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Alprostadil

Generic Name: alprostadil (injectable and transurethral)
Brands: Caverject, Edex, Muse


What is the most important information I should know about Alprostadil?

· Do not use more Alprostadil than is prescribed for you. Too much Alprostadil can be very dangerous. Notify your doctor if Alprostadil is not treating your symptoms. An erection should result 5 to 20 minutes after a dose.

· Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention for any erection that lasts for 4 hours. A sustained erection can damage the penis.

· Use a condom to prevent transfer of this medication if your partner is pregnant.

 

What is Alprostadil?

· Alprostadil relaxes blood vessels and muscles in the penis. This increases the amount of blood that flows into the penis and decreases the amount of blood that flows out of the penis, causing an erection.

· Alprostadil is used to treat and diagnose some types of impotence and erectile dysfunction.

· Alprostadil may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

 

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Alprostadil?

· Do not use Alprostadil without first talking to your doctor if you have     ·sickle cell anemia or the sickle cell anemia trait;     ·leukemia;     ·a tumor of the bone marrow (multiple myeloma);     ·a penile implant;     ·penile deformation or curvature; or     ·penile fibrosis or Peyronie's disease.

· You may not be able to use Alprostadil, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during therapy.

· Alprostadil should not be used by women. Do not use this medication if you are pregnant or are breast-feeding a baby. Use a condom to prevent transfer of this medication if your partner is pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

· Alprostadil should not be used by children.

 

How should I use Alprostadil?

· Use Alprostadil exactly as directed. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

 

· Do not use more Alprostadil than is prescribed for you. Too much Alprostadil can be very dangerous. Notify your doctor if Alprostadil is not treating your symptoms. An erection should result 5 to 20 minutes after a dose and, generally the erection lasts for approximately 1 hour.

· Injectable Alprostadil (Edex, Caverject) should not be used more often than three times a week with at least 24 hours between uses. The Alprostadil urethral suppositories should not be used more frequently than 2 systems per 24-hour period.

· Do not inject or insert this medication if you do not understand the instructions. Do not inject any solution that is discolored or that has particles in it.

· Some forms of Alprostadil are injected into the penis. Other forms are suppositories (pellets) that are inserted into the urethra of the penis. Your doctor will give you detailed information on the use of the system prescribed for you. The first dose of any form of Alprostadil should be used in your doctor's office.

· After mixing Caverject powder for injection, it can be stored for 24 hours at room temperature and should be used within that time. Throw away any solution that is unused, do not save it for later use.

· Once removed from the foil wrapping, the Caverject solution for injection should be used immediately after allowing it to reach room temperature or it should be discarded. Opened ampules of Caverject solution for injection should be used immediately and not stored.

· There is the possibility of needle breakage with the use of Caverject Impulse. If the needle breaks during injection and you can see and grasp the broken end, remove it and contact your doctor. If the broken end cannot be seen or grasped, contact your doctor immediately.

· Never reuse a needle or syringe. Dispose of all needles and syringes in an appropriate, puncture-resistant disposal container.

· Caverject impulse is for one use only and should be thrown away properly after a single use.

· Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention for any erection that lasts for 4 hours. A sustained erection can damage the penis.

· Use a condom to prevent transfer of this medication if your partner is pregnant.

· Store the Edex brand of Alprostadil injectable at room temperature.

· The 5 mcg, 10 mcg, and 20 mcg strengths of Caverject powder for injection can be stored at room temperature (at or below 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius). The 40mcg strength of Caverject powder for injection may also be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months, or until the expiration date marked on the medicine, whichever happens first. Store unmixed packages of Caverject Impulse at room temperature. After mixing, Caverject Impulse should be used within 24 hours. It should be kept at room temperature during this storage time. With Caverject injectable products, take care to prevent large changes in storage temperature. Do not allow the products to freeze, do not store these products in baggage that will be checked during air travel, and do not leave these products in a closed automobile.

· Store the ampules of Caverject solution for injection in the freezer (between -4 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit or -20 to -10 degrees Celsius) for up to 3 months. During this 3 month period, the ampules may be moved to the refrigerator (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 to 8 degrees Celsius) for up to 7 days. Once refrigerated, the medication must be used within 7 days or discarded. Do not refreeze. Once removed from the foil wrapping, the solution should be used immediately after allowing it to reach room temperature or it should be discarded. Opened ampules of Caverject injection should be used immediately and not stored.

· Store the urethral pellets (Muse) in the refrigerator. Muse may be kept at room temperature (less than 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celsius) for up to 14 days before use. Exposure to temperature above 86 degrees Fahrenheit/30 degrees Celsius will make Muse ineffective.

 

What happens if I miss a dose?

· Since Alprostadil is used as needed, missing a dose is not usually an issue.

 

What happens if I overdose?

· Seek emergency medical attention.

· Symptoms of an Alprostadil overdose include a prolonged erection, possibly with damage to the penis, and low blood pressure (facial flushing, dizziness, or fainting).

 

What should I avoid while using Alprostadil?

· Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Alprostadil may cause dizziness or light-headedness, which may be more common at the start of therapy and within one hour of administration of the medication. If you experience dizziness or light-headedness, avoid these activities.

 

What are the possible side effects of Alprostadil?

· If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using Alprostadil and seek emergency medical attention or notify your doctor immediately:     ·an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);     ·a prolonged (4 or more hours) or painful erection;     ·severe penile pain;     ·redness, lumps, swelling, tenderness, or curvature of the erect penis; or     ·fainting.

· Other, less serious side effects may also occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience     ·penile pain, numbness, or itching;     ·penile warmth, redness, or swelling;     ·urethral or injection site pain, burning, bruising, or light bleeding;     ·testicular pain;     ·headache or dizziness; or     ·changes in vision.

· Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

 

What other drugs will affect Alprostadil?

· Before using Alprostadil, tell your doctor if you are taking a blood-thinning medicine such as warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, ardeparin (Normiflo), dalteparin (Fragmin), danaparoid (Orgaran), or enoxaparin (Lovenox). There may be an increased risk of bleeding with injection or insertion of Alprostadil, and special monitoring may be needed.

· Also, before using Alprostadil, tell your doctor if you are taking cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf). You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you use Alprostadil during treatment with cyclosporine.

· Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Alprostadil or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before using any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

 

Where can I get more information?

· Your pharmacist has additional information about Alprostadil written for health professionals that you may read.


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