How does it work?
Alprostadil is the same as a naturally occurring chemical called prostaglandin E1. This prostaglandin is thought to cause some types of blood vessels to widen by relaxing the thin layer of muscle found in the vessel wall.
An erection is produced via a complex chain of events, involving signals from the nervous system and the release of active chemicals, including prostaglandin E1 within the tissues of the penis. These chemicals cause blood vessels entering the penis to widen, allowing more blood to enter. They also cause less blood to leave the penis.
Prostaglandin E1 plays an important role in this process and alprostadil, when administered directly into the penis, will ultimately cause the penis to become rigid and erect by increasing the blood flow into its tissues.
This preparation is administered by injection directly into the penis.
What is it used for?
Aid to diagnosis of erectile dysfunction
Impotence (erectile dysfunction)
If your erection lasts longer than 4 hours (priapism), consult a doctor immediately. Treatment of this condition should not be delayed more than 6 hours, as this can cause damage to the erectile tissue in the penis and irreversible erectile dysfunction.
Regular check-ups with your doctor are recommended to detect any signs of fibrous tissue formation in the penis.
Do not use this medicine more than once a day and no more than three times a week.
Re-constituted solutions of alprostadil are for single use only. Any remaining solution should be discarded carefully, as instructed by your doctor, and not be kept for a second injection.
This medicine will not prevent pregnancy and a reliable form of contraception should be used by couples who do not wish to conceive.
Follow the printed instructions you have been given with this medicine.
This medicine will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases. Using a condom can provide this protection. This is particularly important since the injection can cause bleeding, which increases the risk of disease transmission.
Use with caution if you have a history of
Blood clotting disorders.
Coronary artery disease.
Drug dependence or abuse.
Small temporary strokes (transient ischaemic attacks).
Not to be used in
Conditions in which sexual activity is not advisable, for example severe heart disorders.
Conditions such as sickle cell disease, bone cancer or leukaemia in which there is an increased risk of prolonged erections (priapism).
Men who have an implant in their penis.
Physical abnormality of the penis, such as severe curvature, scarring or Peyronie's disease.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Pain in the penis.
Blood clots which form a solid swelling at the injection site (haematoma).
Formation of fibrous tissue within the penis.
Persistent painful erection of the penis (priapism).
Redness, swelling or itching at the injection site.
Tightening of the foreskin.
Pain in the testicles.
Inflammation of the end of the penis (balanitis).
Urgent need to pass urine.
Low blood pressure (hypotension).
Abnormal heart beats (arrhythmias).
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
This medicine should not be used with any other treatment for erectile dysfunction.
People taking medicines to prevent the blood clotting (anticoagulants), such as warfarin and heparin, may have an increased risk of bleeding after the injection.