What is Alprostadil

Erectile dysfunction (sometimes called impotence) means that you cannot get or maintain a proper erection. There are several causes, the most common being due to a narrowing of the arteries that take blood to the penis. Alprostadil is used to treat male sexual function problems (erectile dysfunction). It works by helping the blood flow into the penis to achieve and maintain an erection. Alprostadil is a vasodilator, which means that it works by widening (dilating) blood vessels to improve the flow of blood. The main advantage of Alprostadil is its quick action, just 5-10 minutes after injection. The effects last for 30-60 minutes but may vary slightly from patient to patient.

This unique medication treats every type of erectile dysfunction - vasculogenic, psychogenic, mixed and neurogenic etiology. Alprostadil is erectile dysfunction treatment only, doesn't protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) or from pregnancy.

Alprostadil is available as an injection treatment, which is where you inject alprostadil into the base of your penis. It is available as a urethral application, which is where you place a small pellet containing alprostadil into your urethra (the tube which your urine passes through and which opens at the end of your penis). It is also available as a cream which is applied to the opening of the urethra on the tip of the penis. You will be taught how to use the preparation you have been prescribed.

What is Alprostadil used for?

Alprostadil is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) and to help diagnose certain causes of this disorder. Alprostadil relaxes blood vessels and muscles in the penis. This increases blood flow into the penis, causing an erection.

Alprostadil 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 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.

Alprostadil is used to treat a number of problems:

  • It is a prostaglandin (specifically prostaglandin E1), sometimes known as a vasodilator.
  • It is used to relax smooth muscle, having an effect called vasodilation (widening of blood vessels), increasing blood flow to certain parts of the body. Depending on the way that this drug is given, it can be used to treat impotence (difficulty getting or maintaining an erection), or can be used in newborn babies with a heart defect to temporarily maintain a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus. If the baby has a certain condition affecting the heart it may still be beneficial to keep this channel (the ductus arteriosus) open until the heart condition can be corrected by surgery, as otherwise it would shut off when the baby starts to breathe for itself (the ductus arteriosus allows blood to flow through the heart, bypassing the lungs).
  • In general this drug is used to manage impotence (erectile dysfunction) when injected into the penis (intracavernosal injection), or when applied as a liquid within the urethra (tube within the penis, leading from the bladder to the outside). It is also used in newborn babies with heart defects as a temporary measure before corrective heart surgery is performed.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include the ability to have, and to maintain, an erection, and when used in newborn babies with heart defects it can allow the baby to survive until corrective heart surgery is performed.


Alprostadil is produced in a liquid form and is administered by injecting it directly into the side of the penis. It is important to make sure that you understand how to do this properly. If you are unsure, consult your doctor or healthcare provider.

For the purposes of injecting this medication, always choose a less visible blood vessel. After injecting the medication, apply pressure to the affected area with an alcohol swab for about 5 minutes to avoid bruising.

The injection must not be administrated close to the surface of the skin, at the top or head of the penis or at the base of the penis near the scrotum or testes.

According to the etiology of the erectile dysfunction, the initial dose may vary:

  • For vasculogenic or psychogenic erectile dysfunction, or for erectile dysfunction of mixed etiology, the starting dose is 2.5mcg. If there is no effect, you may increase the dose to 5mcg, followed by increments of 5–10mcg until the desired result (dose produces an erection for appropriate sexual intercourse and it doesn't last more than 1 hour). If there is still no response to the initial dose, you may give a second dose of 7.5mcg within one hour, followed by increments of 5–10mcg until the desired result is achieved.
  • For erectile disorders of neurogenic etiology, the recommended dose is 1.25mcg. You may increase the second dose to 2.5mcg, and the third dose to 5mcg, followed by increments of 5mcg until the desired result is achieved.

The maximum dose is 60mcg per day. Allow a 24 hour interval between doses. Use Alprostadil only as needed. Do not take a double dose of Alprostadil.

Advantages of Alprostadil

Alprostadil treatment acts directly on the penis as a cream, penile insertion or injection. It alters the pattern of blood flow in the penis during arousal and improves erections. It can be effective in some situations where tablet treatments do not work, or where tablet side effects prevent their use.

Is it safe to take Alprostadil?

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

Alprostadil365.com provides common contraindications and cautions for Alprostadil Injection. Find out what health conditions may be a health risk when taken with Alprostadil Injection.

Alprostadil brand name(s)

Caverject, Caverject Impulse, Edex, Muse, Prostin VR