FDA Finds Viagra and Cialis in Some Honey-Based Products

Traces of the drugs were found in supplements marketed for sexual enhancement.

Fact-Checked
honey supplement FDA
Tainted honey-based products can pose a health risk because of interactions with other drugs or supplements a person may be taking.Getty Images

It’s time to check your honey.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found unlisted traces of tadalafil (Cialis) and sildenafil (Viagra) in multiple honey-based consumer products. The agency issued warnings to four companies for adding the prescription erectile dysfunction drugs to honey supplements intended for sexual enhancement. Selling products marketed as food with active drug ingredients is against federal law.

“These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels,” said the FDA in a press release.

People with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol often take nitrates to treat their conditions. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a joint statement advising that patients taking nitrates shouldn’t be given sildenafil.

The FDA did a lab analysis of various honey-based products marketed as natural ways to stimulate sex drive. The products were made and sold by four companies: Thirstyrun?(also known as US Royal Honey), MKS Enterprise,?Shopaax.com, and 1am USA Incorporated dba Pleasure Products USA. All the companies received a written warning from the FDA and have 15 working days to respond.

Judy McMeekin, PharmD, the FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, says unidentified ingredients in products can be dangerous and deadly for consumers.

“Tainted honey-based products like these are dangerous because consumers are likely unaware of the risks associated with the hidden prescription drug ingredients in these products and how they may interact with other drugs and supplements they may take,” said Dr. McMeekin in an FDA press release.

While it has allegedly been recommended for centuries, honey has not been shown in randomized clinical trials to have any properties that increase libido.

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