The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use Maximum Powerful, a product promoted for sexual enhancement that contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. This product was identified during an examination of international mail shipments.
The announcement is part of the agency’s effort to inform the public of a growing trend of dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals. The culprit products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and bodybuilding and are often represented as being “all natural.”
In a press release, the FDA noted that it is unable to test and identify all products marketed as dietary supplements that have potentially harmful hidden ingredients. As a result, the agency issued a blanket warning that consumers should exercise caution before purchasing any product touted as improving sexual enhancement, helping with weight loss, or building up muscle.
FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that Maximum Powerful contains sildenafil, which may may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.
The FDA wants health care professionals and the public to report adverse events or side effects related to Maximum Powerful to FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. The form can be found here