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Medication prescribed:Alprostadil is used to produce a sexually functional erection in males with impotence (erectile dysfunction).
How should this medicine be used:Alprostadil comes as a shot to inject into the penis. You must be trained by your doctor before using alprostadil at home. Use alprostadil before sex. It produces an erect penis within 5-20 minutes of injection (into the side of the upper third of the penis, as directed by your doctor). Generally, alprostadil should not be used more than three times a week or more than once every 24 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use alprostadil exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will administer the first dose in his or her office to determine the appropriate dose you should receive. Carefully read the patient directions that come with alprostadil vials. If you have questions about the volume of alprostadil to inject, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Each needle, syringe with fluid, and vial with powder can be used only once. The effects of alprostadil should last no longer than 1 hour. Call your doctor immediately if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours. Erections lasting more than 6 hours may result in permanent damage. If you use too much alprostadil by mistake, call your doctor immediately. Remember to wash your hands completely before using alprostadil and to clean the area of the penis that will be injected before the needle is inserted.
Special precautions:Before using alprostadil, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alprostadil or any other drugs. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), and vitamins. tell your doctor if you have or have ever had anemia, bleeding disorders, sickle cell disease, leukemia, cancer, or kidney or liver disease. Alprostadil should not be used in patients with penile implants.
What side effects:Although side effects from alprostadil are not common, they can occur. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: erection lasting more than 4 hours redness, swelling, tenderness, or unusual curving of the erect penis nodules or hard areas on the penis pain on injection bleeding
What storage conditions:Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
Other information:Keep all appointments with your doctor. Use precautions (such as condoms) to reduce the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
More information: Alprostadil