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There is no such thing as 'Herbal Viagra'

‘Herbal’ viagra and other so-called natural alternatives for treating impotence advertised on the Internet and in magazines often contain drugs, which could be harmful. Researchers found that the flood of e-mail spam on the alternatives to prescription erectile dysfunction drugs was a sign of how popular such products were, but they suggested that governments monitor and regulate supplements more closely.

There is no such thing as

'Herbal' viagra and other so-called natural alternatives for treating impotence advertised on the Internet and in magazines are often contained drugs, which could be harmful. Researchers found that the flood of e-mail spam on the alternatives to prescription erectile dysfunction drugs was a sign of how popular such products were, but they suggested that governments monitor and regulate supplements more closely. According to researchers from the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, such products are being marketed as being safe and natural products but it is plausible that deaths have occurred or could occur. The researchers bought seven 'herbal' erectile dysfunction products to find out what was in them. Two contained significant levels of prescription phosphodiesterase inhibitors - sildenafil (sold by Pfizer under the brand name Viagra), and tadalafil (Eli Lilly and company's Cialis). The erectile dysfunction drugs affect blood flow and can be deadly when taken with certain heart drugs containing nitrates. The current law allows non-prescription supplements to be advertised so long as they do not make specific health claims, such as lowering cholesterol. However, the FDA does need to stop the marketing of products that contain prescription medicines. Another study said that other herbal products could also be dangerous. Researchers at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in Britain did a Google Internet search using the words "herbal" and "Viagra" and found that it actually picked up 160,000 hits last year and two weeks ago it got 690,000 hits. Many of the sites also present penis enlargement products. The team assessed the first 50 web sites and found only 36 percent offered any advice on who should not use the products and just 21 percent listed potential side-effects. Only 21 percent offered information from someone with medical training and 24 percent clearly stated that their information was not to replace doctors' advice. All these herbs have been previously investigated in the past and are known to have side effects such as skin reaction and cardiovascular disorders.
Meeting of the American Urological Association,
May 2004
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