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Alprostadil to Treat Erectile Dysfunction


How Do I Inject Alprostadil?

There are several alprostadil products that can be injected. The injection method for these products is the same, however the methods for preparing the mixtures are different. Be sure you know which product you are using and that you fully understand the proper way to mix the medicine. As with the suppository form of medicine, the injection should not be used more often than prescribed or in larger amounts as this could result in permanent damage to the penis.

Before drawing the medicine into the syringe, be certain that you have washed your hands with soap and water and set the bottles on a clean surface. It is also important to wipe the tops of the injection bottles with an alcohol swab. Do not wipe the needle with the same alcohol swab.

After a single-use injection is mixed, alprostadil must be used immediately. Throw away any unused mixture in the syringe. It cannot be stored for later injection. Do not reuse needles.

If you have any questions about how to use this medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

How Do I Know Which Method of Delivery Is Right for Me?

Choosing between the injection and suppository is a personal choice that should be made with the help of your doctor and your partner. There are pros and cons of each mode of delivery. For example, the injection may be more painful, but it tends to be more effective than the suppository.

Alprostadil and Condom Use

When using alprostadil, either by suppository or injection, use a condom if having intercourse with a pregnant woman. The effects of alprostadil on the fetus are still unknown.

Storing Alprostadil

Alprostadil should be kept in its original container and out of the reach of children. The suppository form of alprostadil can be stored at room temperature, away from excess heat or moisture (such as the bathroom) for up to 14 days. Otherwise store it in the refrigerator, but be sure to keep it from freezing.

While in powder form, alprostadil can be stored at room temperature, away from excess heat or moisture (such as the bathroom) for up to three months.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine that you no longer need.

What Are the Side Effects of Alprostadil?

Side effects of alprostadil are not common, but they do occur. Contact your doctor if you notice severe and prolonged:

  • Bleeding or spotting from the urethra (mild bleeding may occur)
  • Stinging of the urethra
  • Penile pain

Side effects associated with injection include:

  • Bleeding at the site of injection
  • Pain at the site of injection (common but usually mild)
  • Painful erection
  • Bruising or clotted blood in the area of the injection. This is usually caused by an incorrect injection or small amount of blood under skin.

If any of the above listed side effects are severe and prolonged, call your doctor.

Contact your doctor immediately if the following side effects occur:

  • Curving of the penis with pain during an erection
  • Erection continues for four to six hours with severe and continuing pain in the penis
  • Swelling in or pain of the testes
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Pelvic pain
  • Flu-like symptoms


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Charles E. Jennings, MD on September 12, 2013
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