Alprostadil belongs to a group of medicines called vasodilators, which cause blood vessels to expand, thereby increasing blood flow. When alprostadil is injected into the penis, it produces an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis.
Alprostadil should never be used as a sexual aid by men who are not impotent. If improperly used, this medication can cause permanent damage to the penis.
Alprostadil is available by prescription and should be used only as directed by your physician, who will instruct you in the proper way to give yourself an injection so that it is simple and essentially pain-free.
Alprostadil is sometimes used in combination with a medicine called phentolamine (Regitine-U.S.; Rogitine-Canada).
Do not use more of this medicine or use it more often than it has been prescribed for you. Using too much of this medicine will result in a condition called priapism, in which the erection lasts too long and does not resolve when it should. Permanent damage to the penis can occur if blood flow to the penis is cut off for too long a period of time.
Possible Side Effects
Side effects that you should report to your physician so he or she can adjust the dosage or change the medication: pain at the injection site; burning or aching during erection.
Rare side effects that require immediate attention: erection continuing for more than four hours. If you cannot be seen immediately by your physician, you should go to the emergency room for prompt treatment.