Kinky Monkeys and Randy Rhinos: The Risks and Rewards of OTC “Male Enhancement” Pills

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You may have seen them at the gas station while waiting at the register…

“Male Enhancement” pills with colorful packages, funny names like Kinky Kong, and usually priced at well below $10.

Given that Viagra averages around $20 per pill and requires an erectile dysfunction prescription, you may have also been curious about giving them a try.

Any over-the-counter “male enhancement” product should be approached with extreme caution, however.

These pills are often not adequately regulated and tested by the FDA, and can have unpredictable adverse health effects.

What’s in OTC Sex Pills?

The primary active ingredient in these gas station pills is usually an analog of sildenafil, the main active ingredient in Viagra.

An “analog” is a chemical that is very similar in structure, and expected to have the same effects, but is not the same.

The problem with analogs is that they are not as well-tested as the original chemical, nor is the manufacturing process usually as rigorous.

The synthetic marijuana once sold at gas stations is a comparable situation.

This chemical concoction used a lab-created analog of cannabis that was technically legal at first since it wasn’t the same thing. It was rushed to market without proper testing, however, effectively making the users of it the guinea pigs.

When it became linked to multiple deaths and thousands of poison control cases in which treatment was required, the FDA began taking a much more active hand in regulating it and banned many forms of it.

The two analogs most commonly used in these OTC pills are sulfoaildenafil and hydroxyhomosildenafil.

The FDA has issued warnings about sulfoaildenafil, due mostly to dangerous fluctuations in blood pressure and its potential to interact negatively with a variety of prescription medications.

The agency has also banned a variety of specific products using it from the market, such as Mr. Magic Male Enhancer and Duro Extend.

None of these pills can use legitimate sildenafil because Pfizer created it, and the company has exclusive rights to it.

Sildenafil is usually prescribed by a doctor, who is able to review a patient’s overall health situation and any other medications they are taking to determine if it could be dangerous for them.

When you grab it from a gas station display, you get neither the doctor’s advice nor the same level of testing that Pfizer has done to ensure Viagra doesn’t have unpredictable side effects.

Safer Alternatives to Male Enhancement Pills

If you have a prescription for Viagra, but the cost is your primary concern, you’ll want to check out Teva’s new generic version, which hits the market in 2018. This product contains the same sildenafil used in Viagra, just at lower cost.

Teva struck a deal with Pfizer to pay them a royalty on sales of an identical formula that they developed themselves.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a prescription, no “all natural” magic herbal concoction works the same way.

If there were, then Viagra would never have made so much money!

There is one OTC supplement that is worth considering, however, and that’s L-Arginine.

This supplement is primarily used by the bodybuilding community to make the muscles look pumped after a workout by increasing blood flow to the area, but it also increases blood flow throughout the body. As you might expect, it does have an impact on blood pressure, so it’s best to consult with your doctor before using it.

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