Italy reports a raft of supplement products containing erectile dysfunction drugs

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/Aquatarkus
©iStock/Aquatarkus
Italy’s National Institute of Health reports a number of products currently available on the Italian market that consumers should avoid due to the detection of erectile dysfunction drugs.

Notified via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) the Institute identifies Sichuan Wellong Pharmaceutical’s food supplement "Passion & Pleasure"​ as one to stay away from.

The warning comes after tests reveal the presence of erectile dysfunction drugs sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil in addition to sildenafil’s derivatives thiosidenafil and thiohomosilsildenafil and dimetilthiosisildenafil.

“For consumer protection, we ask you not to consume this product,”​ said the Institute as it identifies lot ‘12/2018,’ expiry date ‘06/2020’ produced in China and sold online as the specific offending product.

The presence of erectile dysfunction drugs in food supplements appears to be an ongoing theme​ as RASFF looks to have flagged up another batch of contaminated products.

‘True composition hidden’

BioAcvit extra strong capsules
Bioacvit extra forte capsules.

Meanwhile, Spanish company Marco Cordone appear to be marketing and distributing food supplements in Italy that also contain sildenafil and tadalafil, which are available in Italy.

Originating from China, Spanish authorities report these products as mislabelled with plant-based ingredients and are sold on various online sites.

These products are Bioacvit capsules (sildenafil and tadalafil), Bioacvit extra forte capsules (sildenafil and tadalafil), torexan capsules (sildenafil), Devit Forte capsules (sildenafil and tadalafil), Devit only Piante capsules (sildenafil and tadalafil) and Bull extreme capsules (sildenafil and tadalafil).

“According to the analyses carried out by the Official Control Laboratory of this Agency, the aforementioned products contain the active substance sildenafil, alone or together with tadalafil,”​ said the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS).

“These substances were not declared on their labels, which indicate only products of plant-based origin.”

The Agency added, “These products are presented as natural products, hiding their true composition from the consumer and giving deceptive information about their safety.

Bull extreme capsules
Bull extreme capsules.

“In particular, the presence of sildenafil and / or tadalafil poses a risk for those individuals especially susceptible to suffer adverse reactions with the consumption of PDE-5 inhibitors.

“Precisely these individuals could resort to products of this type, purportedly natural, based on plants, as a theoretically safe alternative to authorized prescription drugs.”

Italy’s National Institute of Health added, “At the moment Spain has not yet sent the importer's distribution lists”.

“To protect consumers, even for online purchases, we ask you not to consume the products listed in the Spanish Ministry of Health announcement​ which includes the pictures of the packages.”

Unsanitary conditions

Finally, The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) notifies Italian consumers that food supplements produced by Konsar Future Nutrition Inc. may present “serious health risks”.

The Institutes states that Canadian authorities have inspected the production site, located in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec and finding serious hygiene deficiencies and quality control problems.

The products, which include vitamins and supplements targeted for health and fitness, bodybuilding and weight management are sold under various brand names.

These include Athltx Science, Elle Factor Weight Management, Future Nutrition, Humabolic Science, MVP Biotech, MVP Laboratories, MVP Lifestyle, MVP Nutrition, PHP Edge and Xtreme Lifestyle.

Canadian authorities report​ widespread unsanitary conditions, such as rust on the equipment and cracks in the walls and floors at the site.

In addition, the Department found a lack of adequate quality control measures to ensure product quality and safety, including a lack of measures related to product testing, product stability (shelf life), and record-keeping.

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