The efficacy and safety of intracavernosal alprostadil was evaluated for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men with type I or type II diabetes mellitus. This was an open-label, flexible dose-escalating study involving 336 men (77% of whom were Asian/Oriental) enrolled by 15 centres in Australia, Canada and seven countries in Asia. The effective alprostadil dose, ie the dose producing penile rigidity adequate for intercourse and lasting up to 60 min, was established by titration at the clinic prior to entry into the 6 month self-treatment home phase. All men were fully trained in the self-injection technique before entry into the home phase. Efficacy and safety were assessed using patient and partner diaries and by interview at clinic visits during the titration phase and after 1, 3 and 6 months of treatment. An effective home dose was established by titration for 94% of the 336 men (median dose 20 microg, range 2.5-60 microg). Of 278 (83%) men who entered the home phase, 277 men (247 with type II diabetes and 30 with type I diabetes) had evaluable data for alprostadil dosage and clinical response. During the home phase, a satisfactory erectile response was achieved after 99% of injections, and the median alprostadil dose remained unchanged. The initial home dose and clinical response were similar in type I and type II diabetic men. Treatment was generally well tolerated with a low incidence of penile pain (24%) In conclusion, intracavernosal alprostadil was effective and well tolerated in type I and type II diabetic men with erectile dysfunction of mixed aetiology.