Erectile response to transurethral alprostadil, prazosin and alprostadil-prazosin combinations

J Urol. 1998 May;159(5):1523-7; discussion 1527-8. doi: 10.1097/00005392-199805000-00030.


Purpose: Transurethral alprostadil has been shown to be efficacious in many men with erectile dysfunction. We compared transurethral alprostadil and prazosin alone, and in combination to treat this disorder.

Materials and methods: In this double-blind, placebo controlled study the erectile responses to transurethral alprostadil, prazosin and alprostadil-prazosin combinations were assessed in 234 men 26.8 to 81.5 years old with complete organic erectile dysfunction. Patients self-administered a random sequence of 7 doses in the clinic in 4 weeks. The erectile response was assessed using categorical and visual analog scales.

Results: Full penile enlargement or rigidity was achieved by 165 of the 234 men (70.5%) after at least 1 active dose of medication. The most effective alprostadil dose (500 microg.) resulted in full penile enlargement or rigidity in 51.8% of administrations, whereas the most effective prazosin dose (2,000 microg.) and placebo resulted in a similar response in 12.7 and 2.7%, respectively (p <0.001). The 500/2,000 microg. alprostadil/prazosin combination, which resulted in full enlargement or rigidity in 58.9% of doses, was only slightly better than the most effective dose of alprostadil alone (500 microg.). However, combinations of 125/500 and 250/500 microg. alprostadil/prazosin were more effective (p <0.01) than 125 and 250 microg. alprostadil given alone, respectively. The most common side effect of therapy was penile pain, which rarely led to study discontinuation. Hypotension most commonly developed at the higher alprostadil-prazosin combination.

Conclusions: Transurethral alprostadil and alprostadil-prazosin combinations produced erections in men with complete organic erectile dysfunction. This combination therapy may be an option in patients who do not respond to transurethral alprostadil alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alprostadil / pharmacology*
  • Alprostadil / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Erection / drug effects*
  • Prazosin / pharmacology*
  • Prazosin / therapeutic use
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology*
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Alprostadil
  • Prazosin