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Alprostadil

INFORMATION

Uses

Alprostadil is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (inadequate penile erection during sexual activity) and cynaotic congenital heart disease.

How it works

Alprostadil is similar to a natural substance found in the body called prostaglandin E1 and belongs to a class of drugs known as vasodilators. It widens blood vessels and increases blood flow to the penis making it easier to have an erection.

Common side effects

Penile pain, Frequent and excessive erections of penis, Bruised penis, Decreased blood pressure, Dizziness, Headache, Muscle cramp, Skin scar, Skin swelling, Skin discolouration, Injection site bruise, Testicular pain, Brain haemorrhage, Urethral bleeding, Peyronie disease, Vaginal itching

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Expert advice

  • Alprostadil is either injected into the penis or used as a urethral suppository (pellet to be placed into the urinary opening of the penis) to produce an erection before a sexual intercourse. Consult your doctor regarding administration of alprostadil.
  • Do not use more than one dose of alprostadil in a 24-hour period.
  • If you experience an erection that lasts for > 4 hours, consult your doctor immediately, as it can lead to permanent sexual problems such as impotence. 
  • Alprostadil will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases (e.g. AIDS) or blood-borne diseases (eg, hepatitis B). Take necessary precautions to prevent such infections.
  • Alprostadil will not protect your partner from pregnancy. Use a reliable and appropriate contraceptive.
  • You will need to have regular check-ups with your doctor while you are using alprostadil.
  • Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks as alprostadil may cause dizziness. 
  • Do not drink alcohol as it worsens the side effects of alprostadil.
  • Tell your doctor if your partner is pregnant or breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions

Alprostadil

Q.What is alprostadil used for/ what is alprostadil injection?
Alprostadil is used in adult males to treat erectile dysfunction including weak erections or impotence. It may also be used in diagnosis of erectile dysfunction

Q.Is alprostadil safe/ why does alprostadil cause apnea?
Alprostadil is safe if used at recommended dosage and duration. Apnea is not reported as side effect when used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Always consult your doctor before its use

Q.How effective is alprostadil/ does alprostadil work/ does alprostadil gel work?
Alprostadil is effective if used at recommended dosage and duration as advised by your doctor

Q.How is alprostadil administered?
Alprostadil is either injected into the penis or used as a urethral suppository (pellet to be placed into the urinary opening of the penis). Consult your doctor regarding administration of alprostadi

Q.How is alprostadil stored?
Alprostadil injections (with suspensions) can be stored below or at 25°C for 24 hrs. Urethral stick in unopened pouches is stored in a refrigerator (2-8oC). Prior to use you may remove them from the refrigerator and store them at room temperature (not above 30oC) for a maximum of 14 days.


Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)