Lactation Aid, Erectile Dysfunction Supplement Subjects of Health Canada AlertJan 8, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
Galactogil, a supplement that supposedly increases milk production in nursing mothers, and Santi Bovine Penis Erecting Capsule, a ‘natural’ aid for treating erectile dysfunction (ED), are both the subjects of a Health Canada Alert. According to Health Canada, Galactogil has been found to be contaminated with an unspecified microbe, while the Santi Bovine Penis Erecting Capsule contains Sildenafil, the active ingredient in prescription ED drugs like Viagra. Neither of the defective drugs are authorized for sale in Canada, but Health Canada says they may have been purchased by Canadians travelling abroad.
Galactogil is manufactured in France, and the French Health Products Safety Agency recently advised consumers there not to purchase or consume certain lots of Galactogil due to microbial (bacterial) contamination. The bacteria found in Galactogil may cause a variety of adverse effects, such as pneumonia and blood poisoning.
Galactogil is promoted for pregnant/nursing mothers, a high-risk group that is more susceptible to bacterial infections with the use of contaminated products. Vulnerable individuals who use microbially contaminated products may be at risk for miscarriage, stillbirth or severe illness in the newborn child. The Galactogil lots affected by the Health Canada Alert include those with lot numbers and expiry dates: 1040 (11/2007); 1438 to 1463 (04/2012 to 07/2012); and 1466 to 1472 (08/2012).
The Health Sciences Authority of Singapore advised the public not to purchase or consume the product Santi Bovine Penis Erecting Capsule because it contains sildenafil. Sildenafil is a prescription drug used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, and should only be taken under the guidance of a health professional.
Unsupervised use of sildenafil by patients with heart disease can result in serious cardiovascular side-effects such as sudden cardiac death, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, chest pain and abnormal heartbeat. Additionally, use of sildenafil may be associated with other side-effects including temporary vision loss, seizure, prolonged erection, headache, flushing, nasal congestion and abdominal pain. Sildenafil should not be used by individuals taking any type of nitrate drug (e.g., nitroglycerine) due to the risk of developing potentially life-threatening low blood pressure.