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The Dangerous Unknowns

Published: October 7, 2010

Reflecting on my recent take on “pro-biotic” dietary supplements reminded me of a controversy between the FDA and another type of supplement. This controversy is not just trivial knowledge; it came to mind because it involves my field of interest, erectile dysfunction.

Specifically, the US Food and Drug administration reviewed 17 dietary supplements, all able to be purchased from the internet, and all claiming to treat erectile dysfunction or increase a man’s sexual performance. Of these 17 supplements, the FDA determined seven to be “illegal drugs that contain potentially harmful, undeclared ingredients.” These seven illegal drugs – Zimaxx, Libidus, Neophase, Nasutrs, Vigor25, Actra-Rx, and 4EVRON – failed to include chemical ingredients such as sildenafil (Viagra) and vardenifil (Cialis)! These drugs can interact with prescription drugs a person is taking and drop their blood pressure to dangerous, if not fatal levels. This is exactly why your doctor will review with you all of your medications before prescribing anything new. The undisclosed nature of these drugs in dietary supplements prevents this conversation from taking place, with dangerous results for the patient.

Calling such drugs with their clandestine ingredients “dietary supplements” is a way of avoiding regulation by the FDA. The label “dietary supplement” is a red flag, as such agents have not been approved by the FDA to treat or cure whatever they claim to treat or cure. This is dangerous. Dealing with these products, especially those manufactured overseas, means that one is generally ingesting mysterious compounds. Given the unregulated status of these pills there is no way to tell if what you are putting into your body is pure. The manufacturers all seek to cut costs, and there is little oversight from the FDA to keep them on the straight and narrow. The way these supplements are manufactured can make them ineffectual at best, and downright deadly at worst.

If you are using any of these named supplements, STOP immediately!

I suggest that you refrain from purchasing any dietary supplement that makes grandiose claims. Simple “if it seems to good to be true” logic applies here. If you have questions or concerns you can call the FDA at 888-INFO-FDA.

Additionally if you feel that any of these supplements have had a negative impact on your health then talk to your personal physician and/or talk to the FDA. They need to hear your concerns and complaints.

Erectile dysfunction is a real problem requiring real medicines. Just like rotating your tires or changing your oil, paying attention to basic body maintenance is fine to do on your own. When it comes to serious problems, however, you need to call a doctor. Erectile dysfunction is included in this category of “serious problems.” Treatment should be done by a qualified physician using – and this is important – FDA approved medication, not some herbal pill or “dietary supplement” purchased via the internet.

If you are looking for a licensed physician to provide a personalized – and FDA approved – treatments for erectile dysfunction, then give my clinic a call at (916) 551-1595 or visit http://www.doctorsclinicformen.com for more information.