This week several male sexual enhancement supplements were voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer, American Lifestyle, because they contained “undeclared prescription drugs.” Supplements are not required to undergo rigorous testing as prescription drugs do and are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, they are not allowed to have any amount of prescription drugs in them. While American Lifestyle has voluntarily removed these products from the market, other manufacturers may not.
The FDA has issued warnings on a number of sexual enhancement supplements. Since the beginning of 2013, the following supplements have been found to have “hidden drug ingredient:”
- Sex Plus
- Affirm XL
- Love Rider
- Ninja Mojo
- Stiff Days
- Libido Sexual Enhancer
- Rock-It Man
According to the FDA “…an emerging trend where over-the-counter products, frequently represented as dietary supplements, contain hidden active ingredients that could be harmful. Consumers may unknowingly take products laced with varying quantities of approved prescription drug ingredients, controlled substances and untested and unstudied pharmaceutically active ingredients. These products can harm you! Hidden ingredients are increasingly becoming a problem in products promoted for sexual enhancement.”  A list of these and other sexual enhancement supplements found to have hidden drugs is on the FDA’s site. This page also lists warning letters sent to manufacturers and product recalls.
6 Things to Keep in Mind When Taking Supplements
- Supplements, vitamins and other over-the-counter medications can have side effects or interfere with other medications you are taking. You should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
- All supplements should have a Supplement Facts panel on the container that lists the contents, amount of active ingredients, other added ingredients (such as fillers or flavorings.) There should be a “suggested serving size” however, you should discuss with your physician an appropriate serving size for you.
- Some supplements undergo independent quality testing to make sure their products contain the ingredients on the label and do not contain any harmful levels of contaminants or other hidden ingredients. U.S. Pharmcopeia, ConsumerLab.com and NSF International all provide independent testing. You may want to check any supplements you take to see if they have received a seal of approval from any of these organizations.
- You should not take any supplements without first talking with your doctor if you are having any surgical or medical procedure.
- When deciding whether to take any dietary supplement, consider and weight the benefits vs. the risks. For example, why are you taking the supplement, what are the potential benefits, what are the safety risks, do you understand the dosing and is it safe to take long-term? Make sure you can answer these questions before taking the supplement.
Remember, supplements may claim to be “natural” that doesn’t always mean they are safe. There are many “natural” ingredients or substances that are quite harmful to our bodies. Be sure to research the actual active ingredients in any supplements before taking them.
“Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know,” reviewed 2011, June 17, Staff Writer, U.S. department of Health and Human Services
“Tainted Sexual Enhancement Products,” Updated 2013, April, Staff Writer, U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration
Published On: May 07, 2013