WTF Is In Those Gas Station Penis Pills?

Here’s why a penis specialist says they’re a bad idea.

You’ve probably seen those sexual enhancement supplements in gas stations or convenience stores. You know the ones…

You've probably seen those sexual enhancement supplements in gas stations or convenience stores. You know the ones...

They come with promises of being bigger, harder, and lasting longer. And they have completely absurd names and packaging.

fda.gov / Via BuzzFeed News

The FDA is warning people not to buy these after discovering they actually contain the active prescription drug ingredients in Viagra and Cialis.

The FDA is warning people not to buy these after discovering they actually contain the active prescription drug ingredients in Viagra and Cialis.

On Wednesday, the FDA issued six alerts for male sexual enhancement products that contained potentially harmful ingredients, with no mention of them on the actual product. These alerts were added to the list of many, many other sexual enhancement products that contain hidden prescription drug ingredients.

Some of the products they analyzed actually contained tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis. Other products contained drugs that were structurally similar to tadalafil or sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Not to mention all those “natural” ingredients on the label, which are untested, unstudied, and definitely not FDA-approved.

“It’s been known for quite a number of years that male supplements have included chemicals within them that are either normally prescription medicines like generic forms of Viagra or Cialis or [are] tainted in some cases with things that don’t belong there, like heavy metals and things like that,” Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, director of Men’s Health Boston, clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, tells BuzzFeed Health.

NBC / Via giphy.com

These drugs can have dangerous side effects and drug interactions, which is why they require a prescription.

These drugs can have dangerous side effects and drug interactions, which is why they require a prescription.

For instance, taking tadalafil and sildenafil can lead to dangerously low blood pressure if you’re also taking drugs containing nitrates, like nitroglycerin for heart disease or amyl nitrate (“poppers”), says Morgentaler. Plus, Viagra and Cialis do come with some rare (but possible) side effects like hearing or vision loss or an erection that won’t go away.

So if you’re unknowingly getting these ingredients (in unknown quantities) in your OTC sex supplement, you’re putting yourself at risk for these side effects.

Case in point: this guy who took an ~herbal supplement~ and ended up with a painful three-day erection.

Treehouse Pictures / Via fuckyeahzac.tumblr.com

But, OK, what if you actually want Viagra and this gas station penis pill is calling your name?

But, OK, what if you actually want Viagra and this gas station penis pill is calling your name?

None of the stuff on the ingredient list is actually studied or proven to work, says Morgentaler. So these products will not make your penis bigger, firmer, or last longer — unless, of course, it contains some undeclared prescription drug ingredients that shouldn’t be there.

“It’s understandable that they’d want to put small amounts [of prescription drugs] in these products,” says Morgentaler, because if it works — even a little bit — people will keep buying it.

But if you really need erectile dysfunction medication, just get the real stuff from your doctor, says Morgentaler. The amount snuck into these supplements can’t compare to the amount in an FDA-approved prescription medication.

giphy.com


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