5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
5.1 Prolonged Erection and Priapism
Prolonged erection, defined as erection lasting between 4 to 6 hours in duration, occurred in 4% of 1,861 patients treated up to 18 months in studies of CAVERJECT. The incidence of priapism (erections lasting more than 6 hours in duration) was 0.4%. In the event of an erection that persists longer than 4 hours, the patient should seek immediate medical assistance. If priapism is not treated immediately, penile tissue damage and permanent loss of potency may result.
To minimize the chances of prolonged erection or priapism, titrate CAVERJECT IMPULSE to the lowest effective dose [see Dosage and Administration (2.1]. In addition, do not use CAVERJECT IMPULSE in patients who have conditions that predispose them to priapism, such as sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait, multiple myeloma, or leukemia [see Contraindications (4)].
5.2 Penile Fibrosis
The overall incidence of penile fibrosis reported in clinical studies with CAVERJECT was 3%. In one self-injection clinical study where duration of use was up to 18 months, the incidence of penile fibrosis was 7.8%.
Physical examination of the penis should be performed periodically to detect signs of penile fibrosis. Treatment with CAVERJECT IMPULSE should be discontinued in patients who develop penile angulation or cavernosal fibrosis.
Intracavernous injections of CAVERJECT IMPULSE can increase peripheral blood levels of alprostadil which can result in hypotension. Avoid use of CAVERJECT IMPULSE in patients with known cavernosal venous leakage.
5.4 Injection Site Bleeding When Used with Anticoagulants
Patients on anticoagulants, such as warfarin or heparin, may have increased propensity for injection site bleeding after intracavernosal injection with CAVERJECT IMPULSE. Compress the site of injection with an alcohol swab or sterile gauze for 5 minutes.
5.5 Cardiovascular Risk Related to Underlying Medical Conditions
There is a potential for cardiac risk of sexual activity in patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease. Therefore, treatments for erectile dysfunction, including CAVERJECT IMPULSE, generally should not be used in men for whom sexual activity is inadvisable because of their underlying cardiovascular status. In addition, the evaluation of erectile dysfunction should include a determination of potential underlying causes and the identification of appropriate treatment following a complete medical assessment.
5.6 Risks of Use in Combination with Other Vasoactive Medications Injected Intracavernosally
The safety and efficacy of combinations of CAVERJECT IMPULSE and other vasoactive agents injected intracavernosally have not been established in clinical studies. The risks of prolonged erection, priapism, and hypotension may be increased.
5.7 Needle Breakage
CAVERJECT IMPULSE uses a superfine (29 gauge) needle for administration. As with all superfine needles, the possibility of needle breakage exists. Needle breakage, with a portion of the needle remaining in the penis, has been reported and, in some cases, has required hospitalization and surgical removal. Careful instruction in proper patient handling and injection techniques may minimize the potential for needle breakage [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
5.8 Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions in Infants due to Benzyl Alcohol
The preservative benzyl alcohol contained in CAVERJECT IMPULSE has been associated with serious adverse events, including the "gasping syndrome", and death in pediatric patients. The minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. The risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity depends on the quantity administered and the liver and kidneys' capacity to detoxify the chemical. Premature and low-birth weight infants may be more likely to develop toxicity. CAVERJECT IMPULSE is not indicated for use in pediatric patients.