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Counterfeit, contaminated “male enhancement” supplements recalled

Consumer Reports News: February 25, 2011 10:59 AM

If you have a bottle of Extenze dietary supplements on your shelf, take a close look at the lot numbers. Biotab Nutraceuticals, Inc., the maker of the product, recalled two lots of it this week after being told by the Food and Drug Administration that some of the packages were counterfeit and contained drug ingredients that can pose serious health risks.

Some packages of Extenze bearing lot numbers 0709241 contained the erectile dysfunction drugs tadalafil (Cialis) and sildenafil (Viagra). Those drugs can interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and might lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, according to an FDA safety alert.  Some packages labeled with lot number 0509075 contained tadalafil and sibutramine, a prescription weight-loss drug that was withdrawn from the market last year for safety reasons. Sibutramine can increase blood pressure and pulse rate in some people, and poses significant risk to those with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke.

The counterfeit Extenze product, sold nationwide, “is not manufactured, distributed or packaged by Biotab, but is falsely marked with the same lot numbers used by Biotab for its genuine product,” according to the company’s press release. “Because it is very difficult to distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine product, Biotab decided to conduct this voluntary recall of the two affected lots. It is possible that there may be other counterfeit products on the market that have yet to be identified.”

Consumers should return any unused products with those lot numbers to the place of purchase for a direct refund.

Our advice: Take care when purchasing any dietary supplement, especially those sold for weight loss or sexual enhancement. Read more about  dangerous supplements, the risks they often pose, and the precautions you should take.

—Doug Podolsky, senior editor

Aaron Bailey

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