In what shouldn’t be shocking news, many men’s drug products you can find for sale online or at gas stations and convenience stores are unsafe, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). .
A public announcement released yesterday explains that more than 25 products sold under variations of the “Rhino” name contain unlisted active medicinal ingredients that can cause extremely dangerous side effects if taken in excess or together with other medications. These unapproved treatments, which are typically sold in single-pill packages, have made their way onto the shelves legally, while dodging regulation, as they are marketed as dietary supplements – a sadly misunderstood category of health products. monitored by the FDA.
“For the past few years, the FDA has fought the retail sale of men’s drug products that are often misrepresented as dietary supplements and contain hidden and potentially harmful active drug ingredients. The distribution of unapproved drugs, disguised as supplements, puts the American public health at risk,” said Donald D. Ashley, director of the Compliance Office of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in the press release. agency. “We remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the American public from the sale of these potentially dangerous products.”
FDA lab testing has proven that Krazzy Rhino, Gold Rhino, Boss Rhino, Black Rhino, Platinum Rhino products all contain sildenafil or tadalafil – the generic names of approved drug compounds sold under the brand name Viagra or Cialis , respectively – or other structurally similar chemicals that act as inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5). Agents in this class of drugs are prescribed for erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure and work by relaxing the muscles inside blood vessels.
According to their press release, the FDA has received numerous reports of people requiring hospitalization, and in some cases surgery, after experiencing extreme drops in blood pressure after taking Rhino products. Symptoms reported by those affected were chest pain, severe headache and/or prolonged erections.
Even when taken correctly, common side effects of PDE-5 inhibitors include stomach pain and nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, back pain, memory problems, ringing in the ears, nasal congestion and inability to distinguish blue from green (a temporary condition, called cyanopsia, caused by the drug’s interference with an enzyme involved in activating blue light sensitivity in the rods of the retina).
Sildenafil and its siblings can also cause problems when taken alongside many antidepressants, antibiotics, antifungals, and medications for blood pressure conditions, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and cancer medication called imatinib.
Despite attempts to remove Rhino products loaded with PDE-5 inhibitors from circulation, the agency notes that they are still being shipped across the United States. Currently, the Justice Department is pursuing a South Korean individual who allegedly smuggled drugs into the country and then formulated and distributed the pills, according to information collected by the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations.