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Vitaros

Vitaros

Vitaros is a cream that is used to treat Erectile Dysfunction in men over 18 years old. The active ingredient is called alprostadil. Alprostadil is a proven treatment for ED that has been used in various forms for over two decades. 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)

Erectile Dysfunction is when you struggle to achieve or to keep an erection for sexual activity. It is probably more common than you think as it affects around 1 in 10 and most men experience it at some point in their life. ED can affect all men, no matter their sexual persuasion. ED can be caused by physical or psychological conditions and left untreated ED can lead to depression and other self-confidence issues or relationship problems. 

What is Vitaros? 

Vitaros is a cream that is used to treat Erectile Dysfunction in men over 18 years old. The active ingredient is called alprostadil. Alprostadil is a proven treatment for ED that has been used in various forms for over two decades. This ingredient is combined with DDAIP to create a cream that is easy to apply and is easily absorbed.  

When is Vitaros used? 

Vitaros is used to treat mild to severe Erectile Dysfunction. It starts to work within 5 to 30 minutes after application so you don’t need a lot of prior planning. Vitaros can be an effective ED treatment if you have other underlying conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.  

Vitaros does not interact with food or alcohol so you don’t need to work out exactly what you’ll be doing at any particular time and can just concentrate on enjoying yourself. 

 As Vitaros is a cream is it also a good option for men who would rather avoid taking pills or having injections. The fact that this treatment is locally applied can also mean that some side effects of the active ingredient alprostadil are minimised as you are only applying it to one single area of your body rather than absorbing it throught your whole system. 

How do you use Vitaros? 

When it comes to taking medication, you should always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. It is important you apply Vitaros properly. If you are unsure how to do this please talk to a healthcare professional. 

Vitaros comes in a special AccuDose pipette and should be applied around 30 minutes before intercourse. The effect will last 1-2 hours, this varies from person to person. You may wish to practice applying Vitaros on your own at first so that you are not under pressure and can get take the time to get it right. 

We recommend you go to the toilet before starting to apply the cream as if you urinate shortly after application, some of the cream may be washed away and the effect will be lessened. 

  • Start by washing your hands; 
  • Vitaros should be stored in the fridge. Remove the AccuDose container from the fridge and open the sachet; 
  • Warm the pipette between your hands to bring it to room temperature; 
  • Twist the plunger several times to make sure it will glide easily when you come to use it; 
  • Remove the cap; 
  • Grasp the tip of your penis and hold it in an upright position (you need to keep this position to stop the cream sliding down with gravity), ensuring the foreskin is pulled back; 
  • Gently using one hand and squeeze to widen the opening at the tip of the penis; 
  • Take the AccuDose pipette in the other hand and place the tip of the pipette as close to the opening of your penis as possible (without inserting it inside your penis). The pipette should be lined up so that the cream can go directly down your urethra (the tube where urine and semen come out of your body); 
  • Once you are ready, slowly, but firmly push down on the plunger to squeeze the cream into the penis; 
  • Ensure that the full dose is squeezed out of the plunger; 
  • Take care not to place the pipette into the penis; 
  • Hold your penis in an upright position for around 30 seconds to allow the cream to penetrate; 
  • There may be some cream left on your penis that has not gone down the opening at the tip of the penis; 
  • Using the tip of your finger gently move any excess cream to the opening at the tip of your penis; 
  • Do not urinate after applying the cream as this may cause it to come out and weaken the effect; 
  • When you are done place the cap back on the AccuDose pipette and put it back into the sachet before throwing it away in a suitable bin; 
  • Wash your hands again as Vitaros may irritate your eyes if you touch your face later. 

Once you have completed application you can engage in foreplay which may help with your arousal and erection. It will take up to thirty minutes for Vitaros to have a full effect. This effect will last for 1-2 hours but this does vary from person to person. 

What dosages are there? 

Vitaros comes in two different doses. 200 or 300 mcg of alprostadil per 100g of cream. Vitaros should be used as needed to achieve an erection. Your doctor will prescribe the starting dose for you. Do not alter the dose on your own. Vitaros comes in AccuDose pipettes, each one containing one dose for one erection.  

You should not use Vitaros more than 2-3 times a week. Do not use Vitaros more than once in a 24-hour period. 

What are the side effects of Vitaros? 

As with all medications, Vitaros comes with some possible side effects, not everyone who uses Vitaros will experience all or any of these side effects. 

If you get an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours, contact your doctor as you may need to reduce the dose or stop using Vitaros. 

