Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Erectile dysfunction health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Alprostadil to treat erectile dysfunction

Alprostadil is a synthetic hormone treatment for erectile dysfunction that works by stimulating blood flow to the penis.

Alprostadil can be given by injection into the penis, as a cream applied to the tip of the penis, or by a small pellet placed in the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis).

An erection should occur in around 5 to 15 minutes after using alprostadil.

The duration of the erection will depend on the dose prescribed.

Who should not take alprostadil?

This drug is not recommended for every man with erectile dysfunction. Tell your doctor:

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to alprostadil.
  • If you are allergic to any other substances such as medications, foods, preservatives or dyes.
  • If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication including herbal and dietary supplements.
  • If you have a penile implant.
  • If you have a history of priapism (unusually prolonged erection).

Also, tell your doctor if you have any medical problems, especially:

  • Abnormalities of the penis such as curvature or birth defects.
  • Bleeding problems.
  • Penile infection.
  • Red or itchy penis.
  • Conditions that cause thickened or slower blood flow such as leukaemia ( cancer of the blood), sickle cell disease or trait, or thrombocythaemia (large number of platelets).
  • Peyronie’s disease

If alprostadil is not safe for you to take, your doctor can recommend other treatment options that are appropriate based on your health and medical history.

When using the pellet or cream form of alprostadil, use a condom if having sex with a woman who is able to become pregnant or who is already pregnant because the effects of this drug on early pregnancy are unknown.

How do I know which method of delivery is right for me?

It’s a personal choice that should be made with the help of your doctor and your partner. There are pluses and minuses of each mode of delivery. Your doctor will talk you through these.

What are the side effects of alprostadil?

Possible side effects with alprostadil include:

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on August 03, 2016

Men's health newsletter

Tips to be strong and healthy.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

mature woman
Go for the glow!
avacado on whole wheat crackers
Plenty of healthy options
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
baby eating from spoon
What to feed your baby in the first year
cold sore
How to cope with cold sores
toddler doodling
What to expect in your child's second year
bain illustration
Best foods for your brain
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
woman using moisturizer
Treating dry skin in winter