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Vardenafil is a new phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor designed specifically to be an effective and safe oral treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). The present review provides a broad overview, with emphasis placed on results from key studies that will impact patient and physician choice of an appropriate treatment for ED. In addition to being highly selective for phosphodiesterase 5, vardenafil shows strong efficacy in the broad range of ED patients, regardless of age, etiology or severity, or concomitant disorders (eg, diabetes). This, combined with a good cardiovascular safety profile and the added features of minimal interactions with food and alcohol, indicates that vardenafil is very likely to play an important role in the overall management of ED.