Uses of Alprostadil Urogenital
Alprostadil urogenital injection and suppositories are used to treat certain types of erectile dysfunction (impotence; inability to get or keep an erection) in men. Alprostadil injection is also sometimes used in combination with other tests to diagnose erectile dysfunction. Alprostadil is in a class of medications called vasodilators. It works by relaxing the muscles and blood vessels in the penis to keep enough blood in the penis so that an erection can occur.
Alprostadil does not cure erectile dysfunction or increase sexual desire. Alprostadil urogenital does not prevent pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Side Effects of Alprostadil Urogenital
Alprostadil urogenital may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- bleeding or bruising in the place where you administered the medication
- pain or aching in the penis, testicles, legs, or perineum (area between the penis and rectum)
- warmth or burning sensation in the urinary opening of the penis
- redness of the penis
- back pain
- skin problems
- vision problems
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- an erection lasting more than 4 hours
- redness, swelling, tenderness, or unusual curving of the erect penis
- nodules or hard areas on the penis
- fast heartbeat
- swollen veins in the legs
Warnings & Precautions
Before using alprostadil urogenital:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alprostadil; other prostaglandin medications such as misoprostol (Cytotec, in Arthrotec), bimatoprost (Lumigan), latanoprost (Xalatan), and travoprost (Travatan); or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as heparin and warfarin (Coumadin); appetite suppressants; medications for allergies, colds, high blood pressure, or sinus problems; and any other treatments for erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have ever been advised by a healthcare professional to avoid sexual activity for medical reasons and if you have or have ever had blood cell problems such as sickle cell anemia (a disease of the red blood cells), leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells), multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells), thrombocythemia (a condition in which too many platelets are produced), or polycythemia (a condition in which too many red blood cells are produced); conditions affecting the shape of the penis (angulation, cavernosal fibrosis, or Peyronie’s disease); a penile implant (a device that is surgically placed inside the penis to treat erectile dysfunction); or heart failure. Also, tell your doctor if you or any of your family members have ever had a blood clot in the legs or lungs and if you have recently undergone major surgery. Your doctor may tell you not to use alprostadil urogenital.
- if you are using the alprostadil pellet, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any narrowing, scarring, or swelling of the urinary opening of the penis or the tip of the penis. Your doctor will probably tell you not to use alprostadil pellets.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a bleeding disorder; a history of fainting; or kidney, liver, or lung disease.
- tell your doctor if your partner is pregnant or plans to become pregnant. Do not use alprostadil pellets before sexual activity with a pregnant woman or a woman who may become pregnant without using a condom barrier.
- you should know that alprostadil urogenital may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. Do not drive a car or operate machinery after using alprostadil until you know how this medication affects you.
- talk to your doctor about the use of alcohol during your treatment with alprostadil urogenital. Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.
- you should know that a small amount of bleeding may occur in the area where the medication was given. This can increase the risk of transmitting blood-borne diseases (conditions that are spread through contaminated blood) such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C between you and your partner. Tell your doctor if you or your partner has a blood-borne disease.
Alprostadil urogenital comes as a powder to be mixed with the liquid provided in the package and injected into the penis and as a urethral suppository (pellet to be placed into the urinary opening of the penis). Alprostadil urogenital is used as needed before sexual activity. An erection may occur within 5 to 20 minutes after using the injection and within 5 to 10 minutes after using the pellet. The erection should last approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Alprostadil injection should not be used more than three times per week, with at least 24 hours between uses. Alprostadil pellets should not be used more than twice in a 24-hour period. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use alprostadil urogenital exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will administer the first dose of alprostadil urogenital in his or her office to determine the proper dose for you. After you begin to use alprostadil at home, your doctor may gradually increase or decrease your dose. Tell your doctor if you do not experience satisfactory erections or if your erections last for too long, but do not change your dose without talking to your doctor.
You must be trained by your doctor before using alprostadil urogenital at home. Be sure that you understand exactly how to use alprostadil. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about how to use your medication.
Do not reuse needles, syringes, cartridges, vials , pellets, or applicators. Dispose of used needles and syringes in a puncture-resistant container. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to dispose of the container.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Keep all appointments with your doctor. It is important to have regular follow-up visits with your doctor (e.g., every 3 months).
Do not let anyone else use your medication, needles, or syringes. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.