If you take over-the-counter treatments for ED you may be getting more than you bargained for, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In fact, these “natural remedies” maybe even more dangerous than prescription medications and could land you in the emergency room or dead after just one dose.
Random testing of ED supplements touted as “natural” and “herbal” has revealed that many are laced with common pharmaceutical ED drugs, including Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
ED Drugs and Their Cousins
Even more disconcerting is that chemical manufacturers are producing dozens of close chemical variants of these drugs, almost none of which have gone through any sort of safety testing, and if they have, there’s a chance they were scrapped during development by reputable drug companies due to safety concerns.
Because of lack of oversight by the FDA for products sold as over-the-counter supplements, unscrupulous manufacturers are able to sneak these drugs into their products without disclosing the active ingredients.
Side Effects and Complications
In some instances, the supplements have been found to contain higher than the recommended doses of the pharmaceutical drugs. When taken improperly, these drugs can cause potentially severe or fatal reactions, including blood pressure fluctuations, passing out, and even stroke. Men who take prescription drugs to manage high blood pressure or heart disease are especially vulnerable to adverse drug interactions from taking the pharmaceutical-laced supplements.
Additionally, if you unknowingly take a supplement that contains one of these drugs and then take other drugs or over-the-counter products such as alcohol, aspirin, allergy medications, antibiotics, antidepressants, Parkinson’s drugs and others, the dangers are compounded. For Viagra alone there are more than 450 drugs known to cause potential adverse reactions.
These drug-supplement cocktails have also been known to contain a diabetes drug that can be fatal if used improperly. In fact, as recently as 2009 in Asia, one of these products claimed the lives of over a dozen men.
What to Look Out For
Most of the tainted supplements are manufactured in China. With thousands of marketing companies and only 6 prosecutions so far, the FDA is doing almost nothing to stop the unscrupulous marketing companies except to issue warnings to consumers.
While it is not possible to know if a supplement contains illicit ingredients, the FDA offers a list of worst offenders. For the sake of your health it is best to avoid taking any of the following types of products:
• Anything that claims to be a natural alternative to a prescription drug.
• Supplements that promise results within 30 minutes.
• Contain warnings in language similar to those seen on FDA-approved products.
• Products that are sold in convenience stores or in single-serving packages.
• Product ads that are sent as spam email.
• Products that have labels in foreign languages.
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