Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common and the rate of incidence is increasing in men over the age of 40. Between the ages of 40-50, the prevalence of ED is estimated to be between 2-10%.
There are many medications available out there for ED. A common medication name is Viagra but what about Alprostadil? Alprostadil is another medication option that can help you combat ED but it is important to know more about it before using it. So here's everything you need to know.
Alprostadil works by improving the blood flow to the penis enabling it to maintain an erection. It belongs to the family of prostaglandins, which your body naturally produces. These prostaglandins increase blood flow to specific parts of the body. The application of Alprostadil improves erection time by increasing blood flow to the penis as the body receives signals to that specific area. Alprostadil works in about 5-20 minutes. After application, wait 10-30 minutes before having sex and your erection should last for about roughly an hour. It is available in 3 forms:
As ideal as Alprostadil sounds, it is not part of the first-line treatment for ED. Alprostadil is usually prescribed if other ED medications do not work. The usual first-line medications for ED are medicines that come from the family of PDE-5 inhibitors. PDE-5 inhibitors are preferred as the first choice as they are available to consume in tabler form. This allows patients more ease compared to the methods of Alprostadil application. PDE-5 inhibitors include:
Alprostadil and PDE-5 inhibitors work using the same mechanism of action (increasing blood flow to the penis) and are both found to have roughly the same percentage of effectiveness. To get a better idea of which medication is suited for your body, make an appointment with your local doctors to talk through your treatment types.
Alprostadil cannot be bought over the counter in pharmacies, however, if you have a prescription from your doctor is it available in more pharmacies. However, Alprostadil is only freely available on the NHS if ED is caused by certain medical conditions. These include:
If your ED is not a symptom of any of these conditions, you will need to get a private prescription from a doctor.
The common side effects of Alprostadil usually occur as a result of the methods of application rather than the medication itself. The common side effect is a pain in the penis. Other side effects include dizziness, headache, or flu-like symptoms. Swelling, redness, pain, or a rash on the penis. Bleeding and burning from the urethra (the opening to the penis) and changes in blood pressure.
If you experience any side effects, it is important to stop the medication and seek another doctor’s appointment. However, if you experience any of these rarer symptoms below, it is important to call your doctor immediately. Rarer symptoms include:
No side effects have been linked to the long term use of Alprostadil. Even so, it is important to use it only when needed.
Alprostadil should not be taken if you:
Find out more about the treatments mentioned in this article below:
Effective for up to 4 hours
For daily or intermittent use
Effective for up to 5 hours
Works in 15-30 minutes
Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil
Over the counter treatment
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