Drug Interactions, Kratom Guides

Is Taking Vardenafil & Kratom A Risky Choice?

PED5 inhibitors like vardenafil (Levitra) are the primary treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction (ED).

Kratom is a medicinal plant that helps with many issues, but ED isn’t one of them.

If you plan to use both drugs, follow this guide to stay safe.

Written by Wade Paul
Last Updated 3 weeks ago

Wade Paul

Founder & Editor-In-Chief

Wade Paul is the founder and editor-in-chief at Kratom.org.

Does Kratom Interact With Vardenafil (Levitra)?

Yes, kratom interacts with PDE5 inhibitors like vardenafil, though this will not necessarily cause severe adverse effects. You need to talk to your doctor to determine the risks of this combination in your case.

Most pharmacy drugs are metabolized in the liver by a group of enzymes known as the cytochrome P450 (CYP450). Vardenafil and other PDE5 inhibitors are metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme [1, 2].

Similarly, kratom also requires the CYP3A4 and the CYP2D6 enzyme for its proper breakdown [3].

If kratom and vardenafil are taken together, they will compete for their metabolism in the liver. This could lead to a drug build-up, which increases the incidence of side effects.

This pharmacological phenomenon is known as metabolic inhibition.

Is it Safe to Take Kratom With Vardenafil?

The metabolic interaction between kratom and vardenafil does pose a moderate risk. Since kratom slows down vardenafil’s metabolism, the side effects might be worse. 

What is Vardenafil (Levitra)?

Vardenafil is a prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). 

Vardenafil is a PDE5 inhibitor; this is a class of compounds that work by blocking the action of the PDE5 enzyme and thus increasing blood flow to the penis and other tissues.

In general, the pharmacological profile of vardenafil is much the same as that of other PDE5 inhibitors like tadalafil (Cialis) and mirodenafil (Mvix). However, there are still differences between all of them. 

For instance, vardenafil is more potent and selective than sildenafil at inhibiting PDE5. The side effects also vary between drugs [4]. Fatty foods affect the pharmacokinetic functioning of vardenafil but not that of tadalafil [5].

Vardenafil Specs

Drug Name Vardenafil
Trade Name Levitra, Staxyn, Vivanza
Classification PDE5 Inhibitor
CYP MetabolismCYP3A4
Interaction With Kratom Metabolic inhibitor
Risk of InteractionModerate

What is Vardenafil Used for?

According to the FDA, vardenafil — like other PDE5 inhibitors in its class — can treat erectile dysfunction.

Studies suggest there are minimal differences between PDE5 inhibitors in terms of efficacy. Vardenafil is usually just as effective and well-tolerated as other PDE5 inhibitors [6].

Research also suggests that vardenafil may effectively treat premature ejaculation [7].

What’s the Dose of Vardenafil?

Vardenafil is available in 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg tablets; it’s usually prescribed in a single 10 mg dose and is taken one hour before sexual activity [8]. The dosage usually does not exceed 20 mg. For adults over 65, one 5 mg dose is the recommended amount.

In any case, you shouldn’t take more than one pill a day. 

Generic & Brand Name Versions

Vardenafil is sold under the following brand names:

  • Levitra
  • Staxyn
  • Vivanza

What Are the Side Effects of Vardenafil?

The FDA has identified that the use of vardenafil may cause the following side effects:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Arthralgia
  • Back pain
  • Elevated risk of severe cardiovascular events
  • Hypotension
  • Itch
  • Myalgia
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations
  • Rash
  • Risk of priapism
  • Sudden loss of hearing
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Tachycardia

Contraindications to taking vardenafil include:

  • Administration with nitrates and nitric oxide donors
  • Hepatic impairment
  • Medications that affect the QT interval
  • Renal impairment

What is Kratom?

If you don’t know what kratom is, you owe it to yourself to find out. Chances are, it could benefit you in some way. 

It doesn’t make you high, and its safety profile is impressive, though we’ll get to its side effects later. 

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) grows in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries in Southeast Asia. Though they have different names for it, the people there have been chewing its leaves for a long time as a means to combat fatigue and pain.

What makes kratom unique? It contains many alkaloids, but two stand out: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These provide it with most of its essential benefits.

The rest of the world is just starting to utilize it, but many governments are skeptical. Kratom’s opioid-like effects scare some people, and some states have banned it. The truth is that, when used correctly, kratom is much safer than prescription opioids. That’s why it’s crucial to know your state’s laws and be involved so kratom can remain legal. 

Suggested Reading: Is Kratom Dangerous?

What is Kratom Used for?

Kratom is not some miracle plant that makes everything better, but it does offer an array of pharmacological effects. 

In lower doses, it acts as a stimulant. It’s used as an alternative to coffee for fueling late-night study sessions or long days at work. 

In higher doses, it acts more like an opiate. Like other opiates, kratom is often used to manage pain, anxiety, insomnia, and mood disorders. 

Here’s a quick look at a few modern reasons for using kratom: 

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

When considering how much kratom to take, you should always keep a few things in mind.

Formulaic amounts are never to be trusted entirely. These don’t consider things like body weight, method of consumption, tolerance, needs, etc.

There are general suggestions, but you should always start with a low dose and work yourself up until you know how it’ll affect you. 

To get you started, here’s the standard kratom dosage guide:

  • Low dose (1 – 5 g)
  • Medium dose (5 – 10 g)
  • High dose (10 – 15 g)

For more detailed information, check out our dose calculator and guide.

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

As we mentioned, there are some side effects associated with kratom. These are minor and usually noticed when taking more significant amounts. However, if you use kratom long-term, and in higher doses, you might experience more severe side effects. 

These are the most common side effects: of kratom

More serious side effects include:

Although kratom use can become addictive, it rarely causes an overdose.  

What Are the Different Types of Kratom?

To get the most out of your kratom, you should learn about the main kratom strains.

If you learn to use the straight strain for the job and the proper dosage: you’ll always be in complete control of your kratom experience.

White Vein Kratom

White-veined kratom strains tend to cause euphoria and increased concentration. These strains might do more harm than good if you deal with anxiety. But if you need energy and that cup of coffee isn’t cutting it, white strains can help. Same if you’re studying and need to focus or feel like your creativity is lacking. 

Red Vein Kratom

As opposed to white, red vein kratom is all about the pharmacological properties of the kratom plant.

It’s very popular with those who want to replace their antidepressant or painkillers prescriptions with a safer herbal option. Just be careful — these also make you tired. Check each strain and find one more energizing if you need to stay awake.

Green Vein Kratom

If white and red are at separate ends of the kratom spectrum, green vein kratom is right in the middle.

These strains excel at producing an equal measure of all the benefits kratom offers. You won’t find extreme results, but sometimes that’s not what you’re after. 

Yellow Vein Kratom

Yellow vein strains are quite similar to green — nothing remarkably, just reliable and lowkey. These appear to be the mildest out of all the strains.

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & Vardenafil (Levitra)?

It should never be considered completely “safe” to combine compounds that already carry a certain level of risk alone — as kratom and vardenafil do.

However, if both these drugs are taken responsibly and no contraindication is present, the risk is low to moderate. Since there are too many factors, it’s best to ask your doctor to ensure you’re clear about using both. That simple step can save a lot of headaches (or worse).

References

Further Reading