Some medical experts say usage of sex enhancement drugs have both positive and negative implications on human health.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that though, the drugs have benefits to human health, its negative implications far outweigh its benefits.
NAN reports that sex enhancement drugs also known as “Erectile Dysfunction Medication” are majorly patronised and used by men than women.
It also reports that Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.
Commenting, Dr Ayodele Ademola, a Consultant Gynaecologist, said it was not advisable to use sex enhancement drugs, except when it became exceptionally necessary, and must be used under strict medical prescription and supervision.
Ayodele, also the Medical Director, StrongTower Hospital and Advanced Fertility Centre, a Lagos-based private medical facility, said that usage of sex enhancement drugs could cause cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, heart failure and other related diseases.
According to him, there are many instances where people who used sex enhancement drugs ended up losing their lives.
“I have had a situation where two elderly couple who took erectile dysfunction drugs simultaneously had heart attack and died.
“Also, a young man of about 45 years of age, who took overdose of tramadol with the aim of enhancing his sex performance, also died in the course of having sexual intercourse.
“If anyone has potency problem, it is advisable that such person seeks medical attention, rather than using enhancement drugs, because it has many underlying side effects which may result to complete loss of life,” Ayodele said.
The expert, therefore, advised people who have potency problem to avoid self-medication or usage of enhancement drugs, urging them to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
He said that hypertensive, diabetic and aged people were at higher risk to the usage of sex enhancement drugs, advising them to completely avoid using it, saying that they might drop dead in the process.
Contributing, Dr Joseph Akinde, Chairman, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SGON), Lagos Chapter, advised people to desist from abusing drugs with the aim to enhance sexual performance.
Akinde said some people abuse drugs to take excessive amount of it in order to enhance sexual performance, noting that most of the drugs sometimes were not specifically made for potency improvement.
He decried the use of tramadol, intake of excessive alcohol, over-the-counter enhancement drugs and other toxicants to boost sexual drive, adding that such approaches were typical drug abuse and could result to more harm than good.
Akinde listed some health implications of over-the-counter male enhancement drugs to include damage to the urethra, permanent difficulty maintaining an erection, permanent problems with urination, penis “fractures” causing bleeding and requiring surgery and dangerous drops in blood pressure.
In his comments, Dr Patrick Omogbohun, a General Physician, urged people to be more conscious of what they eat, saying diet and lifestyle could contribute to potency problem.
Omogbohun, also the Medical Director, MercyWay Medical Centre, Ejigbo, said diets high in saturated fats were linked to heart disease, adding that men with heart disease were more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
He said changes to diet, exercise, reduction in smoking and alcohol consumption could reduce the risk of developing conditions such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases that could lead to erectile dysfunction.
“Healthy lifestyle habits like getting regular exercise, eating a varied and nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco use should be maintained,” Omogbohun said.
Also, a General Physician, Dr Tunji Akintade, said that use of sex enhancement drugs for men and women was normal and could increase their bonding.
Akintade advised people with heart challenges to desist from using sex enhancement drugs, saying that such drugs portend dangers, which could be deadly.
He said that such medication could cause their blood pressure to “dangerously drop to low level’’.
The expert also warned people with severe liver impairment or end-stage kidney disease requiring dialysis to avoid sex enhancement products.
He said that continuous use of such medications might lead to chronic fatigue syndrome or erectile dysfunction for men and women.
In his remarks, Dr Adeniyi Adelodun, a Medical Parasitologist, said that the most common side effects of sex enhancement drugs were headaches, upset stomach, nasal congestion, muscle pain, and facial flushing.
Adelodun said that most of these symptoms were relatively mild and go away after few hours.
“ED drugs can make blood pressure to temporarily drop; so, never use them, if you also take medications that contain nitrates.
“Priapism (long-lasting and sometimes painful erection) low blood pressure, if Viagra is taken with certain other medications.
“Cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack, irregular heartbeat or stroke occur mainly in people with heart disease,” he said.
Adelodun said that there was no particular reason for men and women to take it, but based on individual decision.
Also, Dr Olamide Olowoyo, a Consultant Physician and Nephrologist, advised individuals with erectile dysfunction to seek medical help instead of taking concoctions and medications for sexual enhancement.
Olowoyo, who works at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta in Lagos, said that concoctions or medication to enhance sexual performance could result to unpredictable health hazards.
“We have seen a lot of cases of people, most especially men taking range of products to enhance sexual performance.”
“Some take herbal concoctions and medication without prescription, and this is very worrisome because of the adverse effect on their body.”
“For some people it increases their blood pressure, causes angina (chest pain), frack heart attack and for some it affects their kidney because of the toxin and others.”
“For the kidney, toxins in these herbal concoctions affects the kidney and shut the kidney down and some of these individuals will have to go for dialysis to flush out this toxin.”
“Even, after going through dialysis, due to the injury to the kidney, it can progress to acute kidney diseases.”
“In Nigeria, young people are coming down with advanced kidney diseases, because some of them have been taking herbal concoctions for a long time,” she said.
According to her, causes of erectile dysfunction can be hormonal, due to co-morbidities such individuals have or psychological effect.
Olowoyo called for regulation that would help regulate the usage of medication in the country.
“We don’t really enforce regulation for drugs, people can just walk on, and say I want to buy a particular medication and get it over the counter without any prescription from the doctors.”
“This is a call for concern that should be tackled urgently,” she said.
Commenting, Mr Remi Gbadebo, a Businessman, said many people used sex enhancement drugs or concoctions, not because they have erectile dysfunction, but to impress their partner(s).
“One of the main reasons I know why people take sexual enhancement drugs is to impress their partners during sex.”
“It is not that most of them can’t perform, but they want to leave a lasting memory in the minds of their partners,” Gbadebo said.
Also, Mr Samuel Adeolu, an auto mechanic, said he used to take herbal concoctions once in a while to boost his sexual performance.
“I use to take herbal drugs, but not always, and I don’t see anything wrong in it,” Adeolu said.
Also, Mr Michael Olaitan, a Businessman, said that he was forced to take enhancement drugs the night his wife complained of sexual satisfaction.
Olaitan, however, said he was conscious of the side effects of the drugs, hence his resolved to take it sparingly based on medical advice.