Common side effects that may affect more than 1 in 10 people are: 

You: 

  • A red penis, mild to moderate aching, burning or pain; 
  • A rash; 
  • Swelling of the penis; 
  • A tingling, throbbing, numb or burning penis; 
  • Inflammation of the glans penis; 
  • Itching. 

Your partner: 

  • Mild genital itching or burning, vaginitis. 

Itching may be due to the drug or to penetration, penetration can be easier if you use a water-based lubricant. 

Uncommon, serious side effects that may affect up to 1 in 100 people: 

You: 

  • A prolonged erection lasting more than 4 hours; 
  • Penile itching; 
  • Dizziness/feeling light-headed; 
  • Fainting; 
  • Low blood pressure; 
  • Rapid pulse; 
  • Genital rash; 
  • Pain in the scrotum area; 
  • Lack of feeling in the penis; 
  • Increase in sensitivity; 
  • Pain at the application site; 
  • Urinary tract inflammation; 
  • Urethral stenosis (narrowing of the urethra which can cause problems when urinating, infections and pain). 

Your partner: 

  • Severe vaginal itching (vulvovaginal pruritus). 

You should always seek professional advice if you are experiencing side effects, even those not listed here. 

When shouldn’t you use Vitaros? 

You should not use Vitaros if: 

  • You are allergic to alprostadil or any of the other ingredients listed on the packet; 
  • You have an abnormally formed penis; 
  • You are prone to blood clots; 
  • You have a history of blood pressure issues (e.g. your blood pressure drops when going from sitting to standing or lying to sitting); 
  • You have a history of heart attack; 
  • You have a condition that may cause a long-lasting erection; 
  • You have a swollen or infected penis; 
  • You have been told to avoid sex for health reasons (such as stroke or heart disease); 
  • If your partner is pregnant or breastfeeding (unless you are using a condom); 
  • You have any of the following, sickle cell anaemia, thrombocythemia, polycythaemia, multiple myeloma or leukaemia. 

You should talk to your doctor before using Vitaros if you have a history of any of the following. 

  • A prolonged erection lasting less than 4 hours; 
  • Dizziness; 
  • Hepatic and/or renal insufficiency (you may need to use a lower than usual dose of Vitaros); 
  • Fainting. 

You should use a condom when using Vitaros in the following situations: 

  • If your partner is pregnant or breastfeeding; 
  • If your partner is of childbearing potential; 
  • To prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections; 
  • During oral and anal sex. 

Pregnant women should not come in to contact with Vitaros as the effects are unknown. The same goes for women who are breastfeeding.  

The effect of Vitaros on a man’s fertility is unknown. 

As Vitaros may make you feel dizzy you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery whilst using Vitaros. 

Does Vitaros interact with other medications? 

If you are already taking other medication for ED, then you should avoid using Vitaros as it has not been studied for use in combination with these drugs. It could cause dizziness, fainting or prolonged erections. 

Vitaros has not been tested for use with penile implants or smooth muscle relaxants like papaverine, nor has it been tested with drugs used to induce erections. Taking Vitaros with these treatments could cause painful, prolonged abnormal erection. 

Vitaros may be less effective when used alongside treatments for high blood pressure, decongestants and appetite suppressants, although this has not been tested. 

Do not use Vitaros alongside treatment to prevent blood clots as there is an increased risk for bleeding or blood in your urine. 

Avoid using Vitaros with medication for high blood pressure as it may increase the likelihood of feeling dizzy or fainting, especially in the elderly. 

Where can you buy Vitaros? 

You can buy Vitaros from any pharmacy, order online for discretion and easy delivery, visit your local pharmacist or shop wherever is convenient for you.  

Can I get Vitaros without a prescription? 

Vitaros is a prescription-only treatment. You will need to consult a doctor and to discuss the treatment to obtain a prescription before you can purchase it. You can arrange an online consultation or visit your local GP. 

Sources 

Ferring Pharmaceuticals (2017). About VITAROS® - Vitaros. [online] Vitaros. Available at: https://www.vitaros.co.uk/patient/about-vitaros/?t=h1573652712 [Accessed 19 Nov. 2019]. 

Ferring Pharmaceuticals (2017). Why VITAROS® - Vitaros. [online] Vitaros. Available at: https://www.vitaros.co.uk/patient/why-vitaros/?t=h1573652727 [Accessed 19 Nov. 2019]. 

Medicines.org.uk. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.4347.pdf [Accessed 19 Nov. 2019]. 

Nhs.uk. (2019). Male sexual problems. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/male-sexual-problems/ [Accessed 19 Nov. 2019]. 

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.

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