Low-grade pills could cause heart disease, warns ministry
UAE issues health warning over unlicensed sexual stimulants
A public health alert has been issued over the use of unlicensed sexual stimulants that could cause heart failure.
Tablets that claim to boost performance including 'Macho Man' and 'Super Panther' were named in a circular by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday.
While the herbal dietary supplements claim to be natural, these contain undeclared quantities of sildenafil, tadalafil, active ingredients in erectile dysfunction pills such as Viagra. This can be dangerous to those with heart diseases, diabetes and men taking drugs containing nitrate for chest pain.
The use of such medication threatened lives and the ministry was keen to warn the public against using such drugs, said Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing at the ministry.
He asked authorities to take measures to withdraw the products from the market and prevent them from being imported and circulated in the UAE as they are not registered with the ministry's drug department.
Dr Al Amiri also warned against the circulation of fake herbal products marketed on social media and that promote enhanced sexual ability in men.
Since these can have severe implications on health, residents should not purchase unlicensed medication through illicit online pharmacies, he said.
Doctors said any medication was typically prescribed for specific ailments in low doses for a period of time but when taken unsupervised it would result in health complications.
“Drugs with these (active) ingredients were introduced for certain medical conditions when a person had problems with sexual activities and testosterone levels were fluctuating a lot, this was given in a very low dose to support them. But people start increasing usage,” said Dr Hira Khan Lashari, a general practitioner with Zia Medical Centre in Dubai.
“Supplements give people a kick for a particular time, but it does not stop there. People keep using it and when you increase that content in your body that is not required at all, there will be side effects.”
The problem is exacerbated in people with health conditions.
“For anyone who has chronic diseases, their body system is not working efficiently. Diabetes and hypertension is not a disease of one organ, it affects the entire body. And when they take something that will damage their body in general that is adding fire to it and their symptoms are more severe. So if a person has had a heart attack or a simple angina it will convert to a full blown heart attack. It will crash the system.”
The alert came after a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration on drugs such as ‘Man of Steel’ sold online and supplements sold by SHH Trading including ‘Love Zen,’ ‘Monster 1350,’ ‘Triple Miracle Zen Plus,’ ‘XXX Zone Platinum’ and ‘Own the Knight’.