Caverject - for Erectile Dysfunction  

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In 1980, fifty percent of Upjohn research was focused on the prostaglandins but there was little to show for all that expense. One of the biggest successes (no pun intended) was Caverject, a sterile powder formulation of alprostadil. It was used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is still made in Portage and sold by Pfizer in 2019. 


Shown below is a kit handed out to doctors, who would show the patients and their spouses how to inject the medication. This kit was anonymously donated. In pre-internet video days it made sense to show patients where to inject using a model penis, which had the Upjohn logo on the bottom of it. Patients could actually practice injections on the model. A humorous marketing item below is a telescoping Caverject pointer.


The Caverject package below is a humorous advertising item. You strike it with your fist on a hard surface. This causes the baking soda and soda water inside to combine, which creates enough gas to inflate a plastic penis. Oh, the fun we had back in Upjohn days!

And long before Caverject, Upjohn sold these Aphrodisiac pills from 1886 to 1933. The batch number of 28307 of the lower right of the bottle label dates this one to 1916. On the list of ingredients, Damiana is a wild shrub that grows in Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. The leaf and stem are both used in tablets and are said to increase sexual desire. Cantharides is the famous Spanish Fly, which was in use as far back as the Romans 2,000 years ago. Spanish Fly is made from crushed blister beetles and this substance causes an inflammation of the genital organs. It actually does work but the inflammation can be painful and the dose needed to cause it is close to being fatal. Used over time it can cause liver and kidney damage. The price of love has always been high!


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