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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Other commonly used names are PGE 1 and prostaglandin E 1 .
Alprostadil (al-PROS-ta-dil) belongs to a group of medicines called vasodilators that can increase blood flow by expanding blood vessels. Alprostadil is used to produce erections in some men who need treatment for erectile dysfunction (sexual impotence). This medicine causes an erection because it increases the blood flow to the penis.
Alprostadil injection should not be used as a sexual aid by men who do not have erectile dysfunction. If the medicine is not used properly, permanent damage to the penis and loss of the ability to have erections could result.
Alprostadil is used alone or with medical tests to help diagnose erectile dysfunction that may be caused by nerve or blood vessel problems in the penis.
Alprostadil is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For alprostadil, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to alprostadil. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Older adults—This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of alprostadil. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Special patient directions come with the suppositories and some of the injection medicines. Read the directions carefully before using the medicine .
For the injections—There are several alprostadil products that can be injected. Although the injection method is the same, the mixing procedures are different. Be sure you know which of these products you will be using and the proper way to mix the injection .
It is important to follow several steps to prepare your alprostadil injection correctly. Before drawing up the medicine into the syringe:
How to mix Caverject :
How to mix Edex :
How to mix Prostin VR or Prostin VR Pediatric :
How to draw your dose into the syringe (for all injection products) :
How to give the alprostadil injection :
Choose a different place of injection each time you use the medicine to prevent skin problems. This includes switching the place of injection from the right side of the penis for one injection to the left side for the next injection.
After a single-use injection is mixed, the medicine must be used immediately. Throw away any unused mixture in the syringe. It cannot be stored for a later injection.
Do not reuse your needles.
How to throw away the syringes and bottles safely :
Dispose of your materials properly. Caverject comes in a plastic case that can be permanently locked with the red locking device that is included with the packaging. When the case label is removed, you can see a hole in the center of the case. The red locking device can be inserted and, by firmly pressing it down with your thumb, you will permanently lock the case. The locked case is safe to be thrown away.
If you do not have the plastic case or are using Prostin VR or Prostin VR Pediatric injection, unscrew the needle from the barrel of the syringe. Then bend, break, or cut the needle into two pieces with wire cutters. The pieces can be placed in a heavy plastic container, such as a bleach container, and thrown away. Or you may give them to a health care professional to throw away. If you have any questions about disposing of the syringe and needles, ask your health care professional.
For suppositories—Before inserting the suppository, you should urinate . The small amount of urine normally left in your urethra will help dissolve the suppository after it is inserted.
How to insert suppositories :
How to throw away the suppository delivery device safely :
For injections or suppositories—This medicine usually begins to work in about 5 to 10 minutes. You should attempt intercourse within 10 to 30 minutes after using the medicine. An erection may continue after ejaculation.
Dosing—The dose of alprostadil will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of alprostadil. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Do not use alprostadil if you have a penile implant unless advised by doctor .
If using the alprostadil suppository, use a condom when having sexual intercourse with a pregnant female . Although harm to the fetus is unlikely, using a condom will protect the fetus from exposure to this medicine. If a woman can become pregnant, use of contraceptive methods is recommended because the effects of this medicine on early pregnancy are not known.
Use alprostadil exactly as directed by your doctor . Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. If too much is used, the erection lasts too long and does not reverse when it should. This condition is called priapism. If the erection is not reversed, the blood supply to the penis may be cut off and permanent damage may occur.
Contact your doctor immediately if the erection lasts longer than 4 hours or if it becomes painful . This may be a sign of priapism and must be treated right away to prevent permanent damage.
If you notice bleeding at the place where you injected the medicine, put pressure on the spot until the bleeding stops. If it doesn"t stop within 10 minutes, check with your doctor.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if the following side effects occur:
Curving of penis with pain during erection; erection continuing for 4 to 6 hours; erection continuing longer than 6 hours with severe and continuing pain of the penis; swelling in or pain of the testes
Symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed into the body
Dizziness; faintness; pelvic pain; flu-like symptoms
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Bleeding at place of injection, short-term; mild bleeding or spotting from urethra (suppository only); pain at place of injection; painful erection; stinging of urethra (suppository only)
Bruising or clotted blood in penis at place of injection, usually caused by an incorrect injection
Female partners may experience itching or stinging of vagina when you first begin using the alprostadil suppository. These side effects may not be caused from the medicine but may result if female partner has not had frequent or recent sexual intercourse.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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