Last 06 July, Health Canada announced the withdrawal from the market of a sexual enhancement product named Lighting Rod because it apparently contains a hidden ingredient that could potentially harm people taking it.
What is this hidden ingredient and in what way is it harmful? According to Health Canada, the ingredient is hydroxythiohomosildenafil, a synthetic drug similar to sildenafil (which is the main ingredient of Viagra). How does this substance harm a consumer? Well, it interacts with nitrates found in prescription drugs and lowers a person’s blood pressure to dangerous levels. Other side effects include include headache, facial flushing, indigestion, dizziness, abnormal vision and hearing loss.
Now what makes products such as Lighting Rod more of a health risk is the fact that their manufacturers tend to not disclose in their product labels that their “health supplement” contains this ingredient with adverse health effects.
So people who are taking nitrate drugs (such as those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease) and who also take these “supplements” with undeclared ingredients will unknowingly be putting their lives at risk.
Says Health Canada in its press release announcing the withdrawal of Lightning Rod:
Sildenafil is a prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and should only be used under the supervision of a health care practitioner. Sildenafil should never be used by individuals taking any kind of nitrate drug (e.g. nitroglycerine) as it can cause potentially life-threatening low blood pressure. People with heart problems including high blood pressure, a history of heart attack, stroke, abnormal heart beat or chest pain are at higher risk of cardiovascular side effects if they engage in sexual activity, including if they take sildenafil to help them achieve an erection.
Now, don’t you be cute and say, “But that’s for sildenafil and not hydroxythiohomosildenafil!!!” because as we mentioned above the latter is similar to the former and have the same effects to your system.
Health Canada is not the only government regulatory agency which is banning hydroxythythiohomosildenafil. In April this year, the United States Food and Drugs Administration announced the recall of X-ROCK for men which were found to contain both hydroxythiohomosildenafil and sildenafil. As in the case of Lightning Rod, these ingredients were also not listed by the manufacturer in the product packet.
Two years ago, the FDA also warned consumers against Magic Power Coffee which also contains undeclared hydroxythiohomosildenafil.