Men who utilize medication to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) may have another option to consider before 2010 comes to a close. The FDA has approved an orally disintegrating tablet called Staxyn. The tablet is placed on the tongue and is taken without liquid.
Staxyn (vardenafil hydrochloride) contains the same active ingredient in Levitra (vardenafil), and for all intents and purposes, it is very similar to Levitra. Bayer, which manufactures Levitra, has reached a licensing arrangement with GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, which will exclusively market Staxyn in the U.S.
It appears Staxyn will be available in a 10-mg dosage, while Levitra is available in both 10-mg and 20-mg doses. Due to the fact Staxyn provides higher systemic exposure than 10-mg Levitra (the medication does not pass through the liver as it would if ingested), it is possible the orally disintegrating tablet will also be available in a lower dose. Staxyn is prescribed to be taken about 60 minutes before sex, just like Levitra. So it is unclear whether or not the medication will work more quickly than Levitra.
The ultimate success of Staxyn may depend on how it is priced. Staxyn will certainly have a novelty factor as it will be the first orally disintegrating phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor on the market. However, the Staxyn prescribing information states that it is not to be split in half. Levitra, on the other hand, can be split in half rather easily, and a considerable amount of patients choose to split the 20-mg Levitra pills. Consumers will not want to pay the same price and get only half as many doses.
The prescribing information for Staxyn states that it is not interchangeable with Levitra. This is in part because the pills have different ingredients. Staxyn, for example, will have both phenylalanine and fructose/sorbitol in order to make the pills taste more appealing.
The side effects of Staxyn are headache, flushing, nasal congestion, indigestion, dizziness, and back pain – essentially the same as for Levitra. As with all PDE5 inhibitors, Staxyn should never be taken with nitrates or alpha blockers. There are also other contraindications, as well as drug interactions, for Staxyn. Always speak with your local doctor before beginning any new medication.
The prices for ED medications are expected to drop drastically in 20 months when the patent for Viagra (sildenafil) expires. This will bring a host of generic options for consumers. Other medications such as Avanafil (PDE5 inhibitor) and Zoraxel (unique medication that works with chemicals in the brain) are also expected to compete for a share of the ED market in the future.
UPDATE: Staxyn is now available in the United States as an alternative to Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. You can now purchase Staxyn safely online by clicking here