Alprostadil (Injection)


Alprostadil (al-PROS-ta-dil)

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

Brand Name(s)

Caverject, Caverject Impulse, Edex

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

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.
  • Take your medicine as 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 medicines can affect how alprostadil works. Tell your doctor if you are taking a blood thinner, such as heparin or warfarin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you have a kidney problem or a history of blood clotting problems, or if your partner is pregnant.
  • An erection that lasts longer than 4 hours can be dangerous and cause permanent damage.
  • 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 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. Use a latex condom during sex for protection.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • 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
  • An erection that lasts longer than 4 hours
  • Burning, warmth, numbness, irritation, or itching in your penis
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • New or worsening pain or tenderness of your penis
  • Redness, lumps, or swelling in your penis, or curving of your erect penis
  • Trouble urinating
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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