Alprostadil is used for the treatment of impotence or erectile dysfunction. It is the incapability to keep and get an erection firm enough for sex. Having erection trouble from time to time is not essentially a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, it may cause stress and affect your self-confidence. It may also contribute to relationship problems. Problems keeping or getting an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health complication. That it needs treatment and a risk factor for heart attack. If you are concerned about erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor even if you are embarrassed. Sometimes, treating an underlying condition is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction. In other cases, medications or other direct treatments might be needed. Impotence or erectile dysfunction symptoms might include:

  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire

Alprostadil is in the class of medications called vasodilators. This helps the blood flow into the penis to achieve and maintain an erection. This drug is identical to a naturally occurring substance found in the body that helps keep the blood vessels open. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Alprostadil is supplied as a sterile solution for intravascular infusion. Each contains Alprostadil as an active ingredient. It is a white to off-white crystalline powder. This is available in the dosage form of 500 micrograms.

How does Alprostadil work?

Alprostadil is a type of medicine called prostaglandin. This is the same as a naturally occurring chemical called prostaglandin E1. This prostaglandin is thought to cause some types of blood vessels to widen. It is by relaxing the thin layer of muscle found in the blood vessel wall. An erection is produced via a complex chain of events involving signals from the nervous system. It also involves the release of active chemicals including prostaglandin E1 within the tissues of the penis. These chemicals cause blood vessels entering the penis to widen and allowing more blood to enter. Other blood vessels leave the penis to constrict and stopping the blood from entering the penis.

Prostaglandin E1 plays an important role in this process 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 medication usually starts to work in about 5-10 minutes. Intercourse should be attempted within 10 to 30 minutes after using this. An erection may continue after ejaculation but should not be firm or last longer than an hour.

How to use Alprostadil?

The dosage will depend on your medical condition, age, weight, and response to the treatment. Follow the instructions of your doctor very carefully. You should not take the medication more or less than it is prescribed. Before using this product, check it visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Clean the injection with rubbing alcohol before injecting each dose. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. To get the most benefit from it, use the medication regularly. Remember to use the prescription at the same time each day. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.  

Alprostadil is used by inserting the suppository into the penis or as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to start at a low dose and gradually increase it. You should not use more than 2 doses in a 24-hour period. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take twice the prescribed dosage to make up for the missed dose.

What are the side effects of Alprostadil?

Common side effects:

  • Wheezing
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Flu and cold symptoms
  • Unusual discharge from your penis
  • Warmth, itching, or numbness of your penis
  • Mild pain in your penis, urethra, or testicles

Stop using alprostadil and call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects such as:

  • Fainting
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Blood in your urine or trouble urinating’
  • A painful erection that lasts 4 hours or longer
  • Lumps, redness, tenderness, unusual shape, or curving of the erect penis
  • New or worsening pain in your penis

Get emergency medical help if you these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Difficult breathing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of your lips, face, tongue, or throat

Warnings and Precautions

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications such as vitamins or herbal supplements.
  • Do not share this with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Before taking Famotidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it. This may not be recommended for use if you have a history of an allergic reaction. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • While having this treatment, you should have a regular check-up with your doctor. It is to check if you have any signs of fibrous tissue formation in your penis.
  • Call your doctor right away if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours.
  • This drug will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases.
  • This is not for use in women or children.
  • Before using, consult your doctor first if you have an indwelling urethral catheter or genito-urinary tract disorder.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a medical history of penis conditions, cavernosal fibrosis, blood system cancers, or heart disease.
  • This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol can make you dizzier. Do not use any machinery or do anything that needs your alertness until you can do it safely.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Use this drug with caution in men with blood clotting disorders, heart disease, lung disease, small temporary strokes, or a history of psychiatric illness.
  • This is not recommended for use in men who have an implant in their penis and with a physical abnormality of the penis.