male impotence, a condition that affects an estimated 10 to 20 million men in the United States. The internet provides Urology
Consultants with the forum to discuss and explore impotence in a very private matter.
Impotence as defined
in the medical community is erectile dysfunction, the consistent inability to attain and maintain an erection satisfactory
for intercourse. With the approval of Caverject® by the FDA a few years ago the treatment of impotence via penile injections has acquired renewed interest and respect by
the medical communities and the concerns and fears of administering to a patient a non FDA approved drug, as it was the case
prior to the introduction of Caverject®, its now practically a mute subject.
Caverject contains a synthesized
version of alprostadil, a naturally occurring form of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), which is found in human tissues and fluids
and plays a role in the mechanism producing a natural erection. Available by prescription, Caverject works by relaxing smooth
muscle tissue, which enhances blood flow to the penis creating an erection.
In clinical studies, the most common side
effect of Caverject was penile pain, which was reported in 37 percent of patients in clinical trials. Other less common side
effects include minor bleeding at the injection site (5 percent), prolonged erection of four to six hours (4 percent) and
fibrosis (3 percent, with one, 18-month study recording a rate of 7.8 percent). The incidence of priapism, an erection that
lasts more than six hours, was 0.4 percent.