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Alprostadil

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By injection

Treats impotence. Also used during tests to find a cause for erection problems… Read more

Brand names include: Caverject, Caverject Impulse

Inside the urethra (urine tube)

Alprostadil urethral suppository is used to treat men who have erectile dysfunction (also called sexual impotence). It belongs to a group of medicines… Read more

Brand names include: Muse, Muse Micro

Into a vein

Alprostadil injection is used to treat certain heart, lung, and blood vessel problems in infants. It is used to temporarily keep the ductus arteriosus… Read more

Brand names include: Prostin VR Pediatric

Intracavernosal route

Alprostadil injection is used to treat men who have erectile dysfunction (also called sexual impotence). It belongs to a group of medicines called vasodilators… Read more

Brand names include: Caverject, Edex

Drug classes About this
Endocrine-Metabolic Agent, Erectile Dysfunction Agent, Prostaglandin

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Prostaglandin E1 helps many men suffering from erectile dysfunction to have sexual intercourse

Men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) are unable to achieve an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. One of the most common treatment is with prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), a naturally occurring PGE used to treat this dysfunction. Men either inject PGE1 into their penis or insert a pellet containing the drug into the end of the penis (into the urethra). The review of trials found that men using PGE1 reported more satisfactory sexual experiences. Higher doses gave greater benefits but also increased the adverse effects. The most common adverse effect is some pain, and men may prefer the urethral medication rather than injections.

Prostanoids for treating people with severe peripheral arterial disease of the legs

People with severely narrowed arteries of the lower limbs may suffer rest pain, ulcers, or gangrene, and this problem is called critical limb ischaemia. There is no option other than amputation for patients who present with critical limb ischaemia and who are unsuitable for rescue or reconstructive intervention of the arteries. The question is whether specific drugs such as prostanoids reduce mortality and progression of the disease, including amputations, more than placebo or other treatments. This review of 20 trials did not find any conclusive evidence that prostanoids provided long‐term benefit. Prostanoids seem to have efficacy regarding rest‐pain relief and ulcer healing. Iloprost may also have favourable results regarding major amputations. The more frequently reported adverse events when using prostanoids were headache, facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea

There is little evidence to support the use of drugs to improve outcomes in adults with lung injury

In adults, direct lung damage or indirect damage caused by trauma, infection or other factors can result in acute lung injury, including acute respiratory distress syndrome. Patients with this syndrome require mechanical ventilation. About half of patients die, and survivors have a prolonged stay in intensive care and physical limitations afterwards. Many drugs have been studied to improve lung function and reduce inflammation in these patients. The evidence to date does not convincingly show that any drug saves lives, although some small studies have shown potential benefit.

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Summaries for consumers

Prostaglandin E1 helps many men suffering from erectile dysfunction to have sexual intercourse

Men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) are unable to achieve an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. One of the most common treatment is with prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), a naturally occurring PGE used to treat this dysfunction. Men either inject PGE1 into their penis or insert a pellet containing the drug into the end of the penis (into the urethra). The review of trials found that men using PGE1 reported more satisfactory sexual experiences. Higher doses gave greater benefits but also increased the adverse effects. The most common adverse effect is some pain, and men may prefer the urethral medication rather than injections.

Prostanoids for treating people with severe peripheral arterial disease of the legs

People with severely narrowed arteries of the lower limbs may suffer rest pain, ulcers, or gangrene, and this problem is called critical limb ischaemia. There is no option other than amputation for patients who present with critical limb ischaemia and who are unsuitable for rescue or reconstructive intervention of the arteries. The question is whether specific drugs such as prostanoids reduce mortality and progression of the disease, including amputations, more than placebo or other treatments. This review of 20 trials did not find any conclusive evidence that prostanoids provided long‐term benefit. Prostanoids seem to have efficacy regarding rest‐pain relief and ulcer healing. Iloprost may also have favourable results regarding major amputations. The more frequently reported adverse events when using prostanoids were headache, facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea

There is little evidence to support the use of drugs to improve outcomes in adults with lung injury

In adults, direct lung damage or indirect damage caused by trauma, infection or other factors can result in acute lung injury, including acute respiratory distress syndrome. Patients with this syndrome require mechanical ventilation. About half of patients die, and survivors have a prolonged stay in intensive care and physical limitations afterwards. Many drugs have been studied to improve lung function and reduce inflammation in these patients. The evidence to date does not convincingly show that any drug saves lives, although some small studies have shown potential benefit.

See all (10)

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