We’re often told that you should never eat anything (or put it in your body) if you don’t recognize everything on the ingredients list. But since most of us have no idea what xanthan gum and potassium benzoate are — or more importantly, what they’re doing to our bodies — we’re decoding the ingredients in the many things Americans put in (and on) themselves with the help of an expert.
This edition: TriMix — a cocktail of erectile dysfunction medications meant for injecting directly into the side of the penis — which is made from three separate ingredients that we’ve broken down below.
1) Alprostadil: This ingredient is also known as prostaglandin, a naturally occurring hormone-like substance (and a natural ingredient in semen) that induces an erection by relaxing blood vessels in the penis. This increases blood flow into the penis and decreases blood flow out of the penis, making a lasting boner more likely. When it’s improperly injected, common side effects include penile pain, bleeding at the site of the injection and prolonged erection, so make sure you’ve done your research before poking around down there with a needle.
It can also affect your partner: Mild vaginal itching or burning have been reported in women whose partners use alprostadil urethral suppositories. Even more worrisome, high concentrations of prostaglandin in semen exacerbate diseases of the female reproductive organs, including cervical and uterine cancer. And despite TriMix being administered by injection — and not directly into the opening at the tip of the penis, like with alprostadil urethral suppositories — it’s not impossible for an alprostadil leak to occur.
2) Papaverine: Similar to prostaglandin, papaverine is a vasodilator, meaning it causes blood vessels in the penis to expand. This allows for an increased blood flow into the penis, ultimately resulting in a rock-hard erection. But be forewarned: Because of the increase in blood flow to the penis — and away from other vital organs — papaverine injections may induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, vertigo and malaise. This is true of all erectile dysfunction treatments, however.
3) Phentolamine: Phentolamine is slightly different from prostaglandin and papaverine in that it primarily keeps the erectile tissue in a contracted state, meaning it largely increases the duration of the erection (somewhere between 2.5 and four hours). Experiencing side effects with phentolamine is rare, but again, any medication that affects circulation may also affect the heart — that’s why it’s important to chat with a doctor before going hard on hard-on medications.
As far as erectile dysfunction treatments go, TriMix isn’t a bad choice — it’s immediate and effective. That said, don’t go injecting yourself without having a discussion with your doctor first. Otherwise, you may end up like this appropriately named Reddit user “Sorecock,” who had to go to the emergency room after injecting a high dose of TriMix:
“I got the wife on board for a night of marathon sex, injected myself, and almost instantly got the thickest and hardest erection I’ve ever experienced,” he wrote. “4 hours later I rushed to the ER. I could not walk and required a wheelchair because the sensation of it rubbing against my shorts as I walked was incredibly painful. Eventually [the doctors] got a butterfly needle and proceeded to extract a STUPENDOUS amount of blood out of my cock, taking turns squeezing my dick like a lemon.”
On second thought… maybe just stick to Viagra.