What is MUSE?

MUSE is a device used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The medicine inside is a pellet, which contains the active ingredient alprostadil. This is inserted into the urethra using the device to produce an erection.

You can read more about how it is administered on our how to use MUSE page.

Why is it called MUSE?

The name MUSE is an acronym, which stands for Medicated Urethral System for Erections.

Who makes MUSE?

MUSE is made by the pharmaceutical company MEDA.

How does MUSE work?

MUSE contains the active ingredient alprostadil, a type of medication called a prostaglandin (PGE1). It works by increasing blood flow to the penis, and this makes it easier for the user to get and keep an erection.

How long does MUSE take to work?

MUSE should work in around 5-15 minutes following administration. However, every patient is different; for some people it may take less time whereas for others it may take slightly longer.

If MUSE doesn’t work, let your doctor know so they can adjust your dose or recommend a different treatment.

How long do the effects of MUSE last?

MUSE should remain active in the body for up to 60 minutes.

If your erection persists for more than 4 hours, you should seek medical attention.

What doses of MUSE are available?

MUSE comes in 250mcg, 500mcg, and 1mg dosages. The dose you use will be determined by your prescribing doctor. They will try to issue the lowest possible effective dose.

How often can I use MUSE?

MUSE should not be used more than twice in any 24 hour period, or more than seven times in any one week period.

Do you need a prescription to buy MUSE?

Yes, you cannot get MUSE over the counter. A doctor will need to check that it is suitable for you before use; and because the treatment is not quite as straightforward as taking a tablet, they will also need to show you how to administer it before you do so for the first time.

Is it safe to use MUSE?

MUSE has been tested in a clinical setting and authorised as a safe treatment for ED. It is also an established treatment, having been first released in 1997.

However, as is the case with just about any drug, MUSE may interact with other medicines or not be suitable for people with certain pre-existing medical conditions. You should always tell your prescriber about any other treatments you are using or conditions you have during your consultation.

Who should use MUSE?

MUSE is normally considered for men with erectile dysfunction who have not had successful results when taking oral medicines, such as Viagra or Cialis.

It might also be recommended in cases where oral treatments are not suitable, or more likely to cause side effects.

Is MUSE better than Viagra or Caverject?

It’s a question without a straightforward answer.

For some men, MUSE may work better than other treatments. However other men may find different ED drugs more effective than MUSE, or easier to administer. Men with ED will typically be advised to use oral treatment first; MUSE is usually recommended if these either haven’t worked or are not suitable.

In one clinical study, MUSE was effective in 56% of cases.

For sildenafil, the median dose of the drug produced satisfactory results in 74% of men in clinical trials. Caverject produced a satisfactory response in 73% of participants in clinical trials. But it’s important to note these figures aren’t directly comparable.

Clinical studies for ED treatments are often undertaken using different parameters, under different conditions. And just because a treatment has a lower success rate in a clinical study does not necessarily mean it will work better or worse in the case of one individual. If you aren’t sure which treatment might be best for you, ask your doctor for guidance.

You can read more on our post on the advantages of MUSE over other treatments.

Can I read reviews of this drug?

You will be able to find online reviews of MUSE written by users. However, it's useful to exercise caution when reading these. Someone else having a particularly positive or negative experience using a drug does not necessarily mean the same will apply to you, as every patient is different.

Are there any side effects associated with MUSE?

Yes. Some people using MUSE have reported side effects, but not everyone will get them. If you notice any side effects when using the treatment, let your doctor or pharmacist know.

What are the most common side effects?

Pain in the penis or a slight burning sensation in the urethra are among the most commonly reported side effects of MUSE treatment. Less common side effects include headache or minor urethral bleeding.

You can read more about these on our MUSE information page.

Can MUSE interact with other medications?

It can, but it depends on the type of medication that you are currently taking.

MUSE should not be used in combination with any other ED treatments.

MUSE might work less well in people using appetite suppressants or decongestants. People on blood-thinning medicines might be more susceptible to urethral bleeding when using MUSE. It can also lower the effectiveness of high blood pressure medicines.

MUSE should also not be taken by patients for whom sexual activity is inadvisable, such as men with significant heart problems.

You can find more information in the patient information leaflet. If you have any questions or aren’t sure whether MUSE is right for you, ask your doctor.

Is there a generic version?

There is currently no generic version of MUSE available in the UK. However there are other licensed treatments that contain the same active ingredient, alprostadil, such as Vitaros and Caverject.

Can I get MUSE on the NHS?

Some men may be able to get MUSE on an NHS prescription if they meet certain criteria, at either the levy rate or for free. This includes men who have erectile dysfunction caused by a condition such as Parkinson’s or spina bifida, for whom oral treatments have not worked.

Otherwise, the medicine will need to be issued privately, and paid for at the market rate.

An NHS doctor can issue a private prescription for MUSE, but they may charge a small fee for doing so.

Is it available online?

Yes, you can buy MUSE safely online. When doing so, make sure you use a pharmacy registered with the GPhC. This will help to ensure that the medicine is genuine and issued according to proper practice and UK regulations.

Read our page on how to avoid fake MUSE for more information.

Page last reviewed:  24/08/2018