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Published: June 2012

Warning: Adulterated Sildenafil Found to Contain Gliclazide

Prescriber Update 33(2): 14
June 2012

The dangers associated with buying medicines online have again been highlighted with the discovery of hidden and potentially harmful ingredients in a dietary supplement marketed for erectile dysfunction.

All batches of Vigour 800 were recently seized after testing confirmed that the product contained high levels of the prescription medicine sildenafil (110mg). Worryingly, further testing showed that the product also contained 3mg of a commonly used anti-diabetic medicine, gliclazide.

The undeclared presence of 110mg of sildenafil may prove dangerous to those people who should not take PDE-5 inhibitors, such as those with underlying cardiovascular disorders or those being treated with glyceryl trinitrate, isosorbide salts, sodium nitroprusside, amyl nitrite or nicorandil.

The quantity of gliclazide found in Vigour 800 is considered unlikely to result in a clinically significant effect. However, the discovery of gliclazide within a dietary supplement is concerning.

Medsafe has regularly highlighted the dangers of importing products purchased via the internet and last year participated in a global operation against counterfeit medicines.

Unfortunately, the discovery of products containing undeclared medicines continues to increase. Many of the products were marketed via the internet and sold to unsuspecting New Zealanders who believed they were buying natural remedies.

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to ask their patients about any products they may be taking, including dietary supplements and alternative remedies, particularly if they present with unexplained symptoms or adverse reactions.

Please contact the Medsafe Compliance Management Team on (04) 819 6800 if you are suspicious that a product may have been adulterated.

 

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