US dietary supplement contained Viagra

jack rabbit A dietary supplement sold in the US for ‘sexual enhancement’ contained Viagra and Cialis, which are licensed for prescription-only use, the FDA has found.

The ‘Jack Rabbit’ supplement, from Jack Rabbit Inc, has been withdrawn nationally after FDA tests found it to contain the erectile dysfunction drugs sildenafil and tadalafil.

The drugs were not declared in the product information, and the company faces possible prosecution for fraud as well as negligence.

Sildenafil (sold by Pfizer as Viagra) is off-patent, but the company had no licence to issue a generic formulation of it; tadalafil (sold by Lilly as Cialis) is still under patent.

Jack Rabbit Inc, based in Florida, has conducted a voluntary nationwide recall of its product. Consumers of Jack Rabbit have been advised to stop taking it and return it to the retail outlet where it was purchased.

Potential side-effects of sildenafil and tadalafil include headache, nausea, insomnia, flushing and loss of sensation. In addition, both drugs can interact with nitrates in drugs for heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes.

No ill-effects have been reported from taking the product, though the reputational damage to the dietary supplement industry may be significant.