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Concerns Raised Over The Ineffectiveness of Most Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Sold Over The Counter

A latest publication contained in the online print of the Journal of Sexual Medicine states that many erectile dysfunction(ED) treatments sold over the counter may not be as effective as claimed.

Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, NC, studied several ED drugs for men that are readily available in the market and rank among the most popular. The experiment was aimed at finding evidence that this so-called “top-sellers” were indeed effective in treating men sexual problems that include low libido, inability to maintain a strong & firm erection, and lack of stamina in the bedroom.

ResearchersIn a recent survey carried out nationwide, 50% of the people interviewed claimed that they would rather opt for over-the-counter treatments rather go for prescription drugs because they are too embarrassed to discuss their problems with physician, or they found the cost of prescription medication too high. From records, 40 to 70 percent of men will experience some sort of sexual dysfunction in their lives meaning that the OTC drugs will continue to be more popular. 

Researchers Robert C. Kovell, M.D., Ryan Terlecki, M.D, David C. Brooks,Tao Cui, M.D.,and Robert C. Kovell, took samples of the most popular treatments in the market and tested the effectiveness of the ingredients and whether they are safe for human use. The study mainly focused on treatments that were said to contain natural ingredients such as Fenugreek, Horny Goat Weed, Tribulus, Yohimbine, Maca, L-arginine, Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc and more. 

The researchers discovered that though the treatments did contain natural ingredients, there was no scientific proof that they improved a man’s sexual health for instance boosting libido, erectile function, and sexual performance. Many also came in weak or impure form meaning the concentration of the natural compounds was way lower than expected. 

The most troubling discovery was that some of the top-selling products though advertised as being all or purely natural contained traces of artificial compounds such as phosphodiesterase-5-inhibitors (PDE5Is). PDE5Is which is also found in prescription drugs such as viagra is not authorized to be sold over-the-counter yet it is found in the treatments. 

According to Ryan Terlecki, M.D, PDE5Is requires moderation and monitoring and men who consume it in form of over –the-counter drugs will soon develop side effects such as hypertension, low blood pressure, headache, dizziness, agitation, irritability, insomnia, sweating and other adverse effects. Men with severe kidney or liver conditions, advanced heart disease, or who take nitrate-based medications for instance nitroglycerin are also warned against taking PDE5Is since it may lead to very low blood pressure.  

Taking over-the-counter ED drugs may seem to be a better and cheaper option for men suffering from sexual dysfunction. However, such a move may lead to more harm in the long run and more reason for men to seek medical advice before starting medication more so self-treatment.