All About

Drug Class

Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1)

Common Terms

Alprostadil is the generic name. Injectables are known commercial names, such as Caverject, Caverject Impulse, Muse and others.

Consumption and Standard Dose
  • Solution that needs to be used within 24 hours after mixing. It is injected into the penis
  • Starts to work within 5 – 20 min after injection, and lasts 30 – 60 min.
  • Can be taken via suppository inserted into the urethra. It looks like a tiny pellet
  • Suppository doses are 10 times higher than injection doses. Urinate before inserting suppository
  • Sitting, standing, or walking for 10 minutes will help increase blood flow to penis
  • When prescribed, a health care provider will teach you how to prepare and use it.
  • If using without direction of health care provider, research how to safely inject it, or insert a suppository:
    • If stinging occurs when inserting the suppository, gently massage the penis until it dissolves
    • Wash hands and set the mixture bottles on a clean surface
    • Wipe the top of the injection bottle with an alcohol swab
    • Always use sterile, unused needles and other injection works.
    • If needle breaks during injection, grasp and remove the broken end
    • Contact health care provider if the needle breaks and you cannot remove it.
    • Use each vial or cartridge one (1) time only. Do not reuse leftover medication
    • Do not use more than 1 dose in 24-hrs, or more than 3 doses / week

The Buzz
  • Helps cause erections by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow into the penis
  • Alternative to oral-intake Erectile Drugs. They are sometimes used by actors when doing porn. They provide an alternative to erectile drugs which affect blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems.

Overdose and other negative effects
  • Avoid using if solution contains particles, is cloudy, discolored, or if cartridge is cracked
  • Dosage can vary from one individual to another. Injecting the wrong dosage can cause overdose effects including:
    • Curving of penis
    • Painful erection
    • Lightheadedness or fainting
    • Trouble urinating and/or unusual discharge from penis
    • Swelling and pain in testes, dizziness, fainting, pelvic pain, flu-like symptoms, fast heart rate, swollen veins in legs
    • Bleeding, bruising or pain around the injection site
    • Painful erection
    • Priapism: if you have an erection that won’t go away after 4 hours, seek emergency medical help immediately.
    • Suppository negative effects can include:
      • Bleeding/spotting from urethra
      • Stinging in the urethra
      • Penile pain

Dangerous Drug Combinations
  • Blood pressure medications (E.g. Erectile Drugs), blood thinners and anticoagulants, e.g. heparin or warfarin
  • Do not take with oral Erectile Drugs, like Sildenafil (Viagra), as this can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure
  • Not recommended for individuals with penile implants if you have a curved penis. Consult health care provider for further options.

Sex & Injectables
  • Injectables are used to enhance or prolong erections, and can prolong sexual activity, and help overcome performance anxiety.

HIV Medications & Injectables
  • None known.
  • The site of injection is an opening through which HIV, Hep C and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can easily pass. Use a condom, lube, and other risk reduction strategies such as PrEP and Undectable Viral Load (U+) when using injectables.
  • Use unshared, unused injection gear.
  • Properly dispose of all used needles, syringes and other materials that may have come in contact with blood, in a puncture proof container. For a list of agencies in Toronto that are outfitted with safe sharps disposal, check out this location map.