A group of Minnesota urologists has filed complaints against a men's clinic that sold injectable medication to a patient who ended up in the emergency room after having an erection for eight hours, according to reports.
The man had bought a supply of treatment for erectile dysfunction from the Minneapolis Men's Medical Clinic in Bloomington, the Star Tribune reports, but says no one answered his call for help on May 17.
An erection lasting more than four hours is a rare side effect of erectile dysfunction medication taken orally, but more common with penile injection therapy, NBC News says. Those who experience prolonged erections are urged to contact their doctors right away because they can be painful and result in permanent damage to the penis, NBC notes.
The man, who wasn't named, ended up going to the emergency room, where doctors used needles to drain blood clots from his penis, the Star Tribune says.
The ER doctor had called urologist Karl Kemberling, who works with Edina-based Urology Associates, for advice. Kemberling and other urologists filed complaints with the Minnesota Attorney General and the state Board of Medicine, the newspaper reports.
“We … consider their lack of care medical negligence or patient abandonment,” Kemberling said, according to the Star Tribune. He said that he's seen other patients with similar issues.
The attorney general's office and the Board of Medicine told the Star Tribune that they don't disclose complaints from the public, or any investigation that may result.
Thomas Lund, the director of the Men's Clinic, told the Start Tribune that Kemberling and his associates claims are "baseless and motivated by an attempt to drive out their competition."
Injectable medications are among the various kinds of treatments for erectile dysfunction, the Mayo Clinic says. Kemberling told the Star Tribune that injectable medications were commonly used before Viagra and other medications were available, and now are used as second-line treatments.
The American Urological Association lists injectable medications as a recommended way to treat erectile dysfunction without surgery. Doctors told the New York Times in 2009 that injectable medications work the best, especially when other forms of treatment have failed.
An estimated 30 million men in the U.S. have experienced erectile dysfunction – nearly a third of men in their 50s and half of those in their 60s have the problem, the New York Times says. The condition can also be the sign of an underlying issue, like diabetes or hypertension. If erectile dysfunction happens in younger men, it could be the first symptom of cardiovascular disease, the New York Times notes.
The Men's Clinic, which started in Florida, advertises that it's for men who haven't seen success from common treatments of erectile dysfunction. The clinic says it uses a customized approach to help patients.