Urethral pellets are
another option to help with erection problems that can result after treatment for prostate cancer.
They are sometimes referred to as intraurethral suppositories or medicated urethral system for erections (MUSE).
They are made with basically the same medicine (alprostadil) that is used in self-injection drugs (penile injections).
The medicine is inserted into the tip of the penis through the same opening that a man urinates through (called the urethra).
How they are used
The application procedure involves several steps. If the doctor does not offer to show you how to use a urethral pellet, you may want to ask for a demonstration.
How long to work?
It generally takes 5 to 10 minutes to achieve an erection, which is expected to last from 30 to 60 minutes. Results may vary. There are different dosages and it may take some time to find the right dose. Like self-injected drugs, there are limitations to how often the pellets can be used. The doctor should give you specific instructions.
Issues with urethral pellets
Not for every man
Some men cannot use these drugs, including men with:
If your loved one has an erection for more than 4 hours with a urethral pellet (called priapism), seek immediate medical attention.
American Cancer Society. Ways of dealing with sexual problems. http://www.cancer.org. Accessed September 1, 2008.
Cornell University. Drug Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. http://www.cornellurology.com/sexualmedicine/ed/vacuum.shtml.
http://www.cornellurology.com/sexualmedicine/ed/drugs.shtml. Accessed December 4, 2008.
Kaiser Permanente. MUSE for erection problems.
http://members.kaiserpermanente.org/kpweb/healthency.do?hwid=aa66949. Accessed December 4, 2008.
MUSE (alprostadil) [Patient Information]. Vivus Inc.; Mountain View, CA: 2003.
Always consult a medical professional.