OTC Fake Viagra Pills are on Federal Regulators’ Radar

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a man holding his heart, feeling a heartache

When Lamar Odom suffered heart failure after taking herbal Viagra, it brought national attention to the sometimes-deadly consequences of ‘natural’ male enhancement supplements. While the FDA has known about these illicit products, and their link to reports of liver damage, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and even death, their hands have been tied as to how to stop them.

In 2015, the FDA posted warnings that it had discovered more than 300 herbal male enhancement supplements were tainted and adulterated with undisclosed ingredients, including ingredients like those in Cialis and Viagra. In fact, one of the products analyzed by the government agency had 31 times the normal prescription dose of tadalafil.

Hidden Dangers for Consumers

Consumers expect these supplements to be all natural or herbal alternatives to medication and prescription drugs and will read the label to ensure there are no ingredients that may interact with the medications they are on, or that they are allergic to, or that can have a negative effect on any health condition they may currently have. But when these nefarious companies fail to list ingredients, consumers can be seriously injured. Basically, these companies deny consumers the ability to make informed decisions about their health.

According to the Daily Mail, about 90 percent of these illicit products are believed to be made in China. But because these supplements are sold as dietary supplements, they do not have to be approved by the FDA before hitting the shelves. According to Pfizer, these counterfeit products may look very similar to the prescription drug, but instead of being made with safe substances, these drugs may be made with just about anything, including ink for inkjet cartridges, brick dust, drywall, antibiotics, boric acid, floor wax, and even rat poison. Basically, they will use anything that will bind and color the drug to make it look more like the prescription counterpart. And Pfizer says these pills may be made in unsanitary conditions, like in basements, bathrooms, in the backyard with chickens, and in rat and roach infested manufacturing facilities.

The FDA’s National Health Fraud Coordinator told the Daily Mail that there are an alarming number of these products are being sold online, in convenience stores, and even in vending machines. The FDA spent three years pressuring dangerous supplement makers to remove or recall some 200 products that were linked to liver damage, kidney failure, stroke and even death.

In fact, seven men suffered severe brain damage and four men died after taking fake male enhancement supplements in 2008. In 2011, the FDA issued a warning over herbal ExtenZe, which looked just like the prescription ExtenZe, except that it contained hidden prescription-only chemicals. Counterfeit ExtenZe maker Biolab recalled two lots of the product but warned that others could still be on store shelves.

The FDA warns all consumers not to consume any of these types of counterfeit products.


OTC Fake Viagra Pills are on Federal Regulators’ Radar
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