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Alprostadil to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

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How Does the Suppository Form of Alprostadil Work?

Called MUSE, a small pellet (about one half the size of a grain of rice) of alprostadil is placed inside the urethra (the small opening on the end of the penis) to dissolve inside the penis, causing blood vessels to expand so that more blood can flow into the penis and allow an erection.

Before using the suppository, be sure that you fully understand how to administer it. Do not insert more than two doses of alprostadil within a 24-hour period and do not use any more than the doctor-recommended dose during a single usage. This could result in priapism (a painful and prolonged erection) and lead to permanent damage to the penis.

Also, when using the suppository form of alprostadil, use a condom if having sexual intercourse with a pregnant woman. The effects of this drug on early pregnancy are unknown.

How Do I Insert the Suppository?

  • Before inserting the pellet of medicine, urinate. The small amount of urine left in the urethra will help lubricate the channel and dissolve the suppository after it has been inserted. (A small amount of lubricant like KY Jelly or Astroglide may help with insertion of the applicator.)
  • Insert the medicine into the urethral opening, the entire length of the plastic arm, and push the button to deliver the suppository into the urethra.
  • To help dissolve the suppository once inside, roll your penis between your hands for 10 seconds. If you feel any stinging, continue this motion to help the stinging stop.
  • Sitting, standing, or walking for 10 minutes while an erection is developing helps increase the blood flow to your penis to gain a proper erection.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist.

How Does the Injection Form of Alprostadil Work?

When using the injection form of alprostadil, the drug is inserted through the wall of the penis using a needle and syringe. The needle goes into the spongy tissue of the penis. Once inside, the drug works the same way as the suppository form works: Blood vessels dilate (enlarge), allowing for blood flow to the penis to increase and an erection to occur.

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