The Food and Drug Administration is reminding men to avoid the use of fraudulent herbal, dietary, or food supplements promoted for enhancement of male sexual performance. This FDA communication is timely because of the unfortunate news about Lamar Odom's serious medical conditions caused by overuse of herbal sexual enhancement supplements and other substances. Many men believe that these products are harmless because they are promoted as natural products. According to the FDA, this is far from true and these products are harmful in several ways. Here is the consumer communication from the FDA.
Men, beware! Products falsely marketed as “dietary supplements” or “foods” that promise to enhance your sexual performance or increase sexual stimulation might contain hidden drug ingredients or other undisclosed ingredients — and can endanger your health.
Thus far, FDA lab tests have found that nearly 300 of these products contain undisclosed drug ingredients. These can include the same active ingredients found in prescription drugs that are FDA-approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. Not only do these products contain undisclosed drug ingredients, but they also sometimes may include combinations of undisclosed ingredients or excessively high doses, both potentially dangerous situations.
Even a cautious consumer can’t tell that these products are, in fact, tainted with undisclosed drug ingredients, because their labels do not list the potentially hazardous ingredients, says M. Daniel Dos Santos, Pharm.D., Ph.D., of FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs. Consumers may be misled to believe these products are safe because their labeling often suggests they are “all-natural” or “herbal” alternatives to FDA-approved prescription drugs for the treatment of ED.
“We’re finding an alarming number of these products sold online and in retail stores. They’re often sold in single-serving sizes in gas stations or vending machines. We’ve seen pills, coffees, chewing gum and dissolvable oral strips that contain hidden drug ingredients or untested chemicals,” says Gary Coody, R.Ph., FDA’s national health fraud coordinator. “Consumers have no way of knowing which drugs or ingredients are actually in the product just by reading the ingredients on the label.”
Next: A Drug Cocktail