The Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia (PSZ) says it wishes to advise the members of the public to avoid consuming a popular aphrodisiac (sex enhancing) drink marketed and sold indiscriminately in shops and supermarkets around the country and beyond.
The Society says This product is produced by Revin Zambia Limited, a Ndola based company and marketed as a male sexual performance enhancer. Its label claim indicates that it contains natural extracts of Ginger and Tongkat ali, a well-known aphrodisiac and testosterone booster as main ingredients as well as other sweeteners, preservatives and stabilizers.
According to the information of the test results shared by the Uganda National Drug Authority (NDA) and obtained by the PSZ on the analysis of the samples collected upon receipt of a complaint from a consumer of Natural Power SX energy drink, it was established that the product was contaminated with *Sildenafil Citrate.* The complainant reported prolonged erection of nearly six hours, heart palpitations and abnormal sweating; these are all classical symptoms of Sildenafil Citrate overdose.
The members of the public may wish to know that Sildenafil Citrate sold under the popular brand name Viagra among others is a very important drug for erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. This drug is carefully prescribed at the right dosage (usually between 25 to 100mg max) once daily. To put it in an energy drink is extremely dangerous as theres no practical way of limiting the daily intake by consumers. As professionals, we took interest in this matter and our preliminary findings indicate that the amount of Sildenafil Citrate contained in each bottle of the test samples way exceeded the 100mg maximum recommended daily dosage. Can you imagine the effects if a person consumed more than one bottle per day. To us, this is no coincidence but a clear and well calculated unethical business practice. As stated, this practice puts the consumer at very high risk of over dosage with dangerous health consequences and possibly death. It also puts the nation’s export products reputation at risk as this product is sold in other countries such as Uganda and Malawi to mention but a few.
As custodians of medicines and major stakeholder on pharmaceutical matters, the PSZ is very eager to learn how this company acquired the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to prevent future recurrences. Further, we call upon relevant national institutions tasked with the responsibility of maintaining public health and public protection to investigate thoroughly and take appropriate action. The PSZ is aware that this product falls under the food and drugs act and therefore it’s the responsibility of the local city councils and in this case, the Ndola City council to take action in conjunction with other relevant organisations.
We further wish to advise manufacturers of drinks and food items to desist from putting advert labels on the packaging indicating that their product is able to treat various diseases as seen by the labels on this and other drink products produced by this company. If indeed these products contain medicinal benefits as claimed, strict quality tests and registration procedures need to be undertaken and marketing done in accordance with the Zambian law as provided in the Medicines and Allied Substance Act.
Finally, since this product is Zambia Bureau of standards (ZABS) certified, we call upon ZABS and other relevant regulatory institutions such as the ZAMRA and the Food and Drugs to take keen interest in this matter, conduct quick and independent analysis with a view of removing the product from the market as soon as possible in order to protect consumers until such a time when the product is certified safe. ZABS should do well to consider engaging Pharmacists or other relevant health professionals in their ranks in order to competently handle such matters concerning pharmaceuticals that may be found in the products under their regulations such as food items.