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.

As with anything, both compounds carry some risks but are generally safe. The biggest problems come with misuse. However, combining them opens the door to possible complications. 

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

Last updated 5 months ago by Wade Paul

Is Taking Vardenafil & Kratom A Risky Choice?

Does Kratom Interact With Vardenafil (Levitra)?

Yes, kratom interacts with PDE5 inhibitors like vardenafil, though this doesn’t necessarily cause severe adverse effects. In order to determine how detrimental it will be, you need to talk to your doctor.

Vardenafil used with CYP3A4 inhibitors — like kratom — can significantly increase plasma levels, which leads to a higher incidence of adverse effects [1].

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; these are 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 [2]. Fatty foods affect the pharmacokinetic functioning of vardenafil but not that of tadalafil [3].

Vardenafil Specs

Drug Name Vardenafil
Trade Name Levitra, Staxyn, Vivanza
Classification PED5 Inhibitor
CYP MetabolismMainly metabolized by CYP3A4
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 [4].

Research also suggests that vardenafil may effectively treat premature ejaculation [5].

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. 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:

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

Contraindications to taking vardenafil include:

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

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 and other countries in that area. Though they have different names for it, the people there have been chewing its leaves for a long time, taking advantage of its many therapeutic properties. 

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

The rest of the world is just starting to utilize it, but many governments are skeptical. Its opioid-like effects scare some people off, and some states have banned it. The truth is, kratom is much safer than prescription opioids when it’s used correctly. 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. Similar to other opiates, kratom is often used to manage pain, anxiety, insomnia, and mood disorders. 

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

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

When considering how much to take, there’s always a couple of things you should keep 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?

Like we mentioned, there are some side effects associated with kratom. These tend to be minor and are usually associated with more significant amounts. If you use kratom long-term and in higher doses, you might face more severe side effects. 

These are the most common side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Itchiness
  • Loss of muscle coordination

More serious side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Low libido
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Also, because it interacts with the opioid receptors (which is why it’s so effective at relieving pain), kratom can be addictive. This isn’t the same as opioid addiction, though, and kratom rarely causes an overdose by itself.  

What Are the Different Types of Kratom?

If you want to get the most out of your kratom, then you should learn about the main kratom strains.

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

A) 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. 

B) 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 pain-killers prescriptions with a safer herbal option. Just be careful — these also make you tired. Check each individual strain and find one that is more energizing if you need to stay awake.

C) Green Vein Kratom

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

D) 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 by themselves — 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 make sure you’re clear to use both. That simple step can save a lot of headaches (or worse).

References

  1. Hanapi, N. A., Ismail, S., & Mansor, S. M. (2013). Inhibitory effect of mitragynine on human cytochrome P450 enzyme activities. Pharmacognosy research, 5(4), 241.
  2. Doggrell, S. A. (2005). Comparison of clinical trials with sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil in erectile dysfunction. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 6(1), 75-84.
  3. Park, H. J., Moon, K. H., Lee, S. W., Lee, W. K., Kam, S. C., Lee, J. H., & Park, N. C. (2014). Mirodenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a systematic review of the literature. The World Journal of men’s health, 32(1), 18-27.
  4. Nagao, K., Ishii, N., Kamidono, S., Osada, T., & Vardenafil (Levitra) Clinical Trial Group. (2004). Safety and efficacy of vardenafil in patients with erectile dysfunction: result of a bridging study in Japan. International journal of urology, 11(7), 515-524.
  5. Aversa, A., Pili, M., Francomano, D., Bruzziches, R., Spera, E., La Pera, G., & Spera, G. (2009). Effects of vardenafil administration on intravaginal ejaculatory latency time in men with lifelong premature ejaculation. International Journal of Impotence Research, 21(4), 221-227.