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Herbal Viagra: Simply dangerous

Capsule spilling out of a white bottle in wooden spoon with green leaf on sack background.

(Gam1983)

These days, everyone on the labels of their products on natural get a leg up in the consumer world. Consumers by the thousands are looking for natural alternatives to traditional medicines, including the erectile dysfunction pill known as Viagra. They turn to the DIY mixtures, vitamins and herbal supplements to take its place. In the case of herbs, however, men have to be careful: herbal Viagra brings high risks for their health.

Side effects

Because doctors should not prescribe herbal supplements, people often mistake if they are low-risk with few side effects. What they don’t realize is that herbs may have the same potential as a traditional medicine.

They have a very active ingredients and may interact with other medicines. Because of their potency, they can exert an influence on the health is worse if not used correctly.

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According To Dr. Landon Trust, a urologist at the Mayo Clinic, men are a danger to their health by taking herbal Viagra.

Normally a doctor should assess a man’s overall health to give him the right prescription with the correct dosage. If he has underlying health problems, the doctor may look at other options.

When consumers turn to over-the-counter herbs, they have no way to know the exact impact that the herbs will have on their health. For example, drugs and supplements that help with erectile dysfunction by relaxing the blood vessels.

However, this herbal medication is not targeting that blood vessels to relax, such as the traditional Viagra does. This effect can reduce blood pressure throughout the body, and in turn lead to a reduced blood flow to vital organs.

For men the blood pressure medication or suffer heart problems, this side effect could land them in the hospital-or worse.

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The Secret Ingredients

In addition to the side effects, the researchers often have secret ingredients in herbal Viagra. In 2015, the FDA warned the public not to take the herbal supplement, because the researchers had actually found sildenafil in them.

Sildenafil is the active ingredient in the traditional Viagra. In many cases, these supplements actually contained double the amount of sildenafil, which makes them very dangerous for men.

The list is not the end. These supplements may contain high levels of stimulants that can mess with men’s health. Combine this with stimulants, contaminants, and peaks with alcohol or drug use, and the people have a deadly concoction on their hands.

In 2015, officials found former NBA star Lamar Odom completely unconscious and unresponsive in his room. After a night of heavy drinking and drug use, Odom had taken as much as 10 herbal supplement pills.

The celebrity was found unconscious on a Tuesday and not wake up, until that Friday. He had escaped a potentially tragic end.

While Odom certainly was an overdose of this supplement, the FDA and other health officials do not deem it safe even in small doses.

Manufacturers can come from all over the world with little regulation of the ingredients in their products. Simply put, the short-lived benefits of herbal Viagra do not outweigh the risks.

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Why Do People Do It?

Despite the warnings, many people still take herbal Viagra. They can be a tricky medical dialogue about their erectile dysfunction. Men can be that it is a cheap, quick alternative to the recipe.

In many cases, people opt for the herbs in the medicine, because they really think that it is safer or more natural. In this case, however, the herbal supplement can less herbal and nature in than the recipe itself.

When dealing with supplements, people need to treat them like other medicines. They must realize that they may be endangering themselves if they do not talk with their doctor. In the case of herbal Viagra, men should stay away from. It is simply dangerous for their health.

This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He is also chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information about Dr. Manny’s work, please visit AskDrManny.com.

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