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Muse (Alprostadil)

Muse (Alprostadil)

Alprostadil is an erectile dysfunction "ED" treatment capable of giving an erection strong enough for sex in a large percentage of men. Often, this medication is one of the final options offered as a medical treatment for ED. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

Patient Leaflet(s)

Muse, or "Alprostadil" is a medication taken for erectile dysfunction, or "ED." It is only available via prescription from a registered doctor or nurse.  

This drug should only ever be used with men who have erectile dysfunction, and may also be sold under the brand names, MUSE, Caverject, Edex, and Prostin VR. MUSE refers to the suppository form of the Alprostadil drug and stands for Medicated Urethral System for Erection.  

Other forms of Alprostadil include suppository and creams.  

What is Alprostadil/ MUSE? 

Alprostadil is an erectile dysfunction "ED" treatment capable of giving an erection strong enough for sex in a large percentage of men. Often, this medication is one of the final options offered as a medical treatment for ED. Most GPs will only recommend this substance if other treatments have already been used unsuccessfully.  

Alprostadil is a man-made synthetic hormone which works by expanding the blood vessels. This improves blood flow to the penis and makes it easier for people with erectile dysfunction to achieve an erection. Most users will be able to get an erection in between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the method used for the application.  

The injection method of delivery for Alprostadil is considered to be the most powerful. MUSE refers to the suppository method that involves placing a small capsule within the urethra. MUSE can last for between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the dosage. 

When is Alprostadil Used? 

Alprostadil is only offered as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and impotence after other treatment routes have been exhausted. This substance can also help to diagnose some of the causes of the ED disorder, by determining whether the issue is related to blood flow.  

In some cases, Alprostadil is also used to improve blood flow in newborn babies with heart problems. In this guide, we will not be discussing the use of this substance for infant medication. We are only covering MUSE as it relates to men with erectile dysfunction.  Alprostadil is used to treat erectile dysfunction and impotence in men; it works by relaxing the blood vessels and muscles in the penis, which improves blood flow.  

How do you Use Alprostadil? 

Alprostadil is available in a number of different forms.  

The injection method of using Alprostadil is the most common. Usually, a doctor will need to show you how to give yourself an injection. You will also need to be shown how to prepare the mixture for injection.  

The MUSE form of Alprostadil is a form of a suppository, and the treatment method we're discussing here. To insert a suppository, you will first need to urinate. The small amount of urine left in your urethra may help the suppository to dissolve once inserted.  

The suppository is only about half of the size of a grain of rice, and it can be inserted into the end of the penis using a plastic application tool. Some people will prefer to use a small amount of lubricant to help apply the applicator. The button on the applicator will deliver the suppository to the urethra. To help dissolve the suppository, roll your penis between your fingers for a few seconds. If you continue to feel any discomfort or stinging, this feeling may stop with additional massaging.  

Most of the time Alprostadil will begin to worth after the suppository has been allowed to activate for between 5 and 15 minutes. Usually, it is best to wait between 10 and 30 minutes before having sex. Erections achieved with Alprostadil can last for about an hour and may continue after ejaculation. Alprostadil should not be used more than 3 times a week, and it is important to wait 24 hours between each use.  

What Dosages are Available? 

The dose typically provided for Alprostadil will depend on the way that you apply the medication. For the injection delivery, you can expect a dosage of 2.5 micrograms for the first dose, followed by five micrograms in a second dose to be given after response has been proven to the first dose.  

Some doctors increase the dosage to 7.5 micrograms after the second dose, with increased steps up to 10 micrograms depending on the individual needs of the user. Sometimes, Alprostadil may require some experimentation to find a dosage suitable for providing an erection that lasts for up to 1 hour.  

The MUSE urethral application of Alprostadil is often given in doses of around 250 micrograms, adjusted according to the response of the individual patient. The maximum dose per day is 2, and the maximum dose per week is 7. It is important not to exceed the dosage provided by your doctor, as incorrect usage of Alprostadil can severely harm the penis and cause lasting damage.  

What are the Side Effects of Alprostadil? 

Your doctor will provide extensive information about how to safely use Alprostadil. For instance, if you are using MUSE via suppository and having sex with a pregnant woman, you should always use a condom. Doctors are unaware of how Alprostadil may affect a baby. Additionally, it's essential to store the drug in its original container, away from children.  

Side effects are common with any medication, including Alprostadil. The most common side effect of MUSE is slight discomfort when you first apply the suppository. You might get some discomfort in your penis, urethra, and testicles. Some patients report slight redness of the penis, and a warmth or burning sensation in their urethra.  

