Honey-based sex supplements may contain Cialis and Viagra ingredients, FDA warns

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The Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to four companies selling honey-based supplements that claim to enhance sexual performance.

The products, with names like “Royal Honey for Him” ​​and “X Rated Honey for Men,” may contain hidden pharmaceuticals, the FDA said: the active ingredients in Cialis and Viagra.

In a statement on Tuesday, the agency said its internal lab tests found tadalafil and sildenafil in honey products. These ingredients, which are not listed on labels, are found in Cialis and Viagra, which are used to treat erectile dysfunction and are only available by prescription.

These supplements could therefore pose health risks to consumers, the FDA said. The drugs can be dangerous for patients taking nitrates, which are common in people with diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease, as the interaction could cause their blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels. Other consumers may have drug allergies or sensitivities.

Adding a drug to a food product for interstate commerce violates federal law, the FDA said. The agency has given companies 15 days to indicate how they will resolve the issue or explain why they believe the products do not violate federal law.

Companies that have received letters from the FDA are Thirsty Run LLC (also known as US Royal Honey LLC), 1am USA Incorporated dba Pleasure Products USA, Shopaax.com and MKS Enterprise LLC. None of them responded to NBC News’ requests for comment.

Other honey products mentioned in the FDA warnings include “Vital Honey for Men” and “Secret Miracle Royal Honey for Her.” According to the FDA, the products are sold online and possibly in some retail stores.

Supplements generally claim to provide sexual enhancement and improve reproductive health.

The product description “Royal Honey for Men”, for example, states that it is made from “the most powerful and natural source of sexual potency and testosterone – Royal Honey – which is filled with rich floral nectar and a blend of selected roots to maximize the effect.”

The ingredients listed for this product include ginseng root and tribulus terrestris, a leafy plant.

“People should be very wary of taking many products and supplements because they’re unregulated and most people don’t know what’s actually in them,” said Dr. Franklin Lowe, vice chairman of the Department of Health. urology from Montefiore Medical Center. and professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.

“What’s on the label doesn’t necessarily match what’s actually in the bottle or the pill. And this is a perfect example of that,” he added.

Because dietary supplements are regulated as foods and not drugs, the FDA does not verify their safety, effectiveness, or labeling, or give them federal approval.

Other sexual enhancement supplements have also been found to hide active drug ingredients in the past.

The FDA warned consumers in April about nearly a dozen other honey-based sex supplements containing medicinal ingredients. In 2019, the FDA announced that sexual enhancement pills sold on websites including Amazon contained hidden and potentially dangerous ingredients like sildenafil.

“We encourage consumers to remain vigilant when shopping online or in stores to avoid purchasing products that put their health at risk, and instead seek out effective, FDA-approved treatments,” said Judy McMeekin, FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, in the statement. .

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