When a man is experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), it can be tempting for him to consider trying out one of the so called “herbal Viagra” supplements marketed to improve sexual performance or increase sexual stimulation. With more than 30 million American men who have the condition of ED, it is a marketable segment of the population that is often eager and willing to experiment with the nearly 300 products vying for a man’s attention describing themselves as “all natural” or “herbal.” This misleading and potentially dangerous marketing ploy tricks consumers into believing they are using a safe alternative to the approved ED medications of Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra.
FDA warns of use of “all natural” ED supplements
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned men that these dietary supplements may contain hidden drugs or other undisclosed ingredients that can be dangerous. It has been found that some of them even contain the same active ingredients found in prescription medications approved to treat ED. This makes a potential problem as these products may interact dangerously with other medications a man may be taking.
The FDA requires by law that the manufacturers of these supplements are to make sure the supplements are safe and that all claims on the labels are accurate. The FDA is not required to evaluate these supplements when they go onto market but the FDA can inspect these products after marketing or if there are any complaints filed by individuals of them.
Potential problems with ED supplements
The problem lies in the fact that the manufacturers of these products fail to list potentially dangerous ingredients, combinations of ingredients, and/or excessively high doses on the product labels. Some of the products that may contain these undisclosed ingredients include pills, dissolvable oral strips, chewing gum, and even coffee. Many of these products often sold in single-serving sizes are sold online and in stores, vending machines, convenience stores and gas stations.
What makes these sexual enhancement supplements dangerous is that the FDA found many of them to contain several times the approved ED medication or contained drugs that are not approved by the FDA. For men this could cause problems as these ingredients could interact negatively with any other prescription or over-the-counter medications a man could be using.
Recognizing warning signs of products men should avoid:
It is imperative that all men be familiar with potential warning signs of a sexual enhancement supplement that may contain harmful substances which could include the following:
· A product that promises to improve sexual performance quickly such as within 30 minutes
· Claims that the product is a natural alternative to prescription drugs or has effects similar to those drugs
· Are sold in singe use sizes
· Personal testimonies raving about the benefits of the product
· Are sold in the United States but have labels written mainly in a foreign language
· Are labeled with directions and warnings that mimic labels on FDA-approved products
The dietary supplements promoted for ED need to be avoided as no complementary supplements have been shown to be safe and effective for sexual enhancement or for treating ED. The best advice is for a man to discuss his concerns of ED with his physician. See what he recommends and never take any new supplement without the knowledge of your physician as ED could be a sign of an underlying health problem needing treatment such as clogged blood vessels or nerve damage from diabetes.