Men's Health: Beware of 'male enhancement' drugs – Calgary Herald
Alpha Male XL. Weekend Warrior. Miraculous Evil Root. If you have any of these products on your bedside table, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has suggested you might want to throw them away. They’re all “male enhancement” products, intended to improve sexual performance or increase the size of your penis, or, often, do both.
But what are you really putting into your body? Somewhere in there with Alpha Male XL’s Horny Goat Weed and Yohimbe Bark, FDA labs detected aminotadalafil, an analogue of the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Cialis.
The agency has issued a spate of warnings about this class of product, most recently reporting that “Libigrow XXX Treme contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA approved prescription drug Viagra.” Health Canada has also issued warnings. In 2010, they found that SX Male Enhancement pills contained another Cialis related substance.
This is not to say that you’ll find erectile dysfunction drugs hiding in every batch of every male enhancement pill sold on the Internet. That’s part of the problem, since their formulation can change from batch to batch. The FDA freely admits it “cannot test all products on the market that contain potentially harmful hidden ingredients” and that “consumer advisories for tainted products only cover a small fraction of the tainted over-the-counter products on the market.”
Hidden prescription drugs are a real concern. It’s well known that men who are taking nitroglycerine for heart conditions should be extra cautious about using Viagra. That combination, the FDA warning says, “may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels”. Yet a Viagra-like drug may be hiding in that magic potion you bought online. Even reputable e-commerce sites like Amazon sell male enhancement pills, and people give them five-star reviews, providing an undeserved aura of respectability.
Counterfeit versions of real drugs like Viagra are also a huge problem, as people try to save a few bucks by getting their medications from not so reputable sources. Pfizer, who makes the genuine blue pills, notes on its website that fake Viagra may contain amphetamines and other dangerous substances.
“When a person thinks they’re buying cheaper drugs, they’re playing Russian Roulette,” says Pat Ford of Pfizer’s global security department. “The counterfeit pharmaceutical could have a wild array of anything. We’ve seen boric acid. We’ve seen floor wax. We’ve seen antibiotics.” Other tasty ingredients include rat poison and gypsum from wallboards. As for that signature blue colour — counterfeiters often get it from printer toner cartridges.
If you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction issues, the right course of action is to talk to your doctor and, if warranted, get a prescription that you fill at a reputable pharmacy. There are trustworthy online pharmacies. According to the U.S.-based National Association of Boards of Pharmacies, a company’s whose website ends with. pharmacy has been checked and is a legal operation.
Of course, there’s that whole other side to male enhancement. Very few guys are willing to whine to their doctor that they think their equipment is too small. So they go online and take the advice of some body builder type or a person in a borrowed white coat.
The vast majority of men fall into the normal range of penile size, and it is a large range. Researchers at Indiana University had 1,661 men, aged 18 and over, of various races, perform measurements while aroused. Often these self-reports are exaggerated, but in this case the subjects were told it was important to be accurate because they’d be receiving custom-fitted condoms in the mail.
Here are the findings: the mean erect penile length was 14.15 cm (with a range four to 26 cm), and the mean erect penile circumference was 12.23 cm (with a range 13 to 19 cm). For those still stuck in Imperial measurements, that’s 5.57 inches long and 4.81 inches around.
So why do so many guys think they have a sub-normal endowment? Part of the answer involves angle of view. Looking down tends to minimize things. And if you’ve packed on the pounds, that extra layer of pubic fat can further obscure matters.
WebMD is a reasonably credible source whose content is usually reviewed by a medical expert. In its “Penis Enlargement: Does It Work?” article, reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, they note that pills, ointments, and creams are just bunk. The few techniques that do create a modest amount of penile enlargement require “a freakish degree of dedication” like wearing a weight strapped to your member for eight hours a day for six months. This might add an extra half inch to the flaccid penis, they say. There are various kinds of surgeries too, but they all have risks, especially if you have to go to another country for the procedure.
The almost universal advice of experts is to seek medical attention if you have ED or are truly worried about your penis size. Most of all, enjoy what you have, and stay away from those pills and fake promises that pop up as you surf the web.
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