The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to use certain dietary supplements marketed and sold for sexual enhancement at retail stores and on various websites, including www.groupon.com, because they contain a hidden drug ingredient that can be dangerous to some individuals.
The warning applies to Shenjingpian, Old Chinese, and Goldreallas XXX. A laboratory analysis confirmed that the products contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved prescription drug Viagra, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction. This undeclared ingredient may interact with some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.
Anyone who has taken these products, or any dietary supplements promoted for sexual enhancement, and suffered side effects should file a report with the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program at www.FDA.gov/MedWatch/Report.htm.
“This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals,” the FDA cautioned in a Public Notification. “These products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and body building and are often represented as being ‘all natural.’ FDA is unable to test and identify all products marketed as dietary supplements that have potentially harmful hidden ingredients. Consumers should exercise caution before purchasing any product in the above categories.”