‘All Natural’ Alternatives for Erectile Dysfunction: A Risky Proposition


graphic representation of a fraudulent male enhancement product and the waring: Beware of fraudulent male enhancement products like this!


Adult men, beware! Products falsely marketed as “dietary supplements” or “foods” that promise to increase your sexual effectiveness or raise sexual stimulation could include concealed drug substances or other undisclosed substances — and can endanger your health.

Hence considerably, Fda lab tests have located that nearly 300 of these products and solutions include undisclosed drug substances. These can involve the exact active substances located in prescription medication that are Fda-accepted for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), these types of as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. Not only do these products and solutions include undisclosed drug substances, but they also from time to time may perhaps involve combinations of undisclosed substances or excessively superior doses, the two perhaps dangerous cases.

Even a careful customer just cannot convey to that these products and solutions are, in actuality, tainted with undisclosed drug substances, since their labels do not list the perhaps dangerous substances, states M. Daniel Dos Santos, Pharm.D., Ph.D., of FDA’s Division of Dietary Dietary supplement Courses. People may perhaps be misled to consider these products and solutions are safe and sound since their labeling normally implies they are “all-natural” or “herbal” possibilities to Fda-accepted prescription medication for the treatment of ED.

“We’re locating an alarming amount of these products and solutions offered on line and in retail merchants. They’re normally offered in solitary-serving dimensions in fuel stations or vending machines. We’ve found pills, coffees, chewing gum and dissolvable oral strips that include concealed drug substances or untested chemical substances,” states Gary Coody, R.Ph., FDA’s nationwide health fraud coordinator. “Consumers have no way of being aware of which medication or substances are basically in the products just by examining the substances on the label.”

Beware of products and solutions that:

  • Promise quick results (in 30 to 40 minutes)
  • Are advertised as possibilities to Fda-accepted prescription medication
  • Are offered in solitary servings
  • Promote through spam or unsolicited e-mails
  • Have labels written principally in a international language
  • Have directions and warnings that mimic Fda-accepted products and solutions

A Drug Cocktail

Even more troubling is that numerous of the hundreds of products and solutions Fda has analyzed contained superior doses of undeclared (or concealed) mixtures of unique drug substances. For case in point, 1 of these tainted products and solutions incorporated 31 occasions the prescription dose of tadalafil (the active ingredient in Cialis), in combination with dapoxetine, an antidepressant that is not accepted by Fda.

“Some of these products and solutions have as numerous as 6 unique substances contained in Fda-accepted prescription medication and analog of all those substances, which are comparable compounds of the medication. We really don’t know what hazard this poses since these combinations have by no means been studied right before they are offered to unsuspecting shoppers,” Coody states.

Unlike prescription and some non-prescription medication, numerous nutritional supplements may perhaps be legally marketed without a prior Fda analysis of their basic safety and success. Fda normally investigates nutritional health supplement products and solutions right after they are marketed, for case in point, as a aspect of routine or for-induce facility inspections, or right after it receives reports associating them with adverse functions. Less than the law, it is the company’s responsibility to make certain that its products and solutions are safe and sound and that the promises they make are true.

Dangerous Interactions

The large chance for unsuspecting adult males is that numerous of the unlabeled drug substances in these misleading products and solutions can interact dangerously with other medication they are using, these types of as coronary heart sickness medications.

For case in point, using a products that contains sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) in addition to specified medication containing nitrates may perhaps reduced blood tension to an unsafe stage. Persons with diabetic issues, superior blood tension, superior cholesterol or coronary heart sickness are normally approved medication containing nitrates, and adult males with all those problems normally undergo from erectile dysfunction.

“A physician needs to assess your whole clinical condition to know whether a distinct treatment is safe and sound for you to use. If shoppers are using products and solutions that have undeclared drug substances, this leaves individuals vulnerable to perhaps severe drug interactions,” Dos Santos states.

Mysterious Contaminants

Erectile dysfunction is a clinical condition. Simply because nutritional supplements just cannot legally assert to protect against, diagnose or address a clinical condition or a sickness, the “alternative” ED products and solutions are normally advertised for “sexual improvement.” Their availability in the market place doesn’t make them safe and sound.

“These products and solutions are not harmless or leisure,” Dos Santos warns. “They normally assert to have the exact effects as medication that are Fda-accepted for the treatment of ED, these types of as Cialis and Viagra, promising to do the job speedily — in 30 to 40 minutes. That is a pink flag.”

In numerous conditions, we really don’t know wherever or how these products and solutions are made, states Brad Rate, regulatory counsel at FDA’s Health Fraud Branch. A lot of of these products and solutions are created overseas in services that have not but been inspected by Fda.

“Some of the substances in these products and solutions have chemical substances that have by no means gone through any sort of basic safety examination in the United States. You just really don’t know what you are getting,” Rate states.

Fda problems a lot of alerts warning shoppers and health care specialists about perhaps dangerous products and solutions. It also works to end the sale of illegal products and solutions and have them voluntarily recalled or destroyed. As aspect of this mandate, Fda sends advisory letters to companies warning that they are breaking the law and have to end. Failure to cease illegal conduct could guide to seizures, import alerts, injunctions, recalls and legal prosecutions. An import inform enables Fda to detain, without bodily inspecting, products and solutions that show up to violate specified elements of the Foods, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Even so, some products and solutions are however in the marketplace. That is why shoppers need to seek advice from their health care experienced right before using a new health supplement.

If you suspect that a products marketed as a nutritional health supplement may perhaps be tainted, report it to Fda. You or your health care experienced can also report an sickness or damage you consider to be similar to the use of a nutritional health supplement by calling one-800-Fda-1088 or going to Fda on line.