How does Alprostadil Injection work?
Alprostadil is a prostaglandin E1 analogue that belongs to the class of medications known as vasodilators. It works by relaxing the smooth muscles present in the walls of the blood vessels and increases the blood flow to the penis so that an erection can occur.
It should not be used by men who do not suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Uses of Alprostadil Injection
This medicine is prescribed for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED) – a condition that makes a man unable to achieve or sustain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It occurs due to improper blood flow to the penis caused by physical and psychological factors.
Dosage of Alprostadil Injection
The recommended dose of Alprostadil injection 500 mcg is one shot per day. It should not be used more than three times a week. A time interval of 24 hours should be there between uses. Your doctor will give you the first dose of this medicine and train you to administer it at home. Your doctor will ask you to stay at the clinic until the erection goes away.
If you’re administering the injection at home, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water before preparing the mixture. Use the mixture immediately and throw away the unused mixture. Ask your doctor if you have any questions regarding the medication.
Missed Dose: This medicine is taken as and when needed. Therefore, you’re less likely to miss a dose.
Overdose: An overdose of this medication can lead to adverse side-effects. In case an overdose is suspected, seek medical help immediately.
Alprostadil injection may not be suitable for you if you suffer from any medical condition. Before you take this medicine, let your doctor know:
- If you are allergic to alprostadil or other prostaglandins.
- If you are already using alprostadil pellet.
- If you have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia.
- If you have a history of fainting, kidney, or liver disease.
- If you have a physical deformity of the penis.
- If you have a penile implant.
- If you suffer from blood cell problems such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia.
- If you have a history of priapism.
- If your partner is pregnant and you’re planning to engage in sexual activity by injecting alprostadil.
- If you have a penile infection or a red, itchy penis.
If you suffer from any medical conditions not listed here, let your doctor know about them. Discuss your medical history in detail with the doctor.
Side effects of Alprostadil Injection
Alprostadil injection may cause certain side effects. Most of these side effects usually don’t require any medical attention and go away after some time.
Some common side effects include:
- Penile pain
- Frequent and excessive erections
- Back pain
- Muscle spasm
- Peyronie’s disease
- Redness of the penis
- Burning sensation in the urinary opening of the penis
Rare side effects of the medication include:
- Priapism (a prolonged and painful erection lasting more than 4 hours)
- Fast heartbeat
- Swollen veins in legs
- Bruising or clotted blood in the area of the injection
The above list shouldn’t be seen as a complete guide of side-effects. If you experience any other side-effect of the medication, report it to the doctor.
If you take any prescription or non-prescription drugs, any vitamins, and herbal supplements, let your doctor know about them. Certain medications can interact with Alprostadil injection 500 mcg and affect the way it works.
Eluxadoline, a medication used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) increases the levels of alprostadil by decreasing metabolism. The use of alprostadil should be monitored closely when using eluxadoline.
Other minor drug interactions include:
- Antithrombin alfa
This isn’t a complete list of potential drug interactions. Discuss possible drug interactions with your doctor before starting this medicine.
Interaction with alcohol
Alprostadil injection can make you feel dizzy, the effects of which can be increased by the consumption of alcohol. Avoid consuming alcohol when injecting this medicine.
Alprostadil injection should be stored safely in its original container at room temperature.
- Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
- Keep alprostadil vial away from excess heat, moisture, and sunlight.
- If the mixture has been prepared, it should be refrigerated. Read the instructions mentioned on the pack on how long this medication can be stored after mixing.
- Do not inject the medicine if it has expired.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is Alprostadil injection used for?
Ans. Alprostadil injection is used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED, also known as impotence). It comes in the form of a powder that needs to be mixed with the solution provided in the package. It is directly injected into the penis.
2. How long do Alprostadil injections last?
Ans. The effects of this medication can be experienced within 5-20 minutes of its administration. An erection stays for a period of 1 hour. In other words, the effects typically last for a maximum of 1 hour.
3. How effective is alprostadil?
Ans. Alprostadil injection causes a firm erection in more than 80% of men with erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, the suppository form produces an erection in only 30%-40% of men with ED.
4. Does alprostadil injection hurt?
Ans. The injection doesn’t hurt if you’re administering it properly. If you experience severe pain or bruising (or even swelling) at the place of injection, that means that you’re injecting the medicine under the skin. If you find trouble injecting it on your own, take help from a doctor.
5. How to use alprostadil injection?
Ans. This injection should be injected slowly into the penis as guided by your doctor. Take 5-10 seconds to inject the dose completely. Make sure you don’t inject more than one dose within 24 hours.