Alprostadil (Prostaglandin E1, PGE1) is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH is a progressive condition in which the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become narrowed, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood effectively. This can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and dizziness.
As a vasodilator, alprostadil works to relax vascular smooth muscle thereby permitting more blood flow. In clinical trials, alprostadil has been shown to improve exercise capacity, reduce shortness of breath, and improve quality of life in people with PAH. However, it is not a cure for the condition and must be taken continuously to maintain its benefits. Furthermore, alprostadil can cause side effects, including pain or burning at the injection site, dizziness, and abnormal heart rhythms.
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