- The New York Times reports that Harvey Weinstein made his assistants bring him the injections in brown paper bags, often delivering the doses to hotels before his meetings with women.
- Penile injections are administered directly into the penis and can start working in as little as five minutes
- The treatment is effective in roughly 70-80% of patients with erectile dysfunction.
More allegations about dethroned movie mogul Harvey Weinstein reveal a twisted web of disturbing ways he used his power to both facilitate and hide his sexually abusive behaviour.
Following the New York Times and New Yorker‘s initial reports that Weinstein harassed, groped and raped A-list actresses, models, and assistants he worked with for nearly three decades, a new bombshell report from the Times details how Weinstein used his well-heeled connections, as well as a network of spies and silencers, to cover up those stories for years.
According to the Times, Weinstein often had his assistants “procure his penile injections for erectile dysfunction,” which he paid for on the company credit card. One assistant told the Times that she “had to keep a supply of the shots at her desk, dispense them to him in brown paper bags and sometimes deliver the medication to hotels and elsewhere before his meetings with women.”
Here’s what the injections are, and some of the legitimate ways they’re used.
A penile injection instead of pills for erectile dysfunction
“Little blue pills” like Viagra don’t cause arousal, they simply increase blood flow to the penis, making it easier to get and keep an erection.
Since the pills rely on good blood circulation, they do best with undamaged nerves. Patients who’ve had surgeries or prostatectomies can have trouble getting the drugs to work. The AARP says drugs like Cialis and Viagra are typically around 50-60% effective, but success rates can be lower for men with chronic health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Weinstein reportedly used a penile injection called Caverject, which has a better success rate than Viagra. Dr. Landon Trost, head of andrology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota told Business Insider that even “men who have their nerves cut out” can use these injections to get an erection, because unlike a pill, it’s inserting chemicals into the penis to relax muscles directly. Studies suggest injections work, and quickly, for about 70-80% of the men who use the ultra-fine needle treatment.
Since every body is a little different, the Mayo Clinic says the injections are dosed on a case by case basis, ideally, “to create an erection lasting no longer than an hour.” Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says the injections are generally administered “about 5 to 15 minutes before you want an erection.”
Risks and alternatives
The medicine has to be injected into a very specific spot to avoid hitting a nerve or a blood vessel. Typically, a very fine needle is used to administer to dose to the middle third of the penis, or sometimes on the base.
The treatment can cause bruising if the needle is accidentally injected into a vein, and injections should never be used in tandem with erectile dysfunction pills. Priapism (prolonged erection) is a possible side effect, as is mild bleeding. Some doctors have suggested that nasal decongestant (like Sudafed) can help if an erection lasts too long.
There are numerous other ways to treat ED, including testosterone injections, vacuum penis pumps, and surgical rods implanted in the penis.
Studies have also shown that exercise(particularly aerobic workouts) can improve erectile problems. Losing weight, quitting smoking, or cutting out alcohol can all help, too. Lots of different things can cause ED, including depression and neurological disorders, so counseling and therapy can also be effective treatments.
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