If you’re serious about treating your Peyronie’s disease, there’s a new combination of treatments available that can help correct the issue for good.
With the prescription medication XIAFLEX and penile modeling, men have finally been able to correct curvature deformity and straighten their penile shaft.
But how does XIAFLEX treat Peyronie’s disease? What does penile modeling have to do with an effective treatment?
What is XIAFLEX?
XIAFLEX (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) is a prescription medication designed to treat the plaque that causes Peyronie’s disease. Specifically, the medication targets men who have “plaque that can be felt” and a penile curve that’s “greater than 30 degrees.”
XIAFLEX is considered to be safe and effective – even for children under the age of 18.
The non-surgical treatment, which can be given at a urologist’s office, is actually an injection. The injection helps break down the plaque that’s causing your erect penis to curve.
XIAFLEX is the only non-surgical treatment approved by the FDA for Peyronie’s disease. More than 100,000 people with Peyronie’s disease have been treated with the drug.
How do the Treatments Work?
The XIAFLEX treatment protocol involves two important steps:
- XIAFLEX Injections
- Penile Modeling
Your doctor may wrap your penis in a bandage after the injection. You’ll need to keep the bandage in place until your doctor tells you to remove it. It’s common for injections to cause bruising and swelling.
Each treatment course consists of up to four treatment cycles that are about six weeks apart.
Here’s an example of how the Xiaflex Penile Modeling Treatment works:
- 1st injection
- Rest 1-3 days
- 2nd injection
- Rest 1-3 days
- Penile modeling with your doctor
- Penile modeling at home for 6 weeks
What is Penile Modeling?
Penile modeling is an important part of the treatment process. A few days after your first injection, your doctor will perform penile modeling in the office. After that, you’ll be doing penile modeling at home.
But what is penile modeling?
In-Office Penile Modeling
During the in-office session, your doctor may administer a local anesthetic – if desired. While wearing gloves, your doctor will:
- Grasp the plaque or curved area of your flaccid penis near the injection site.
- Using both hands, the doctor will apply firm, steady pressure to stretch and elongate the plaque. The goal will be to create bending in the opposite direction of the penile curvature. The doctor will stretch to a moderate resistance, so this shouldn’t be a painful process.
- Your doctor will hold pressure in this area for about 30 seconds before resting for 30 seconds.
- The doctor will repeat this process until the session is complete.
At-Home Penile Modeling
As part of the treatment process, you’ll need to do two types of penile modeling exercises at home: straightening and stretching. You’ll need to do these activities every day for about six weeks. These Peyronie’s disease exercises are designed to further correct your penile curvature.
Stretching Activity – 3x Per Day
The stretching activity will be performed three times per day and while your penis is flaccid (not erect).
Be gentle when stretching.
- Hold the tip of your penis with one hand.
- Hold the base of your penis with your other hand.
- Using a gentle motion, pull your penis away from your body to its full length.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Let go of the tip, and allow your penis to return to its normal length.
Strengthening Activity – 1x Per Day
In addition to stretching, you’ll also need to do a strengthening exercise every day.
This time, you’ll want to do the activity while your penis is erect (unrelated to sexual activity). You should be straightening your penis when you have an erection that happens without sexual activity. You may want to try doing this first thing in the morning if you wake up with an erection.
- Hold your erect penis with one hand.
- Using your other hand, gently bend your penis in the opposite direction of the curve.
- Hold the penis in this position for 30 seconds, and let go.
Potential Xiaflex Side Effects
You shouldn’t take XIAFLEX if:
- You’re allergic to collagenase clostridium histolyticum or other ingredients in the medication.
- Your doctor has told you that your Peyronie’s plaque involves your urethra (the “tube” your urine passes through).
XIAFLEX injections can cause some serious side effects, including:
- Penile fracture or other injuries to the penis. Symptoms may include:
- Pain in the penis
- A popping sensation or sound in an erect penis
- Difficulty urinating or blood in the urine
- Purple bruising or swelling of the penis
- Sudden loss of the ability to maintain an erection
- Hypersensitivity reactions. XIAFLEX can cause severe allergic reactions in some people because it contains foreign proteins. Symptoms may include:
- Swollen face
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness or fainting
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased chance of bleeding.
These side effects, although more serious, are less common. More common side effects include:
- Bruising along the penis
- Swelling at the injection site
- Itching of the scrotum or penis
- Pain during sex or painful erections
- A small collection of blood under the skin at the injection site
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pain or tenderness at the injection site
- Lump or blister at the injection site
- Changes in your penis’ skin color
How Much Does XIAFLEX Cost?
According to the New York Times, each XIAFLEX injection costs $3,300.
A full course of injections would cost $26,000 in addition to your doctor’s fees.
But XIAFLEX does have a copay assistance program that could leave you with $0 in out-of-pocket costs.
Most eligible patients with commercial insurance plans paid nothing out of their own pockets for their XIAFLEX injections.
Who is Eligible for the Program?
Patients may be eligible for the copay assistance program if they are:
- Receiving or have received XIAFLEX injections for the approved purpose and in a manner consistent with the administration of the drug.
- Uninsured or have insurance that is not provided by a state or federal program, including: Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit plan, Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicaid.
- Paying or obligated to pay out-of-pocket costs for a XIAFLEX prescription.
- At least 18 years of age.
Does XIAFLEX Work?
Two large clinical studies involving more than 500 men demonstrate the effectiveness of XIAFLEX.
Men in the first study who received XIAFLEX and penile modeling saw, on average, a 35% change in their erectile curvature compared to the 18% change in men who received a placebo injection with penile modeling.
Men in the second who received XIAFLEX and penile modeling saw, on average, a 33% change in their erectile curvature compared to the 22% change in men who received a placebo injection with penile modeling.
Both studies lasted 52 weeks.
Men in both studies also saw an improvement in their concerns of:
- How their erections looked
- Their erection pain
- The impact of Peyronie’s disease on sexual intercourse
- The impact of Peyronie’s disease on the frequency of sexual intercourse
The combination of XIAFLEX injections and penile modeling exercises is proving to be a successful way to treat Peyronie’s disease. There’s no need to suffer in silence if your penile curve is affecting your sex life and your self-esteem.