Background: Levitra, a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor, is the trade name of vardenafil. Nowadays, it is applied to treatment of erectile dysfunction. PDE5 inhibitors are employed to induce dilatation of the vascular smooth muscle. The effect of Levitra on impotency is well known; however, its effect on the tracheal smooth muscle has rarely been explored. When administered for sexual symptoms via oral intake or inhalation, Levitra might affect the trachea. Methods: This study assessed the effects of Levitra on isolated rat tracheal smooth muscle by examining its effect on resting tension of tracheal smooth muscle, contraction caused by 10-6 M methacholine as a parasympathetic mimetic, and electrically induced tracheal smooth muscle contractions. Results: The results showed that adding methacholine to the incubation medium caused the trachea to contract in a dose-dependent manner. Addition of Levitra at doses of 10-5 M or above elicited a significant relaxation response to 10-6 M methacholine-induced contraction. Levitra could inhibit electrical field stimulation-induced spike contraction. It alone had minimal effect on the basal tension of the trachea as the concentration increased. Conclusion: High concentrations of Levitra could inhibit parasympathetic function of the trachea. Levitra when administered via oral intake might reduce asthma attacks in impotent patients because it might inhibit parasympathetic function and reduce methacholine-induced contraction of the tracheal smooth muscle.
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