature also claims the drug can be effective after 60 minutes, many users find it produces the desired effect in as few as 15 minutes.