Alprostadil is a medication that men take to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). This drug causes the blood vessels to dilate. This increases blood flow throughout the body, including the penis, which aids in the achievement of an erection.
This drug can be taken in two ways; it can be injected directly into the penis or can come as a pellet to be inserted into the opening of the penis.
Caverject, Edex, and Prostin VR are the brand names for injectable alprostadil, which is available over-the-counter. “MUSE” is the name of the suppository form (which stands for Medicated Urethral System for Erection).
How is Alprostadil Used?
Alprostadil can come in injection form or as a suppository, and both forms are used differently. Your doctor can give you the exact details on how to use each, and it’s always good to read the instructions on the packaging so that you don’t make a mistake. Below are some of the things you need to remember before taking Alpostradil.
For Alprostadil Injections
This medicine is typically given as a shot into your penis. Once you get your first dose of this medicine at your doctor’s office, you can figure out how much to take. Of course, once you get the shot, you will have to stay at the doctor’s office until your erection appears.
The suppositories and some injection medications come with their own set of instructions, which you should follow carefully. Before taking the medication, be sure to carefully read the package instructions.
For the injections, there are a lot of alprostadil products that can be used. Injecting and mixing are two different things, even though they both use the same method. Make sure you know which Alprostadil product you are going to use and how to mix the injection before you do it.
First, you (or your doctor) will need to find a spot on your penis to inject the drug.
You can use alcohol to clean the area where the injection is to be performed. Keep your penis pressed up against the inside of your thigh so that it is unable to move.
Remove the needle’s cover and hold the needle at a 90-degree angle to the area where you’ll be injecting it before pushing it in.
Make sure that the metal part of your needle is in your penis when you put it in.
There are places where you don’t want to put the needle. You don’t want to put it just under the surface of the skin, on top of or in front of your penis, or near your testes. Take care not to put the medicine in a blood vessel that you can see.
If there is any bleeding after the injection, put pressure on the area for about 5 minutes or until it stops. This will stop bruises. Then, massage your penis like your doctor tells you to do. This will help the medicine get to all parts of the penis and make it work better.
For Alprostadil Suppositories
Start by urinating. The small amount of urine left in the urethra will help dissolve the suppository, which you’re supposed to put inside your urethra by way of a plastic applicator. The suppository is roughly the size of a grain of rice. You can use a small amount of lubricant like KY jelly or Astroglide to help you insert the applicator into the opening of your penis.
Next is to push the button on the applicator to deliver the suppository into the urethra.
Roll your penis between your hands for 10 seconds to dissolve the suppository that’s inside your urethra. If you experience any stinging, keep rolling and massaging your penis to help the sensation subside.
Try increasing the blood flow to your penis by standing or walking for 10 minutes or so — this will help you get an erection faster.
There’s no one perfect dose of this drug. This medicine is usually prescribed for a certain period of time at one dose. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose to get the best results.
Your medicine can come in any strength. It can also be administered more or less frequently. To get the best results from the medication, you need to determine how much you need and then take the correct amount at the appropriate times.
For the treatment of erectile dysfunction, the injection dosage will typically be: Adults—1.25 to 60 mcg as a single dose once a day. Of course, your exact dose will be determined by your doctor.
It’s not recommended to get more than one injection of Alprostadil within 24 hours. Also, it’s not recommended to use this medicine for more than two days in a row, and more than three times a week.
For the Alprostadil suppository, the amount of medicine that you should take is determined by the strength of the medicine you are taking. In addition, the number of doses you take each day, the amount of time between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine are all determined by the medical problem for which you are taking the medicine, not by your age. It is typically recommended that you insert the suppository 30 minutes before sexual activity. Also, it’s not recommended that you use more than one suppository per day.
Both Alpostradil injections and suppositories will usually work within 5 to 20 minutes, but it is recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes before engaging in sex.
Alprostadil Side Effects
In the case of prescription drugs, they will almost always be accompanied by side effects. Sometimes these effects may become apparent when they’re first used. Other times the effects may take place later on. Either way, it’s important to see your doctor if you notice a change in your condition that’s not normal.
You should talk with your doctor before starting treatment with alprostadil. The most common side effects of alprostadil include mild headache, dizziness, leg swelling, and trouble breathing. If you have any concerns about possible side effects, discuss them with your healthcare provider before using this medication.
If you have a penile implant, then you may experience pain when you ejaculate. That’s because the implant does not allow blood to flow out of your penis. If you have a history of priapism, you may experience prolonged erections that last for hours, if not days.
In the case of Alpostradil, some of the rare side effects of this drug include:
- Curving of penis
- Painful erection lasting 4 to 6 hours
- Swelling or pain in the testes
Side effects may occur but they are usually short-lived and go away on their own once the treatment is complete. Your doctor can help you deal with side effects and identify ways to avoid them in the future.
Alprostadil is made from a hormone called prostaglandin, which can cause some side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience these side effects, or if they occur at any time while using alprostadil.
Some drugs may interact with your diet. Read food and drug labels carefully before you start, stop, or change the dose of your medications. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Do not use nonprescription drugs while taking Alpostradil unless approved by your doctor.
Do not take Alprostadil if you are allergic to it. Do not take Alprostadil if you have a history of allergy to alprostadil or other blood thinners. Avoid taking anything that contains alcohol while taking Alpostradil. You should also keep track of your weight and do regular exercise while taking Muse.
You may have to stop taking your medicine if you are taking another medication with the same name. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, including herbal products such as St. John’s wort or fluconazole (Diflucan). Alprostadil is not recommended with these medications. Indeed, some medicines can change the way alprostadil works and make it less effective.
If you are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction and are not responding to the usual treatment, your doctor will most likely recommend you start using alprostadil.
Alprostadil is a very effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, but it also carries risk of side effects. This is why it is important to use this medication only as prescribed by your doctor.
If you experience any of the side effects listed above, tell your doctor immediately.