Why Over-the-Counter ED Drugs May Not Be Worth the Risk

When you have a cold, you probably head to the drug store for cough medicine and throat lozenges. If you have a headache you might pick up some acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Over-the-counter medications are available for a wide variety of ailments and they are easy to come by and inexpensive.

But what about over-the-counter erectile dysfunction medications?

Brand-name ED drugs like Viagra and Cialis require a prescription and they can cost upwards of $50 per pill. High prices and the hassle of obtaining a prescription drive many men with ED to seek out other options including over-the-counter (OTC) erectile dysfunction drugs.

So, what over-the-counter ED medications are out there, and do they actually work? Keep reading to find out why over-the-counter ED drugs may not be worth the money (or the risk).

What Are the Most Popular OTC Erectile Dysfunction Drugs?

If you take a stroll through the aisles at your local drug store, you’ll probably come across a variety of options for over-the-counter erectile dysfunction supplements. Some of the most popular products on the market include the following:

  • Extenze
  • Libido Max
  • Male Extra
  • Virectin
  • VigRX Plus
  • Vimax

When shopping for OTC erectile dysfunction remedies, you’ll find that most products are marketed as “male enhancement” pills. Many of these products are designed for more than just boosting erectile function – some of them also increase stamina, improve libido, and boost testosterone levels. Now, let’s take a closer look at these over-the-counter male enhancement products:

  • Extenze – Easily one of the most popular male enhancement products on the market, Extenze claims to be 100% natural and more effective than other products. Unfortunately, these claims don’t seem to hold water – most of the ingredients have not been clinical proven to be safe or effective and the majority of customer testimonials suggest that it isn’t very effective.
  • Libido Max – Made with natural ingredients like L-arginine, horny goat weed, and yohimbe, Libido Max is designed to boost circulation and testosterone levels in order to enhance male performance. While this supplement is made from many natural ingredients, there are instances where users reported negative side effects and some people found it to be ineffective.
  • Male Extra – Manufactured by Marlia Health Innovations in the UK, Male Extra claims to produce bigger, harder erections while also enhancing sexual ability. It features key ingredients like pomegranate, L-arginine, and creatine to improve circulation.
  • Virectin – One bottle of this product will cost you about $45 but it is designed to boost libido, improve testosterone levels, and enhance sexual pleasure. It contains 16 key ingredients including amino acids and pro-sexual nutrients designed to improve blood vessel dilation.
  • VigRX Plus – Intended for long-term use, VigRX Plus contains 10 natural ingredients such as ginkgo leaf, Asian red ginseng, and Catuaba bark to enhance stamina and male performance. It takes 30 to 60 days of daily use to build up the effectiveness, but the manufacturer claims that it is over 70% effective.
  • Vimax – Made with ingredients like ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and saw palmetto, Vimax is a natural male enhancement product, though reviews suggest that dosages for the active ingredients could be higher. It is also lacking in L-arginine which is one of the most beneficial natural supplements for male enhancement.

Before you put anything new into your body, you need to make sure that it is safe. Read the packaging to determine the ingredients in the product and take some time to do your own research. Remember, products marketed as nutritional supplements are not held to the same FDA standards as prescription medications, so just because something is on a drug store shelf doesn’t mean it’s safe. In fact, the FDA has issued health warnings about numerous OTC male enhancement pills – here are some of the products included on that list:

  • Man Up Now
  • Stiff Nights
  • Rock Hard Weekend
  • Duro Extend
  • Vigor-25
  • Magic Power Coffee
  • Time Out
  • Mr. Magic Male Enhancer
  • Vitalex
  • Xiadafil VIP

What is it about these products that made the FDA issue a health warning? For many of them, it is a problem with the purity or safety of the ingredients. For example, Man Up Now is made with sulfoaildenafil, a chemical similar to the active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil. Though similar in chemical structure, sulfoaildenafil has not undergone the same degree of clinical testing as sildenafil and it has the potential to cause serious drug interactions. The FDA demanded that the manufacturers of Mr. Magic Male Enhancer recall the product because the two main ingredients (hydroxyhomosildenafil and sulfoaildenafil) were not included on the list of ingredients.

Many of these products (and some of those from the previous list) contain other chemicals, some of which have not been tested. It is important to remember that even if products are described as “natural” or as an “herbal remedy” on the label doesn’t mean that they are safe – health claims like this are not closely regulated and there is no official FDA-approved definition or requirement. When it comes to over-the-counter male enhancement products, the risks are simply too high to justify the lower price tag compared to prescription ED drugs.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.