The active ingredient of Caverject, alprostadil, is similar to the natural substance in your body called prostaglandin E1 and has a direct action on the erectile tissue of the penis to cause the blood vessels there to widen so that blood can flow in your penis more easily. This makes it easier for you to have an erection. It takes 5-15 minutes to work and your erection will normally last for up to 1 after injection, but the duration of action will vary from patient to patient and depends upon the dose used.
The effectiveness of Caverject has been proved in clinical trials. In one trial of almost 300 men, Over 85% of men rated their sexual activity as satisfactory after injection. In another trial in diabetic men, 76.5% of men rated the sexual activity as satisfactory.
How to use Caverject (alprostadil)
It's important to read the patient information leaflet carefully before using Caverject.
Caverject (alprostadil) should only be used if prescribed by a registered doctor and a doctor has shown you how to inject Caverject. Caverject is injected into the spongy tissue on either side of the penis called the corpus cavernosum. Do not try to learn yourself or inject if you cannot remember how to do this safely as incorrect injection can damage the penis. The patient information leaflets provide instructions of how to administer the injection and can be found here:
The dose required varies between men. Your doctor will advise on the right dose for you. The starting dose is 1.25 - 2.5 micrograms and this is then increased depending upon the results. Most men find that a dose of 5 - 20 micrograms is suitable however some men may require a higher dose. To minimise the risk of prolonged painful erection, your doctor will select the lowest effective dose. You should never use more than 40 micrograms.
Do not use Caverject more than once in 24 hours or more than three times in a week. Change the exact place and side of the penis that you inject Caverject each time you use it.
Caverject can be used by couples wishing to conceive and with a partner who is pregnant or breast-feeding. It will not protect your partner from pregnancy or stop the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. The injection can result in a small amount of blood which can increase the risk of spreading certain sexually transmitted infections. The use of a condom is recommended to protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Do not use Caverject if you:
- Are allergic (hypersensitive) to Caverject or any other medicines containing alprostadil or any of the other ingredients of Caverject.
- Have sickle cell anaemia (a blood disease), leukaemia (cancer of the blood), multiple myeloma (bone cancer) or any other problem which increases the risk of getting “priapism”. This is a painful condition when your penis continues to remain erect.
- Have an implant in your penis.
- Have a condition (such as severe heart disease) in which sexual activity should be avoided.
- Have a penis which is scarred or not straight.
- Have a tight foreskin.
Caverject can interact with other medicines so it's important that you tell the doctor about all medicines you are taking before you start using Caverject.
Caverject (alprostadil) Side Effects
Like all medicines, Caverject can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Common side effects (may affect more than 1 in 10 patients) include pain in the penis.
If you get a long-lasting erection of more than 4 hours, contact your doctor immediately as treatment must be started within 6 hours. If you cannot contact your doctor go to an Accident and Emergency department.
For a full list of potential side effects and other important information, please read the patient leaflet provided in the pack before starting any course of treatment. The leaflet can also be viewed online here:
Convenient & confidential Erectile Dysfunction consultations are available through the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service.