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Illegal sexual enhancement medicines can be fatal.


As a man ages, health problems become more common. Sometimes the problem might be something you never would have expected, like erectile dysfunction. If afflicted with this condition, you might feel embarrassed and be reluctant to consult a doctor. Instead, you might turn to the Internet or street peddlers for products touted to greatly improve your sexual health.

Products obtained from sources online, back-alley dealers or makeshift stalls sellers are usually of dubious origins. Their authenticity, contents, efficacy, safety and quality cannot be vouched for. Dangers abound when using these illegal products, and you are risking your life and health for that moment of pleasure.

In Singapore, medicines to treat erectile dysfunction are prescription-only medicines as they contain potent chemicals and might not be suitable for anyone.

Make the correct choice, see your doctor and do not buy illegal sexual enhancement products from dubious sources. It could save your life.


Case Study 1

In April 2008, a non-diabetic 49-year-old male was admitted to hospital unconscious and exhibiting fits and stroke-like symptoms. He had to be treated in the Intensive Care Unit and it was reported that he had been consuming a counterfeit version of erectile dysfunction drug Cialis. Glibenclamide (a diabetic medicine) was detected in both the patient’s blood and urine and he passed away 2 weeks later due to infection in the blood stream, anaemia and a drop in immunity.

Case Study 2

A non-diabetic 73-year-old male was found unconscious by his family members in May 2008 and sent to hospital. He was found to have a low blood sugar level of 1.7mmol/L as well as high blood pressure. His family found the sexual enhancement product "中华牛鞭" (Zhong Hua Niu Bian) in his drawer, and reported that he had been making calls to obtain illegal pills. Glibenclamide was detected in his blood, and he suffered from a stroke which left him paralysed on one side of his body.​

Quick Tips

#1 Avoid dubious sources peddling medicinal cures
  • Adulterated and counterfeit medicines may have names and appearances similar to those sold in clinics or pharmacies. However they are from dubious backgrounds and are likely to have poor quality control during manufacturing. These medicines may also contain pharmaceutical ingredients which can be dangerous for you to take without proper supervision from your doctor.
#2 Beware of deals that seem too good to be true
  • Beware of products which are selling at significantly lower prices than clinics and pharmacies. Too good to be true? It usually is.
  • Always buy your medicines from registered clinics and pharmacies.
#3 Don’t be fooled by the claims
  • ‘Scientific’ claims - Some products may make claims based on scientific studies and evidence. Some go as far as to reference medical journals that have published research papers on the topic. Always consult your doctor or check the HSA website for the list of registered products.
  • ‘100%’ claims - No product out there is completely free of risk. Some of these ‘natural’ or ‘herbal’ products have been found to contain potent medicinal ingredients.
  • ‘Miracle’ claims - Consumers should always be wary of products that promise fast results. These usually come at a price which is not stated within the sales pitch — adverse effects and even death!
  • ‘Personal success’ claims - Marketing gimmicks such as personal testimonials are often employed by sellers. Regardless of how convincing the testimonials are, always view them with a little scepticism. They may not be true accounts.
#4 See your doctor!
  • With the wealth of information that is available over the Internet today, the trend nowadays is for people to self-medicate. This can be dangerous because you may misdiagnose your ailment, and by putting off the visit to the doctor, you run the risk of it getting worse. So always seek proper advice from your doctor on your medical condition.