What is this medication for?
Alprostadil belong to a class of medications known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins like alprostadil cause increased blood flow to certain areas of the body by causing the blood vessels in the area to widen.
Alprostadil causes increased blood flow to the penis in particular. It relaxes the smooth muscle of the penis, allowing more blood to flow into the penis and produces an erection. This makes the medication useful for treatment of erectile dysfunction (also known as male impotence). The goal is to achieve erections that last up to one hour. When the effect of the alprostadil wears off, blood flow returns to normal and the erection disappears.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The MUSE system uses an applicator to insert a pellet of medication into the urethra (the tube that urine passes through). This is usually done just after urination. The pellet then dissolves and the medication enters the blood-filled spaces of the penis (corpora cavernosa), where it works to cause an erection. An erection usually occurs within 5 to 10 minutes, and lasts for about 30 to 60 minutes. The actual duration of effect varies from person to person.
Your doctor will choose the appropriate dose of alprostadil by assessing the nature of the impotence. Once the correct dose has been found, the doctor will teach you to insert the medication properly. Once your doctor is assured that you are comfortable with the procedure, you will be given a prescription for a kit to use at home. Please refer to the package insert for details on how to use the medication properly.
The usual starting dose of alprostadil is 125 µg or 250 µg, and may be increased up to 1,000 µg as directed by your doctor. The medication system should not be used more than twice in a 24-hour period. The applicator should be used only once and then discarded safely.
If the erection lasts for 2 hours, try to reduce the erection by methods suggested by your doctor. A prolonged erection (greater than 4 hours) should be reported to your doctor immediately. If your doctor is unavailable, seek immediate medical assistance.
Do not insert alprostadil into an erect penis. Never increase or decrease the dose without consulting your doctor. It is important to visit your doctor regularly, at least every 3 months during therapy, to ensure that the medication is working safely and effectively.
Store unopened foil pouches in a refrigerator at 2°-8°C (36°-46°F). Do not expose MUSE to temperatures above 30°C (86°F). MUSE may be at room temperature (below 30°C or 86°F) for up to 14 days prior to use.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Alprostadil injection should not be used by:
- a man having intercourse with a pregnant woman (unless a condom is used)
- anyone allergic to any of the ingredients
- anyone with conditions that increase the risk of priapism, such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or polycythemia.
- anyone with priapism (a condition where erections are painful and last for over 6 hours)
- men for whom sexual activity is inadvisable
- people who are prone to venous thrombosis
- people with anatomical deformations of the penis, such urethral stricture, lalanitis (inflammation/infection of the glans of the penis), severe hypospadias and curvature, and in patients with acute or chronic urethritis
- women or children