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Conditions: Erectile Dysfunction

Self-Injection - Erectile Dysfunction

What are the side effects of injections used to treat ED?

The greatest concern about using injection therapy is the possibility of developing prolonged erections (lasting longer than 4-6 hours). This condition is known as priapism and can cause permanent damage to the erection tissue of the penis. Priapism can be avoided by carefully dosing the medication, which should be coordinated by your urologist (see Fact Card on Avoiding And Treating Priapism).

In general, minor side effects that may occur with penile injection therapy include:

  • Mild bruising over the site of injection: this can be avoided by pressing over the injection site for 3 minutes (6 minutes if you are using a blood thinner).
  • Penile pain: while uncommon, this occurs more commonly in men using alprostadil containing injection agents. It is most common in men with diabetes and following radical prostatectomy surgery.
  • Swelling at the site of injection: this usually happens when some of the medication is discharged under the skin and usually occurs with poor technique.
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