Information about Alprostadil
Alprostadil is used in the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus. It may also be used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
How Alprostadil works
Alprostadil is similar to a natural substance in the body called prostaglandin E1. It works by improving blood flow in newborn babies born with heart defects. When it is administered in the penis, it acts locally to relax the blood vessels and increases blood flow in the penis. This results in prolonged persistence of the penile erection that is adequate for sexual activity.
Common side effects of Alprostadil
Apnea (absence of breathing), Fever, Seizure, Flushing (sense of warmth in the face, ears, neck and trunk), Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), Diarrhea, Sepsis
Expert advice for Alprostadil
- Alprostadil helps to keep a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus open in babies born with a heart defect, until the defect can be corrected with surgery.
- It is given into one of the baby's veins using a drip (intravenous infusion).
- It is administered only by well trained healthcare professionals and in facilities with immediate access to paediatric intensive care.