July 16, 2019
Practice Safe Sexual Enhancement: Health Canada Recalls Various Products with Harmful Ingredients
Health Canada logoSource: Health Canada
Last month, Health Canada issued a safety alert about various sexual enhancement products that contained harmful ingredients not listed on their label.
On Monday, we reached out to their experts to learn more about how these ingredients were found as well as their detrimental health risks.
A Bit of Context…
“Health Canada’s role is to make sure the health products sold on the Canadian market are safe and meet all of the Canadian regulatory requirements,” said the manager of the health product compliance and enforcement unit at Health Canada, Celina Bak.
Originally established as the Department of Health in 1919, Health Canada has done extensive research and testing to protect Canadians, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia.
“Selling unauthorized health products is illegal in Canada,” Bak continued. “When we become aware of the retail locations potentially selling unauthorized health products, we take action. We send inspectors who will look at what’s on their shelves. They also have the authority to check anywhere in the location where they believe products could be stored.”
Following the inspection, Bak said the experts look at the labels to see if there are any harmful ingredients listed.
“When these products don’t have harmful ingredients listed on the label, but are advertised as potential health products – for sexual enhancement, weight loss, or bodybuilding – we may cease the products and submit them for testing to identify any ingredients not listed that could pose a health risk,” she added.
Bak then explained how this could endanger Canadians, as these prescription drug ingredients could cause interactions between other medications they’re taking.
In some cases, she said Health Canada test results have revealed that some products don’t contain any of the ingredients listed on their label, and instead have other harmful substances in them. They could also be contaminated, so Health Canada encourages consumers to check their databases of approved drugs and natural health products before making their purchase.
In the event that you encounter or have an adverse reaction to an unauthorized health product, the organization asks that you please report it through their online form.
“It’s good to remind Canadians of the risks associated with taking unauthorized health products,” Bak said. “When we do find these unauthorized products on the market, Health Canada communicates this to the public to prevent exposure or teach consumers what to do if they encounter these situations.”
Practice Safe Sexual Enhancement: How and Why These Products Were Recalled
Following complaints Health Canada had received about a variety of sexual enhancement products from citizens, media outlets, and other retail locations, Bak said their inspectors took action.
51 products were seized from retail locations, including: “Front End Lifter,” “Jack It Up,” “Plz Her,” “Black Panther,” “Passion Classic,” “Pig Sweat,” and “ResERECTION!,” to name a few, in their safety alert from last month.
“There are definitely various risks [associated with these products],” Bak said. “Any time we issue a safety alert, we inform Canadians about the specific harm of those ingredients.”
Some of the dangers discussed in the safety alert detail how ingredients like Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain and fever, have side effects that include: changes in blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, anemia, kidney failure, and reduced blood clotting ability.
Another ingredient listed, Sildenafil, is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction that should only be used under the supervision of a health care professional.
Sildenafil could put individuals with heart conditions at an increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or arrhythmia. Other side effects include: headaches, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, vision abnormalities, and hearing loss.
“When we find prescription drugs in these products, it’s a particular concern to Health Canada,” Bak explained. “These drugs should only be taken under the guidance of a professional, so these products that are sold at retail locations – which are illegal – pose risk to Canadians because the use of the product is not being overseen by a healthcare professional.”
If you have been taking these products or others that contain the ingredients in the alert, Bak said Health Canada advises Canadians to look over the information online and discuss their concerns with their health care provider.
“We encourage consumers to read the product labels to confirm they’ve been authorized for sale,” Bak began. “Products that have been authorized have an eight digit drug identification number, a natural health product number, or a homeopathic drug number. Consumers can search Health Canada’s databases to confirm it’s been approved for sale. They are also encouraged to report unauthorized products or adverse reactions to Health Canada through our online form.”
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