Michael is a 47-year-old male who presents to your office for his yearly physical.
During the examination, he mentions that he has been shopping online for an all-natural sexual enhancement supplement but is not sure which product he should try.
Many sexual enhancement products that claim to be all-natural contain hidden active pharmaceutical ingredients such as sildenafil (Viagra; Pfizer) and tadalafil (Cialis, Lilly). Since these supplements are not regulated like prescription drugs, they may contain dosages higher than typically seen with FDA-approved products.
Also, some supplements may contain analogues of these drugs that have failed prior clinical testing and are considered harmful. If a product claiming to improve sexual enhancement produces its desired effect, it most likely contains a hidden active ingredient and is unsafe.1
Michael explains to you that while his erections are typically “good” he thinks that his love life would be significantly better with a little help. He thought using a dietary supplement would be a better choice rather than using prescription drugs. A quick glance at his chart shows no significant health problems.
Since Michael is interested in improving his erectile function it may be advisable to prescribe an FDA-approved erectile dysfunction product. These products include PDE5 inhibitors Viagra (Pfizer), Cialis (Lilly), and Levitra (Bayer and GSK). This will ensure that Michael receives a safe and effective product and will allow you to counsel him on its appropriate use.