SOURCE: Advanced Urological Care, PC

erectile dysfunction (ED) -

March 03, 2010 19:55 ET

Urologist Dr. J. Francois Eid, MD Warns Against the Dangers of Online Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 3, 2010) -  News reports coming out of the UK and Australia show evidence of prescription ingredients in many "natural" herb remedies sold on the Internet to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). These popular online supplements, which claim to consist only of homeopathic ingredients, are often improperly labeled and may actually contain dangerous ingredients. Dr. J. Francois Eid, director and founder of Advanced Urological Care in New York City, is concerned about this practice, especially since, in his experience, men with erectile dysfunction choose to suffer in silence rather than seek medical help for their condition.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the governing body for medication sales in the United Kingdom, tested 138 unlicensed ED treatments and found random, uncontrolled quantities of prescription ingredients in almost two-thirds of them. "Erectile dysfunction is a condition that is easily treatable in a variety of safe ways under the careful watch of a physician," said Dr. Eid, who has successfully treated ED patients over the last 22 years of practice. "However, since many men are embarrassed by ED, they look for help elsewhere and expose themselves to serious problems such as heart attack, stroke and severe hypertension."

Even more troubling is the fact that many of these "natural" products falsely claimed to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In actuality, more than one-third of the supplements that claim to treat ED or enhance sexual performance contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, or vardenafil, the active ingredient in Levitra. Advertisements for Viagra, Levitra and other drugs for ED warn of the dangers of taking these drugs if you are also on prescription medications that contain nitrates. Nitrates are prescribed for conditions such as angina or coronary artery disease in patients that also may suffer from ED.

The combination of nitrates with the active ingredients in ED medications could potentially lower blood pressure to an unsafe level. Under a physician's care, blood pressure levels are carefully monitored. However, an online consumer of these supplements, not approved by a doctor, will be unaware of the Viagra- or Levitra-type of ingredients in these supplements, which could either present a serious problem or exacerbate a pre-existing condition.

Conversely, according to Bloomberg News, Pfizer's Viagra patent was partially rejected after it was discovered that the active ingredient [sildenafil citrate] was too similar to a Chinese herb known as Horny Goat Weed. An appeals board upheld the decision that "an element, or claim, of the patent for a method of treating male erectile dysfunction didn't cover a new invention." The patent claim was part of an infringement suit Pfizer filed in 2002 against Eli Lilly over its rival Cialis drug. The decision on that part of the patent will now go into appeals.

So should men go with the prescription drugs or the supplements? "The take-away message is that many men may not realize that some medicines or supplement may actually cause or worsen ED," said Dr. Eid. "Only your physician can determine the best course of medication and mitigate these side effects successfully." A world-renowned surgeon and a foremost specialist in urological prosthetic reconstruction, Eid believes that, with so many approved treatment options for ED, there is no reason for men to take unnecessary risks with ED. "Many advances in this area have resulted in performance guarantees of at least 20 years, allowing men to have full control of their durability, rigidity and reliability," said Dr. Eid.

ED is not a problem that will just correct itself, which is why Dr. Eid advises anyone suffering from the condition to not take matters into their own hands and, instead, consult with their doctor. Eid initially treats ED by suggesting exercise, diet, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, before prescribing medications or more comprehensive treatments, such as pumps or implants (IPP). Eid believes in the efficacy of IPP's, since he has performed more internal penile implant surgeries than anyone in the world, over 300 per year. Eid developed the "No-Touch" penile prosthesis surgery, which boasts an infection rate of less than one percent. His practice, Advanced Urological Care, is dedicated to erectile dysfunction treatment and urinary incontinence treatment.

"ED is very under-reported because many men choose to suffer in silence, but this can wreak havoc not only on your health but on your relationships and self-esteem," says Dr. Eid. In many instances, investigating one problem might uncover another underlying health concern, such as cardiovascular disease, which is important especially when dealing with ED. This is why medical intervention is so important. "The first step in any difficult situation is acknowledging there is a problem and then deciding to take care of it, the right way," concluded Eid.

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