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The use of prostaglandin E1 for diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction


Since 1982, many substances have been used for intracavernous injection to produce erections. Because the first-generation drugs (phenoxybenzamine, papaverine) were associated with severe side effects, including priapism and fibrosis of the penis, it was important that a safe and effective substance for intracavernous injection be found. In our series of 550 men with erectile dysfunction who received a test dose of 20 μg prostaglandin E1, 385 (70%) developed an erection lasting more than 30 min. Side effects were minimal: only one patient required treatment for priapism, and no fibrosis was found. A total of 275 patients entered an autoinjection protocol. All of these men were capable of engaging in intercourse and experienced no major side effects. In conclusion, prostaglandin E1 is effective, safe and preferable to all other drugs currently used for intracavernous injection.

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Correspondence to W. Stackl.

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Stackl, W., Hasun, R. & Marberger, M. The use of prostaglandin E1 for diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. World J Urol 8, 84–86 (1990).

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  • Public Health
  • Prostaglandin
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Papaverine
  • Severe Side Effect