‘Herbal Viagra’ pills linked to Lamar Odom collapse were subject of FDA warning

October 15th, 2015 by Staff

(www.washingtonpost.com)

A 2013 public notice by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers against purchasing or using the sexual enhancement product called “Reload.” (FDA)
Lamar Odom remains on life support in a Las Vegas hospital following his collapse Tuesday at a Nevada brothel.

As his family members and celebrity friends rush to his bedside, attention is turning to the substances he allegedly took before he lost consciousness at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.

Odom had taken cocaine and 10 tabs of “sexual performance enhancer supplements” in the days before his hospitalization, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said Wednesday.

“He was taking herbal Viagra and he was taking a lot of it,” Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof told NBC.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday night, Hof admitted that Odom had purchased so-called “herbal Viagra” pills during his three-day stay at the Bunny Ranch.

“It’s called ‘Reload,’” he said, naming the particular brand of sexual performance enhancing pills Odom purchased from the brothel.

“It’s an herbal supplement that gives you energy,” Hof told The Post. “They say it’s for erectile dysfunction. Basically, it gives you more energy. It’s an over-the-counter speedy kind of product… the pill form of an energy drink.

“It’s not a pharmaceutical, not a prescription drug,” Hof added.

What Hof didn’t say, however, was that Reload itself can be dangerous, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Two years ago, the FDA issued a warning that Reload “contains [a] hidden drug ingredient” that could lead to dangerous reactions.

Rather than being an herbal alternative to Viagra — the prescription drug widely used to treat erectile dysfunction — or a “nutritional supplement,” as advertised on its packaging, Reload really was Viagra — but without regulations or medical oversight, the FDA warned.

“FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that ‘Reload’ contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved prescription drug Viagra, used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED),” according to the 2013 warning. “This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.”

“Consumers should stop using this product immediately and throw it away,” the FDA bluntly warned.


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