If you have any of the following, rarer side effects, it is important to contact your doctor as quickly as possible. You may need to call an ambulance: 

  • Curving of the penis 
  • Discomfort when maintaining an erection 
  • An erection that lasts for more than 4 hours 
  • Pain in the penis 
  • Swelling and pain in the testicles 
  • Stinging in the urethra 
  • Bleeding from the urethra 

Your sexual partner may also experience mild side effects from Alprostadil, including irritation, burning and itching. Other side effects may also occur with Alprostadil. Contact your doctor if anything feels unusual after taking this medication.  

When Shouldn't You Use Alprostadil? 

Alprostadil is not suited to everyone. Before you take this substance, it is crucial to inform your doctor if: 

  • You have a history of priapism - prolonged and painful erections that aren't linked to sexual stimulation.  
  • You have a penile implant. 
  • You take any over-the-counter or prescription drugs, including dietary supplements and herbal medications. 
  • You are allergic to any substances, including drugs, preservatives, or dyes 
  • You have had an allergic reaction to Alprostadil in the past.  

Alprostadil may also not be the right medication for you if you have had specific medical issues in the past. For instance, if your penis has any curvature or birth defects, then Alprostadil may be dangerous for you. Other medical conditions that can affect Alprostadil include: 

  • Penile infections 
  • Bleeding problems 
  • Conditions that cause a slower flow of blood 
  • Conditions that require the use of blood thinners 
  • Peyronie's disease 

Make sure that you speak to your doctor if you have previously been advised by a healthcare professional to avoid sexual activity for any reason. You should also speak to a healthcare professional before taking Alprostadil if you have ever suffered from blood cell issues like sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, leukemia, thrombocythemia, polycythemia, and more.  

Be cautious about taking any kind of erectile dysfunction medication if you or your family have ever had issues with heart failure or heart disease. You should also inform your doctor before taking Alprostadil if you or anyone in your immediate family has suffered from blood clots in the lungs or legs. If you have recently undergone surgery, then Alprostadil can affect your healing process and blood flow, so make sure that your doctor is fully aware of this situation. Your doctor may advise you to avoid using Alprostadil until a certain amount of time has passed.  

Remember, if you cannot take Alprostadil then your doctor may be able to recommend other treatments for your condition that will be less dangerous.  

Does Alprostadil Interact with Any Other Medications? 

As with any medication, Alprostadil can react differently with certain medications, including herbal substances. This is why it is so vital for patients to inform their doctor of all the materials that they are taking before they begin a course of Alprostadil.  

Tell your doctor about the current medications that you are using, and any medicines that you have recently used in the last month. This includes any other medications that you inject or insert in to the penis and medications that affect the flow of blood. Blood thinners like warfarin and heparin can interact negatively with Alprostadil.  

There are other drugs that may interact with Alprostadil too, including over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, and herbal products. Interactions may occur differently in different people. It's not possible to say for certain at this time how herbal medications may affect your experience of Alprostadil.  

Keep in mind that Alprostadil should always be taken with caution if you are drinking alcohol, as it can affect the flow of blood. In some cases, Alprostadil may cause you to feel lightheaded, in which case, you should avoid driving and strenuous activities.  

Keep in mind that Alprostadil will not protect you from contracting sexually transmitted diseases. You will need to speak to your doctor about the safe ways that you can prevent the transmission of disease during sex.  

Where Can you Buy Alprostadil? 

It is only possible to purchase Alprostadil after it has been prescribed to you following a full assessment from your doctor. Alprostadil is not always provided as a treatment option for everyone with erectile dysfunction. It will only be given to people under certain circumstances after people have attempted other forms of medication.  

If you would like to try the injection form then you must see your doctor to be assessed and shown how to inject safely, you may also find online training videos. 

Once you have your prescription, you will be able to take it to any pharmacy to get your medication. The drug Alprostadil can also be called MUSE, Prostin, Edex, Vitaros, Viridal, and Caverject. These are all branded names for the Alprostadil substance.  

Can You Get Alprostadil without a Prescription?  

Alprostadil cannot be purchased from any pharmacy without a prescription from a registered doctor. You will need to complete a full evaluation with a general practitioner to ensure that Alprostadil is correct for you. Additionally, you may need to visit your doctor multiple times to ensure that you get the right dosage of Alprostadil, as the dose may need to be adjusted.  

Sources 

RXList, Accessed 23rd of April 2019, Muse Alprostadil Urethral Suppository, Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/muse-drug.htm#description 

Cerner Multum, Inc, Version 10.01, 2018, Alprostadil Injectable and Transurethral, Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/mtm/alprostadil-injectable-and-transurethral.html 

Cuzin, Beatrice, Ther Adv Urol, August 2016, Alprostadil cream in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: clinical evidence and experience, Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5131739/ 

Medline Plus, Revised 15/02/2018, Alprostadil Urogenital, Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a695022.html 

NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Accessed 19th of April 2018, Nice UK Open, Retrieved from https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/alprostadil.html