- A man in his 30s went to the ER with excruciating pain after he injected cocaine into a penile vein.
- The doctors said the penis was black, ulcerated, and releasing a foul-smelling discharge.
- Cocaine is highly addictive and one of the “most dangerous drugs available,” the doctors said.
A man’s penis turned black and released ‘foul-smelling’ discharge after he injected it with cocaine.
The 35-year-old man’s case was reported in the American Journal of Case Reports, and he was admitted to the emergency room three days after injecting the drug into his penile vein with “excruciating” pain in his penis and scrotum.
The man’s penis was ulcerated, black, swollen, and emitting a foul-smelling discharge, according to a doctor working in the Bronx, New York hospital where he was admitted.
The doctor went on to say that the man had a long history of intravenous drug use and that he’d previously injected cocaine in the same vein at least twice in the previous two weeks “without any complications.”
According to reports, the man refused surgery to remove the dying skin tissue and was placed on intravenous antibiotics for five days.
Following an improvement in his condition, the man refused drug rehabilitation and was later “lost to follow-up,” according to the doctor.
“Intravenous drug users should be counseled to seek help and should be advised to enroll in drug rehabilitation programs, as cocaine cessation is the only definitive treatment,” the report said.
Cocaine is one of the “most dangerous drugs available,” the doctors said. This is because it’s highly addictive.
The drug, which is illegal, can be snorted, smoked, or dissolved and injected into a vein. When injected, it can trigger blood vessel inflammation, which can cause gangrene — the death of body tissue. The doctors said that cocaine in the US can be cut with a de-worming drug called levamisole, which causes blood vessel inflammation too.
The man told the doctors that he’d previously injected cocaine in the same vein at least twice in the past two weeks “without any complications.” The dorsal penile vein the man used runs the length of the shaft.
The dorsal vein is an unusual place to inject but it’s not uncommon for drug users to use new injection sites once others, such as arm veins, become damaged, the doctors said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5 million Americans reported “current cocaine use” in 2020, which is almost 2% of the population. Cocaine was involved in nearly 1 in 5 overdose deaths in 2019, it said.