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Treatment for Priapism

The earlier the treatment begins, the more effective it is. If the erection lasts for only two to three hours, some decongestant medications, such as pseudoephedrine may do the trick.

Drug Info:
Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant. It is usually taken during allergies or colds. It relieves stuffy nose, drains sinuses and opens nasal passways. It works by constricting blood vessels in the nose, lungs and body’s other mucous membranes. It is also prescribed for other conditions. Side effects are usually mild and include insomnia, restlessness and/or dizziness.

During the first stage of the treatment, the cavernous tissue of the penis shaft gets punctured by a special needle under local anesthesia, the excess blood is drained and vasoconstrictive drugs are injected. Vasoconstrictve drugs constrict the blood vessels and thus, help reduce the blood flow to the penis. Since these drugs may end up in blood vessels servicing other parts of the body, they may cause a sudden drop in arterial pressure and, consequently cause fainting. Hence is it very important that the treatment is administered under medical supervision, preferably in a hospital, and the arterial blood pressure is constantly monitored.

If treatment described above proves ineffective, surgery is usually required. A surgeon usually creates an artificial draining route (which is called a shunt) between veins of the penis and other veins, so that the blood can leave the penis faster. That is known as a shunting procedure.

Even if treatment is timely and effective, there is a probability of temporary erectile dysfunction. This temporary impotence might last for some time after the treatment, but will gradually disappear and the sexual function should return back to normal.

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