AUTHORITIES are concerned about a popular tablet widely available on the internet that claims to assist men with impotence and premature ejaculation.
Big Penis USA is marketed as an all-natural and herbal supplement that’s safe to use, works in just 20 minutes and helps improve male sexual function.
But the Therapeutic Goods Administration has advised the tablets contain undeclared substances that pose a serious health risk.
After testing the product, the TGA discovered Big Penis USA tablets contain amounts of sildenafil, an active property in Viagra, and chloramphenicol, an antibiotic that was once used to treat plague.
“Consumers are advised that sildenafil and chloramphenicol are prescription-only substances in Australia,” the TGA said in a safety advisory.
“The supply of Big Penis USA tablets containing undisclosed sildenafil and chloramphenicol is illegal.”
Sildenafil can dangerously interact with other prescription medications and can cause dangerously low blood pressure and it should only be taken under medical supervision.
Investigations found a number of Australians have likely purchased the product online, through websites like eBay or overseas-based medicinal stores typically based in Asia.
“Stop taking Big Penis USA tablets and take any remaining tablets to your local pharmacy for safe disposal,” the TGA advised.
Despite the implication in the name, the tablets are not produced in the United States.
Sydney GP and media commentator Dr Brad McKay said men hoping for a bigger penis based on the product name would be left disappointed.
“Sildenafil may temporarily assist you in getting a firmer erection, but in won’t increase the usual length or girth of your tumescent member,” Dr McKay said.
“Chloramphenicol won’t aid your sex life, but it is likely to cause superbugs in your gut because it’s an antibiotic. It’s actually a dangerous antibiotic that we don’t usually prescribe in a tablet form because it can cause diarrhoea, headaches, bone marrow suppression, and a horrible condition called aplastic anaemia that can lead to death.”
The TGA is now working with Australian Border Force to intercept shipments of the tablets and prevent them from entering Australia.
“If these tablets are found at the border by the ABF they will be seized and destroyed.”
The tablets can still be found on auction website eBay, with one seller based in Newcastle in northern New South Wales describing the product as containing all-natural ingredients.
“(The) item is not a drug requiring a prescription,” the description reads.
Two boxes of tablets, totalling 24 pills, sells for $ 72 with free express postage.
Since the release and success of impotence medication Viagra in the 1990s, the male sexual enhancement industry has boomed.
But it has also seen the emergence of a worrying shadow market for unregulated and so-called naturally male products that are usually untested and potentially dangerous.
“We’re living in a global marketplace where you can buy anything online. There are some benefits, but plenty of risks,” Dr McKay said.
”Products like Big Penis USA are preying on men who feel too embarrassed to go to discuss their sex life with their doctor. Erectile dysfunction is an important issue for many men as there may be underlying health problems that need to be addressed.
“You don’t need to import Sildenafil from overseas these days as it’s pretty cheap to get from your local pharmacy and it’s better for your health if your doctor safely prescribes it.”
The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has warned that many of these products are anything but natural and has ordered their removal from shelves.
Some of the products it has issued warnings over include Man Up Now, Stiff Nights, Rock Hard Weekend and Mr Magic. Those are all available online to Australian consumers via various outlets.