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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

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How Does Alprostadil Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

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Alprostadil is a medicine that men take for ED (erectile dysfunction). It’s only available by prescription.

This drug makes the blood vessels expand. That boosts blood flow throughout the body, including the penis, so it helps men with ED have an erection.

You can get alprostadil injected directly into the penis. Or you can use it as suppository, placing it into the opening at the tip of the penis.

Injectable alprostadil is sold under the brand names Caverject, Edex, and Prostin VR. The suppository form is called “MUSE” (which stands for Medicated Urethral System for Erection).

Alprostadil should only be used in men with erectile dysfunction. It’s not used properly, it can permanently damage the penis.

How Effective Is It?

The injectable form causes an erection firm enough for sex in more than 80% of men with erectile dysfunction regardless of their age or the cause of their ED.

The suppository form is not as effective. It produces an erection in about 30%-40% of men with ED.

How Quickly Will Alprostadil Work?

It usually starts to work in about 5 to 20 minutes. Wait 10-30 minutes before you have sex. Your erection should last for about an hour and may continue after you ejaculate.

Don’t use it more than three times a week. Wait at least 24 hours between each use.

Who Should Not Take Alprostadil?

This drug is not right for everyone. Before you take it, tell your doctor:

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to alprostadil.
  • If you are allergic to any other substances such as drugs, foods, preservatives, or dyes
  • If you take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs including herbal and dietary supplements
  • If you have a penile implant
  • If you have a history of priapism (a painful and prolonged erection not linked to sexual stimulation)

Also, tell your doctor if you have any medical problems, especially:

If you can’t take this medicine, your doctor can recommend other treatments.

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