FDA: Knockoff Penis-Growing Herbal Supplements Laced With Viagra

The FDA put out a warning this week that knockoffs of ExtenZe Maximum Strength have been found containing sildenafil — the active ingredient in Viagra and other ED prescriptions. Meaning hopeful pill-poppers may have thought those "herbal supplements" were really kicking in, despite science having proven they just don't work.

Okay, so a guy hoping to add to his, uh, measurements, wouldn't actually be able to observe any difference with a ruler. Erectile dysfunction drugs don't make your torque wrench longer. They just make it more eager to spring into action, by increasing blood flow via vasodilation. The drug doesn't just target a man's nether lands, either: the vessel dilating effect has been used to treat newborns with pulmonary hypertension, increasing blood flow to the lungs.

But it's not hard to imagine how placebo effect mixed with a covert dose of little blue pill could make a cock-conscious dude who'd just spent $19.99 plus shipping and handling think he'd won the pipe lottery. Hey, don't question a good thing, right?

Unfortunately, bad things can happen when you don't know which prescription-strength drugs you're taking. Recent tragedies involving Infants' and Children's Tylenol show the deadly side of unintended dosing. And anyone who's squirmed through a Cialis commercial knows that even under a doctor's supervision, prescription ED drugs can have some breathtaking side effects. The FDA points out that sildenafil interacts with common blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes drugs, and mixing the two can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure (remember, this drug dilates everything, not just the junk region). And since the knockoffs aren't labeled, you'll never really know what you're taking.

So fellas (yeah? fellas! yeah?), stay away from "natural male enhancement" pills in general, but especially now. This isn't the first time those herbal supplements have been caught packing more than just ginger root and yohimbe bark. Believe us: you're fine just the way you are.

Image: Shutterstock / Anetlanda