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MUSE for Erection Problems

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
alprostadil MUSE

MUSE stands for "medicated urethral system for erections." The medicine is a small pellet that is inserted inside the opening at the end of the penis (urethra). The applicator has a thin tube that contains the pellet of medicine. The tube is inserted into the urethra. By pressing a button on the applicator, you release the pellet. The medicine is absorbed through the membrane that lines the inside of the urethra. An erection develops in about 10 minutes and lasts at least 30 minutes, but usually less than 60 minutes.

See a picture of MUSE (transurethral therapy).

How It Works

The medicine relaxes the muscles in the surrounding blood vessels of the penis, increasing the blood flow into the penis. This allows an erection to occur. The medicine is inserted into the penis before sex. How well it works depends on how much medicine is inserted.

Why It Is Used

This medicine may be prescribed for erection problems (erectile dysfunction) that are caused by psychological or physical problems, or both. Short-term use may help increase confidence in men whose erection problems are psychological.

How Well It Works

This medicine is effective, but how well it works depends on the dose you use. More than 6 out of 10 men had successful intercourse at least once using a higher dose of MUSE. But smaller doses had smaller percentages of positive results.1

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • Hives.
  • An erection that lasts longer than 3 hours or is painful.
  • Signs of getting too much medicine, such as:
    • Dizziness.
    • Fainting.
    • Pain in your pelvic area.
    • Flu-like symptoms.

Common side effects of this medicine include:

  • Light bleeding or spotting from your urethra.
  • Stinging or burning in your urethra after the medicine is inserted.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

When considering MUSE, it is important to include your partner in your decision.

The medicine may cause irritation for your partner when you ejaculate.

When you use this medicine, your partner should avoid performing oral sex.

It is not known how this medicine may affect a fetus in the uterus. If you have sex with a pregnant woman when using this medicine, it's a good idea to use a condom. And if your partner is able to get pregnant, she may want to use some form of birth control during sex.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Checkups

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

References

Citations

  1. Khera M, Goldstein I (2011). Erectile dysfunction, search date August 2009. BMJ Clinical Evidence. Available online: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Last Revised May 14, 2012

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