“Natural” products or medications are not always safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently cracked down on three companies marketing online “natural” sex enhancement drugs to men that are anything but natural. In fact, the products – marketed as “Ninja Mojo,” “Love Rider,” and “Affirm XL” – all contain the same chemical compounds found in popular prescription strength erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs such as Viagra and Cialis.

“These drugs can cause serious health problems in men with heart disease and can negatively interact with other prescription medications,” states Marc Siegelbaum, MD, Director of the Erectile Dysfunction program at Chesapeake Urology Associates. “Men who take prescription strength erectile dysfunction drugs need to be under the supervision of a physician because of potentially serious side effects from these medications.”

An FDA lab confirmed that the “natural” sex enhancement product called “Affirm XL,” for example, contains the undisclosed element Sulfoaildenafil, an ingredient closely related to sildenafil, the active ingredient in well know erectile dysfunction prescription medications. Sildenafil can interact with nitrates, found in prescription drugs for high blood pressure and heart disease, and can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.

“Men who are already taking oral ED medications such as Viagra or Cialis should also avoid these "supplements" as they are by no means safe equivalents to what your physician can prescribe and monitor,” adds Dr. Siegelbaum.

In March 2013, the FDA identified three other male sex enhancement products marketed online as “Rock-It Man,” “Libido Sexual Enhancer,” and “Stiff Days” that also claimed to be all natural, herbal supplements. These products were also found to contain undisclosed active ingredients in prescription ED drugs.

Men who take these “natural” sex enhancement products think they are taking an herbal supplement and are often not aware that the active ingredients are similar, or the same, to the ones found in prescription ED drugs and can cause serious health complications. The products sold online are often unregulated and can be unsafe.

The FDA stated in its warning notice about Affirm XL, “Consumers should stop using this product immediately and throw it away. Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.”

If you have used any of these sexual enhancement products or are experiencing any unusual side effects as a result of a “natural” or herbal ED supplement, contact a urologist at Chesapeake Urology immediately at 866-953-3111.