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Injection For Erectile Dysfunction

injection for erectile dysfunction

How Does Alprostadil Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Alprostadil is a medicine that men take for ED (erectile dysfunction). It’s only available by prescription.

This drug makes the blood vessels expand. That boosts blood flow throughout the body, including the penis, so it helps men with ED have an erection.

You can get alprostadil injected directly into the penis. Or you can use it as suppository, placing it into the opening at the tip of the penis.

Injectable alprostadil is sold under the brand names Caverject, Edex, and Prostin VR. The suppository form is called “MUSE” (which stands for Medicated Urethral System for Erection).

Alprostadil should only be used in men with erectile dysfunction. It’s not used properly, it can permanently damage the penis.

What Are Penile Injections for ED?

Intracavernosal injections involve using an ultrathin needle to deliver one of several medications to the penis to initiate an erection. If you decide to try this form of treatment, your healthcare provider will show you how to self-inject so you feel only minimal discomfort.

The specific medication you will use can vary. Some of the common medications used when giving injections for erectile dysfunction include papaverine hydrochloride, phentolamine (Regitine), and prostaglandin E-1. Papaverine relaxes the muscles in the arterial wall, which will cause dilation and increased blood flow. Phentolamine works by blocking nerve signals that result in muscle contractions. The end result is also muscle relaxation. Prostaglandin E-1 is a naturally occurring chemical that you already have in your body. It is a vasodilator. Injecting additional prostaglandin E-1 also relaxes the muscles to cause an erection.

About Penile Injection Therapy

The tissue that causes you to get an erection (erectile tissue) is a muscle. Going long periods of time without an erection is unhealthy for erectile tissue and may damage it.

We believe that having erections keeps erectile tissue healthy. A penile injection helps you have an erection. It works best if it’s given about 5 to 15 minutes before you want an erection.

Possible Side Effects and Risks

Before beginning any new medication or treatment program, it’s important to ask your doctor about the possible side effects and risks. Keep in mind that not all men will experience these side effects. Additionally, consider putting a medical card in your wallet that describes your penile injection, just in case of medical emergencies.

Pain: Most men do not experience significant pain from penile injections for erectile dysfunction. However, some men are particularly susceptible to it, and they may experience an aching pain in the penis for about 30 to 60 minutes following each injection. Talk to your doctor if you experience pain. Sometimes, switching to another medication in the injection can help.

Penile Scarring: This risk is uncommon. Only about 5% of men who use penile injections for erectile dysfunction will develop scarring inside the penis. Consult your doctor if you notice bending of the erection.

Priapism: This refers to a typically painful erection that lasts for four hours or longer. It is a serious condition that requires urgent medical attention to avoid permanent complications. If you experience priapism, go to the emergency room and inform the physician that you are using penile injections.

Bruising: Some men may notice bruising on the penis. This is not a serious side effect. To prevent bruising, apply pressure to the penis after the injection.

Infections: Infections are quite rare for penile injections, particularly when you follow your doctor’s instructions for performing the injection properly. Always use an alcohol swab to prevent infection.

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