Alprostadil (Injection)


Alprostadil (al-PROS-ta-dil)
Treats impotence (problems having an erection). Also used during tests to find a cause for certain erection problems.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Caverject, Edex, Caverject Impulse

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to alprostadil, or if you have an implant in your penis, an abnormally formed penis, or other problems with how your penis is formed. Do not use this medicine if you have sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait, leukemia, or multiple myeloma. You should not use this medicine if your doctor has told you not to have sex. This medicine should not be used by women, children, or infants.

How to Use This Medicine

  • This medicine is given as a shot into your penis. You will receive the first dose of this medicine in your doctor's office to find out the best dose for you. You will need to stay in the doctor's office until your erection is gone.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You will be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all of the instructions before giving yourself an injection.
  • Do not use this medicine if it is cloudy, colored, or if you can see particles floating in it. If you use a form of this medicine that you have to mix, use the mixture within 24 hours of mixing it. The Edex® form must be used immediately after mixing.
  • You should have an erection about 5 to 20 minutes after using the medicine. The erection should last about 1 hour.
  • The Edex® form of this medicine has a very thin needle. It is possible to break the needle while you are injecting the medicine. If the needle breaks during injection, call your doctor immediately.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. Never use a bent needle, or try to straighten a bent needle. Do not reuse or share needles.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Do not leave the medicine in a place that may become too hot or too cold, such as a parked car or in checked baggage during air travel.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a blood thinner such as heparin or warfarin (Coumadin®). Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking medicines that may result in a lower blood pressure, such as certain kinds of heart medicine, pain medicine, and blood pressure medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have a kidney problem or a history of blood clotting problems.
  • An erection that lasts more than 4 hours can be dangerous and cause permanent damage. Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you still have an erection 4 hours after using this medicine.
  • Do not use this medicine more than three times per week, unless your doctor tells you differently. Always wait at least 24 hours after using this medicine before you use it again.
  • If your partner is pregnant, talk with your doctor before using this medicine.
  • This medicine will not keep your partner from getting pregnant. Use birth control if you do not want pregnancy to occur.
  • This medicine will not protect you or your partner from diseases such as hepatitis, syphilis, herpes, or HIV. The small amount of bleeding that may happen after injecting this medicine may increase the risk of passing certain diseases between you and your partner. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, such as using latex condoms.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Erection that lasts longer than 4 hours.
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • New or worsening pain or tenderness of your penis.
  • Redness, lumps, or swelling in your penis, or curving of the erect penis.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Burning, warmth, irritation, or itching in your penis.
  • Headache.
  • Numbness or tingling in the penis.
  • Problem with urinating.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
Adam Data Copyright The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only--they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

For information 410.787.4000

© 2015 UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  All rights reserved.

301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 | 410-787-4000 | TTY 410-787-4498