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 medicine 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 medicine, foods, preservatives or dyes.
  • If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicine 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 medicine 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 September 08, 2014

Men's health newsletter

Tips to be strong and healthy.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman washing face
Prevent & treat flare-ups
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
female patient consulting with female GP
Take action for a healthy baby
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
cold sore
Prevent and treat cold sores
smiling african american woman
Best kept secrets of healthy hair
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
10 tips to lose weight after baby
crossword puzzle
Tips for the first hard days
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
african american woman wiping sweat from forehead
Relief from excessive sweating
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting