How Do Genitourinary Prostaglandins Work?

Reviewed on 12/6/2021

How do genitourinary prostaglandins work?

Genitourinary prostaglandins are medications used to treat erectile dysfunction. Genitourinary prostaglandins relax the smooth muscles in the penis and dilate the penile artery, which results in improved blood flow and entrapment of blood in the penis, producing an erection.

Genitourinary prostaglandins work by increasing the production of signaling molecules known as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and reducing the influx of calcium in the penile vascular smooth muscles. This results in smooth muscle relaxation and arterial dilation, increasing blood flow to the penis.

How are genitourinary prostaglandins used?

Genitourinary prostaglandins are administered as an intracavernous injection into the corpus cavernosum, the erectile tissue in the penis, or as a urethral suppository into the urethra. Genitourinary prostaglandins are approved by the FDA to treat erectile dysfunction in adults.

What are side effects of genitourinary prostaglandins?

Side effects of genitourinary prostaglandins may include the following:

Urethral suppository

Intracavernous injection

  • Penile pain
  • A prolonged erection (4-6 hours)
  • Penile fibrosis (fibrous scar tissue growth)
  • Injection site hematoma
  • Injection site ecchymosis (discoloration)
  • Penile rash
  • Penile edema
  • Priapism (prolonged erection) for longer than 6 hours
  • Injection site hemorrhage
  • Intracavernous injection device failure

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of genitourinary prostaglandin drugs?

Generic and brand names of genitourinary prostaglandin drugs include:


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