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Generic Name:

alprostadil, Injectable solution

Caverject,Edex,Caverject Impulse

Caverject

Generic Name: alprostadil, Injectable solution

All Brands

  • Caverject
  • Edex
  • Caverject Impulse
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for Caverject

Injectable solution
1

Caverject is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. This is the inability to get or keep an erection. This condition is also called impotence.

2

Caverject is available as an injectable solution.

3

Caverject should not be used with other medications used to treat ED.

4

The most common side effects of this drug is pain at the injection site.

5

One of the most serious adverse events is long-lasting erections. Call your doctor if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Long-lasting erections

This drug may cause erections that last longer than 4 hours. Such long erections can damage penis tissue and make you unable to have future erections. Call your doctor if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours.

Sexual activity not advised

If your doctor advises you not to take part in sexual activity, don’t use this drug.

Tissue damage

Injecting this drug into penis tissues can damage these tissues. Your doctor will monitor you during treatment and will examine your penis for tissue damage.

Needle breakage

In rare cases, the needle on your injectable syringe may break during the injection. Part of the needle may remain in your penis. This may require hospitalization or surgery. Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will show you how to give yourself the injection the right way. This can help reduce your risk of needle breakage.

What is Caverject?

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s not available as a generic drug.

Your healthcare provider or pharmacist will teach you how to use the suppository before you use it the first time.

This drug should not be used in combination with other drugs that treat ED.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. This is the inability to get or keep an erection. This condition is also called impotence.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called prostaglandins.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called prostaglandins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug works by relaxing the muscles in the penis and increasing blood flow to the penis. These actions cause an erection.

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SECTION 2 of 4

Caverject Side Effects

Injectable solution

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that can occur with use of Caverject include:

  • pain at the injection site

  • rash or swelling around the penis

  • headache

  • flu-like symptoms

  • runny nose and congestion

  • back pain

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Long-lasting erection. Symptoms can include:

    • an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours
  • Injection site problems. Symptoms can include:

    • bruising
    • itching
    • redness in the skin
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

Caverject May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

Caverject can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

Avoid using alcohol with this drug. Drinking alcohol can cause or worsen ED problems.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs that increase the risk of side effects

Using Caverject injectable solution while using drugs that thin your blood can cause a small amount of bleeding at the injection site. Examples of blood thinners include:

  • warfarin
  • heparin

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
blood disorders
People with blood disorders

Health conditions such as sickle cell anemia, leukemia, or multiple myeloma raise your risk of a dangerous, long-lasting erection when using this drug.

penile implants or abnormal penis
People with penile implants or abnormal penis

If you have a penile implant or a penis with an abnormal shape, don’t use this drug.

should not engage in sexual activity
People who should not engage in sexual activity

If your doctor advises you to avoid sexual activity, you shouldn’t use this drug.

for children
For children

This drug should not be used in children. This drug contains an ingredient called benzyl alcohol that can cause breathing problems and possibly death in children.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you see redness, lumps, swelling, or curving of your penis.

allergies
Allergies

This can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue 

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take Caverject (Dosage)

Injectable solution

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Erectile dysfunction

Brand: Caverject

Form: Injection
Strengths: 5 mcg, 10 mcg, 20 mcg, 40 mcg

Brand: Caverject Impulse

Form: Injection
Strengths: 10 mcg, 20 mcg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The starting dose is usually determined at your doctor’s office. Your doctor will train you to inject Caverject.

  • Typical starting dose: 2.5 mcg, and increased by 2.5–10 mcg until an erection occurs.
  • Maximum dose: 60 mcg.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Caverject should not be used in children.

Special considerations

Caverject for ED due to spinal cord injury: The starting dose is usually determined at your doctor’s office. Your doctor will train you to inject this drug.

  • Typical starting dose: 1.25 mcg, and increased by 1.25–5 mcg until an erection occurs.

 Warnings

Don’t take this drug more than 3 times per week. Wait at least 24 hours between doses.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

You will be treated with this drug in your doctor’s office to find out what dose is best for you. After that, you can inject it yourself at home.

An injection of this drug will produce an erection in 5 to 20 minutes. The erection will last for about 1 hour.

Your erection should not last more than 1 hour.

Do not use this drug more than 3 times per week. There should be at least 24 hours between doses.

This drug comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • severe pain in the penis
  • long-lasting erections (erections that last more than 4 hours can cause serious and permanent damage)

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your ED symptoms should get better. You should find it easier to achieve an erection.

This drug is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug

Store this drug carefully

  • Store unused injectable solution at room temperature of 77°F (25°C).
  • If the solution has been mixed, it can be only stored for 24 hours
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

Your doctor will train you to use the injectable solution. You can also follow the instructions found in the package insert.

In addition to the medication, you may need:

  • sterile syringes
  • sterile needles
  • alcohol swabs

Clinical monitoring

You may need to visit your doctor every 3 months to make sure that this drug is safe and working well for you.

Hidden costs

In addition to the medication, you may need to purchase:

  • sterile syringes
  • sterile needles
  • alcohol swabs
  • A sharps container (a bin for safe disposal of used needles)

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 1, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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