August 2015 Archives

Factcheck: No, that guy did not inject Viagra into his penis

news-icon.jpgThere's been a lot of guffawing (and cringing) on the web the last few days about a Reddit user who posted his tale of a recent medical misadventure: He injected an ED drug into his penis, got a prolonged and painful erection, and had to seek attention at an emergency room.

The title of his post is "TIFU by injecting Viagra into my penis" (if you don't know what TIFU stands for, see this definition), so news outlets can't be entirely blamed for getting it wrong (and "Viagra-like drug" falls a little flat in a headline). It's an entertaining if horrifying read, and he managed to keep a sense of humor about the situation.

But let's clear up some misinformation:

    1. He did not inject Viagra; the drug he injected was TriMix.
    2. TriMix is supposed to be injected into the penis, so the delivery method was correct. (A topical gel form of TriMix exists for those who can't face the needle.)
    3. He was not using the drug to treat erectile dysfunction, and misrepresented his condition so he could make his already healthy sexual function (he said he was usually able to stay erect for 1-1.5 hours) super-human. (Or as he said, "I got a little greedy.")
You can read his post for all the gory details, but the short version is that he and his wife are swingers who recently joined a sex club, and he wanted to be able to go at it all night long with multiple partners. He told a doctor he had ED and obtained prescriptions for more common drugs like Viagra and Cialis, but when they failed to increase his stamina enough, he went for the TriMix. It worked on the first try -- too well. He ended up painfully engorged for hours and had to have blood drained from his penis in the ER. 

The one thing he did do right in this situation is that he got emergency medical treatment when he realized the situation wasn't improving (and by that time, he was in so much pain, he really didn't have a choice). This is why the Viagra commercials have that 4-hour warning: if you've been continuously erect for that long, the circulation in your penis has basically stopped, the cells are at risk of dying, and you're at risk of losing your member. It's just like if you had a tourniquet on a limb for too long. So if you experience anything like this, steel yourself against your embarrassment and get to the nearest hospital immediately.

So, has anyone ever actually injected Viagra? Not that we know of, and hopefully no one will get any ideas from this incident and try it. 

As for the original poster, amazingly, he says he plans to try it again, just using a smaller dose. I think he deserves a special Darwin Award for that.