Erectile dysfunction treatments: FDA warns of risky supplements

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Erectile dysfunction treatments: FDA warns of risky supplements

Some erectile dysfunction treatments sold over the Internet aren't safe, FDA says.

What happened? Beware of serious health risks of certain sexual enhancement products sold over the Internet, the Food and Drug Administration warns.

The FDA says that a number of products sold as "dietary supplements" for treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) are unapproved, illegal and risky. The FDA includes the following products on its warning list: Zimaxx, Libidus, Neophase, Nasutra, Vigor-25, Actra-Rx and 4EVERON.

They contain potentially harmful drugs, the FDA says, which aren't included on the product labels. The drug-containing supplements aren't regulated or approved by the FDA, and because the source of the ingredients is unknown there's no guarantee that the ingredients are "safe, effective or pure."

The FDA says that products such as the ones on its warning list claim that they are "all natural," but they contain the active ingredients in FDA-approved medications for ED. An FDA chemical analysis showed that Zimaxx contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved ED drug Viagra. The other products on the warning list contained either a version of sildenafil or vardenafil, which is the active ingredient in another FDA-approved ED drug, Levitra.

People who unknowingly take either sildenafil or vardenafil risk serious interactions with other medications they may be taking and may experience dangerously lowered blood pressure, the FDA says.

The FDA's action followed an analysis of 17 dietary supplements marketed on the Internet as ED treatments.

What does this mean to you? If you're taking any of the products cited by the FDA, stop taking them. They may contain ingredients you're unaware of and which may harm you.

If you're experiencing erectile problems, talk to your doctor about the best and safest proven treatment options.

Last Updated: 07/17/2006
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