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Alprostadil (By injection)

Alprostadil (al-PROS-ta-dil)

Treats impotence. Also used during tests to find a cause for erection problems.

Brand Name(s):

Caverject, Caverject Impulse, Edex, IFE-PG20

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to alprostadil, or if you have sickle cell anemia, leukemia, multiple myeloma, or an implant in your penis.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Do not use this medicine more than 3 times per week, unless your doctor tells you differently. Always wait at least 24 hours after using this medicine before you use it again.
  • 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 medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to 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 you give yourself an injection.
  • Mix the powder and the liquid by gently swirling the vial or device. Never shake the medicine to mix it.
  • Do not use this medicine if it is colored or if you can see particles floating in it.
  • You should have an erection about 5 to 20 minutes after you use the medicine. The erection should last about 1 hour.
  • You might need to use a very thin needle. The needle could break while you are injecting the medicine. Call your doctor immediately if the needle breaks.
  • Each vial or container of medicine should be used only 1 time. Do not keep medicine that is left over in the syringe after you give yourself an injection.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. Do not share needles. Never use a bent needle.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. 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.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how alprostadil works. Tell your doctor if you are using a blood thinner (including heparin or warfarin).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or a history of blood clotting problems or heart or blood vessel disease.
  • You might have a small amount of bleeding at the injection site. If you have an infection that is spread through blood, this could increase the risk of giving the infection to your sexual partner.
  • This medicine does not prevent pregnancy. Use birth control if you do not want pregnancy to occur.
  • This medicine will not protect you or your partner from sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Redness, lumps, or swelling in your penis, or curving of your erect penis
  • Severe pain or swelling, burning, warmth, numbness, or irritation in your penis

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

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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