By DR GREGGORY PINTO
Viagra gained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in March 1998, and the world of erectile dysfunction has never been the same. The sex enhancement pill industry is huge and continues to grow, with Viagra grossing over $ 2 billion last year. Other PDE5 inhibitor drugs such as Cialis and Levitra are also widely prescribed around the world.
However, there is also a questionable industry of so-called sexual enhancement pills that do not have FDA approval and are unregulated. These unregulated sex pills are potentially very dangerous to a man’s health because they have not been subjected to rigorous testing, and the possible harmful health effects are numerous and very disturbing. There is no data to support the safety or effectiveness of these falsely advertised natural supplements.
A man should not trust a drug he can buy from a cashier at the local gas station or hardware store, or on the Internet. These drugs should be taken at their own risk, but the average man has no idea what these potential negative health effects could be.
Rock Hard for Men pills were discovered in 2012 to contain counterfeit Cialis (tadalafil) and a diabetes drug that could prove fatal if misused. More than a dozen men died while taking the drug in Asia in 2009.
In a Singapore study, more than three-quarters of unregulated male health enhancement pills tested contained chemicals that were not disclosed, and more than half of the pills contained reported doses of the chemicals above those recommended.
Earlier this year, the FDA issued specific warnings for several unregulated sexual enhancement pills for men; some of which include the following:
• Stiff nights
This supposed male sexual enhancer is marketed as a type of dietary supplement. The FDA has warned that these pills contain the chemical sulfoaidenafil which could dangerously lower a man’s blood pressure and potentially have a fatal reaction to nitrate drugs.
• Rock Hard Weekend
This unregulated male sex enhancer also contains sulfoaidenafil and has the same profile of potentially fatal side effects.
• Man standing now
This product is marketed as an all-natural, herbal enhancement drug, but it is far from natural and also contains the potentially dangerous sulfoaidenafil.
• magic coffee
This instant coffee product is not magic and is not 100 percent natural, as falsely advertised. It contains sulfoaidenafil and hydroxyhomosildenafil, chemicals very similar to Viagra. The product claims that horny goat weed and goji berries cause the extra mojo. The FDA has issued a strong warning against the use of this product.
• Mr Magic Male Enhancer by Don Wands
The FDA found this product to be far from magic and ordered it no longer available because it contained the untested dangerous chemicals sulfoaidenafil and hydroxyhomosildenafil.
• Duro Extend
This product received a full recall by the FDA in December 2010, after the marketed dietary supplement was determined to contain sulfoaidenafil, which is not a regulated chemical ingredient.
• Downtime capsules
This product is marketed as 100 percent natural, but it also contains potentially dangerous sulfoaidenafil which could potentially cause sudden death in men taking nitrate medications.
Vitalex distribution company founder Phu Tan Luong is currently serving a prison sentence for health insurance fraud. This purported all-natural supplement contains acetildenafil, another untested Viagra scam.
Many of the hundreds of unregulated pills marketed as natural male sexual enhancers can improve sexual function, but at what cost to a man’s health and future?
The FDA has issued strict warnings against the use of many of these pills, and some brands have been recalled. These pills lack scientific studies and animal and human testing. “Buyers, beware” is the motto that should be adopted when using these unregulated products.
Many of these so-called natural male enhancers actually contain chemicals that are dangerous scams of the active ingredients in Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitor drugs like Cialis and Levitra.
It is illegal to sell PDE5 inhibitor drugs without providing a prescription from a licensed physician, who should have made a complete assessment of the patient and determined its use as safe and beneficial.
The US FDA regulates all drugs on the market, but dietary supplements are only reviewed and monitored by the FDA. This loophole in the FDA regulatory regime sees all those pills that are falsely advertised as natural or dietary supplements flooding the market.
These unregulated male enhancers such as Rhino, which has over 25 different pills marketed under the brand, are less expensive than regulated PDE5 inhibitors and do not require a man to seek the help and evaluation of a licensed physician. .
Many of the fake natural products improve blood flow to the penis, but they also cause untold damage to other organs such as the heart, kidneys, brain, and liver.
Researchers have found rat poison, diabetes drugs, paint and lead in some of these dangerous unregulated and untested male enhancement pills.
Don’t play Russian Roulette with your life and organs. Male erections require adequate penile blood and nerve supply, adequate levels of testosterone, a male hormone, and a good state of mind.
Underlying conditions such as undiagnosed or poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and hypertension are often the culprits of erectile dysfunction in Bahamian men.
Erectile dysfunction often prompts many Bahamian men to seek help from a urologist and are first diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, or cardiovascular disease. The diagnosis of these potentially debilitating conditions could prevent irreversible negative effects on the health of these men in the future.
The fake herbal supplements only mask the underlying potentially fatal problem that leads to erectile dysfunction.
There is a strong correlation between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction. The occurrence of erectile dysfunction in some men should prompt a search for cardiovascular disease, which could potentially prevent a cardiovascular event such as stroke, heart attack, or peripheral vascular disease of the legs.
Spine, colorectal, and prostate surgeries, among many others, could potentially disrupt the innervation of the penis.
By age 40, testosterone, a male hormone, drops an average of 1% per year. About 12% of middle-aged men have low testosterone, hypogonadism.
Many drugs can potentially interfere with erectile function.
Erectile dysfunction should be thoroughly investigated by a urologist and the underlying cause (s) should be determined, managed and reversed if possible.
There is nothing easy or safe about taking non-prescribed, unregulated male enhancement pills.
Seek the confidential, compassionate and comprehensive consultation of a urologist regarding your erectile dysfunction. You can always get up.
• Dr Greggory Pinto is a Certified Bahamian Urologist and Laparoscopic Surgeon trained in South Africa, Germany and France. He can be contacted at Urology Care Bahamas at the Surgical Suite, Centerville Medical Center, # 68 Collins Avenue / Sixth Terrace, Nassau. Call (242) 326-1929, welcome email@example.com, or visit www.urologycarebahamas.com.