FDA: Don't Take These Sex Enhancement Products

Sexual enhancement products found to contain undeclared, potentially dangerous drug ingredients

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) The FDA recently warned consumers to avoid a large number of non-prescription products sold for sexual enhancement.

On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released 15 public notifications warning that various sex enhancement products contained undeclared — and possibly dangerous — drug ingredients.

While 15 tainted products in one day may seem like a lot, the FDA reminded consumers that it only tests a handful of these potentially tainted products, which are often sold over the Internet. And the agency has been finding undeclared ingredients in these sex enhancement products since 2004.

"The number of these problematic products available on the Internet appears to be increasing," said Michael Levy, who was the director of the FDA's Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance in 2009, when the press release quoting him was released.

It appears this has been an ongoing fight for the FDA. But what exactly is wrong with these "tainted" products? In the case of the 15 warnings the agency released on Monday, it was the presence of undeclared drugs like sildenafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, tadalafil and dapoxetine.

Sildenafil is the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. While this drug is FDA-approved, it must be prescribed by a doctor. Sildenafil may react with nitrates, medications often taken for conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. It can lower blood pressure to unhealthy and potentially dangerous levels.

Desmethyl carbodenafil is "structurally similar" to sildenafil and poses the same potential health risks, according to the FDA. Tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis, is also used to treat erectile dysfunction and poses similar health risks.

Dapoxetine is untested and not FDA-approved, so its potential risks are unknown, according to the FDA.

For a complete list of tainted sexual enhancement products, visit the FDA website.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 30, 2015
Last Updated:
January 3, 2016