Men are warned: buying fake Viagra poses serious health risks

As we have reported in the past here at Medical Specialists, the problem of fake, or so called generic Viagra sold online, continues to pose serious health risks to men worldwide. In Australia analysis of pills from 22 different websites, claiming to sell drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, found 77 per cent of samples were fake and contained only 30 to 50 percent of the active ingredient advertised on the label, the Australian reported.

According to Dr Stephen Ruthven, president of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, many of the counterfeit drugs also contained undeclared substances such as gypsum, found in fertiliser, commercial paint and printer ink.
The study, by San Diego Sexual Medicine’s Dr Irwin Goldstein, suggested that the fakes could also contain other harmful ingredients including antihypertensive medications. Dr Ruthven said, “Self medication of this kind carried very real health risks. Many people simply assume they are buying the real product, when in fact many online purchases from international sites are illegal counterfeits.”

The study comes after Australia’s drug regulator last week, warned men not to buy or consume two products, claiming to contain 100 per cent herbal ingredients, Ultra Men for Men and Rock Hard for Men. An investigation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) found the products contained two undeclared prescription substances, tadalafil and glibenclamide.

Tadalafil is the active ingredient in Cialis, a prescription-only erectile dysfunction product, and glibenclamide is used to control blood glucose levels. The TGA said the tablets, which a number of Australians have bought online, had not been assessed for quality, safety and efficacy. The place of manufacture was also not approved by the regulator. The commercial supply of the supplements in Australia is illegal. The TGA warned consumers to be extremely cautious when buying medicines from unknown international internet sites. The worldwide sales of fake drugs in 2010 were estimated to be about $73 million.

Dr Ruthven said, “Erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis targeted vulnerable men. Men often feel embarrassed about discussing the condition with doctors, but it is important to do so to properly diagnose the problem, and rule out other health risks, including metabolic problems and heart disease.”

The TGA advised consumers to be extremely cautious when buying medicines from unknown international internet sites. This is advice that here at Medical Specialists we strongly agree with, people looking to buy medication for erectile dysfunction should only obtain it from registered pharmacies that dispense genuine Pfizer Viagra or Lilly Cialis, display the necessary credentials such as the GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Council) green logo along with the registration number and that offer an online consultation with a doctor to ensure the medication is both right and safe for you.

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