Warnings over ‘herbal Viagra’ dangers

THE Irish Medicines Board (IMB) has warned the public about the danger of herbal medicines which claim to act as aphrodisiacs or “herbal Viagra”.

The IMB said it had become aware that such products were being bought by Irish consumers on the basis that they were a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

However, such medicines contain up to four times the level of the pharmaceuticals found in legal prescription drugs, despite claiming to contain only herbal ingredients.

Dangerous “herbal Viagra” products are understood to be sold through traditional Chinese medicine stores and on the internet.

The IMB said they were often adulterated with such pharmaceuticals such as sildenafil and tadalafil which are used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

The IMB has advised consumers to avoid two specific herbal medicines – Jia Yi Jian and Blue Rhino.

An analysis of some of these products by IMB enforcement officers has revealed they contain illegal prescription medications which can cause potentially serious side-effects. They can also have harmful interactions with other medicines.

In Britain, the regulatory authority for medicines found that Jia Yi Jian contained synthetic drugs used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and for obesity.

The IMB said Jia Yi Jian was found in the Irish market last February which led to the issuing of a recommendation that it be removed in the light of findings from Britain and other EU countries.

One store in south-west Dublin is offering Blue Rhino for sale online.

“All products for the treatment of erectile dysfunction should only be used under medical supervision and all are restricted to prescription-only supply for this reason,” said the IMB.

The IMB pointed out that a survey by the World Health Organisation found that 50% of internet pharmacies which conceal their true identity are also selling counterfeit medicines.


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