Health Guide
Drug Guide

Alprostadil (Intracavernosal route)

Pronunciation:

al-PROS-ta-dil

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Erectile Dysfunction Agent

Pharmacologic

Prostaglandin

Uses of This Medicine:

Alprostadil injection is used to treat men who have erectile dysfunction (also called sexual impotence). It belongs to a group of medicines called vasodilators that can increase blood flow by expanding blood vessels. This medicine causes an erection because it increases the blood flow to the penis.

Alprostadil should not be used as a sexual aid by men who do not have erectile dysfunction. If the medicine is not used properly, permanent damage to the penis and loss of the ability to have erections could result.

Alprostadil is used alone or with medical tests to help diagnose erectile dysfunction that may be caused by nerve or blood vessel problems in the penis.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Alprostadil injection is not indicated for use in newborns and should not be used in children.

Older adults

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of alprostadil injection have not been performed in the geriatric population, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving this medicine.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

This medicine is given as a shot into your penis. You will receive the first dose of this medicine in your doctor's office to find out the best dose for you. You will need to stay in the doctor's office until your erection is gone.

Special patient directions come with the suppositories and some of the injection medicines. Read the directions carefully before using the medicine.

For the injections There are several alprostadil products that can be injected. Although the injection method is the same, the mixing procedures are different. Be sure you know which of these products you will be using and the proper way to mix the injection.

It is important to follow several steps to prepare your alprostadil injection correctly. Before drawing up the medicine into the syringe:

How to mix Caverject®:

How to mix Edex®:

How to draw your dose into the syringe (for all injection products):

How to give the alprostadil injection:

Choose a different place of injection each time you use the medicine to prevent skin problems. This includes switching the place of injection from the right side of the penis for one injection to the left side for the next injection.

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

Do not reuse or share your needles or cartridges.

Never use a bent needle and never try to straighten a bent needle prior to injecting.

How to throw away the syringes and bottles safely:

Dispose of your materials properly. Caverject® comes in a plastic case that can be permanently locked with the red locking device that is included with the packaging. When the case label is removed, you can see a hole in the center of the case. The red locking device can be inserted and, by firmly pressing it down with your thumb, you will permanently lock the case. The locked case is safe to be thrown away.

This medicine usually begins to work in about 5 to 10 minutes. You should attempt intercourse within 10 to 30 minutes after using the medicine. An erection may continue after ejaculation.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Alprostadil for Injection while in the powder form can be stored at room temperature (between 15 and 25 °C or 59 and 77 °F) for 3 months. After it is mixed, the solution must be used immediately or within 24 hours and not refrigerated or frozen. Suppositories may be stored at room temperature.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Do not use alprostadil if you have a penile implant unless advised by doctor.

If too much of this medicine is used, the erection lasts too long and does not reverse when it should. This condition is called priapism. If the erection is not reversed, the blood supply to the penis may be cut off and permanent damage may occur.

Contact your doctor immediately if the erection lasts longer than 4 hours or if it becomes painful. This may be a sign of priapism and must be treated right away to prevent permanent damage.

If you notice bleeding at the place where you injected the medicine, put pressure on the spot until the bleeding stops. If it doesn't stop within 5 minutes, check with your doctor. If you have an infection that is spread through blood, this could increase the risk of giving the infection to your sexual partner.

This medicine does not prevent pregnancy. Use birth control if you do not want pregnancy to occur.

This medicine will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
Curving of penis with pain during erection
erection continuing for 4 to 6 hours
erection continuing longer than 6 hours with severe and continuing pain of the penis
swelling in or pain of the testes

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Bleeding and pain at the injection site (short-term)
painful erection
Rare
Bruising or clotted blood in the penis at the injection site, usually caused by an incorrect injection

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 10/12/2016

Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M