Federal health officials are warning consumers not to purchase or ingest "Rhino"-branded male enhancement products, citing a recent spike in health issues related to hidden drugs in the purported dietary supplements.
The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it has identified more than 25 products marketed with variations of the name Rhino that contain undeclared ingredients similar or identical to active ingredients found in prescription drugs for treating erectile dysfunction. The products, which include Platinum Rhino 25000, Krazzy Rhino 25000 and Gold Rhino 25000, are typically sold at gas stations, convenience stores, and online at sites including eBay and Amazon.
The Department of Justice is prosecuting a case against a South Korean national living in the Los Angeles area accused of smuggling raw materials and producing Rhino capsules for distribution throughout the U.S.
The FDA has identified various Rhino products containing the active ingredients in the FDA-approved prescription drugs Viagra and Cialis, which can interact with nitrates found in other drugs and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, the agency said. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates.
The agency said it has received reports of people experiencing chest pain, severe headaches and other adverse symptoms after using a Rhino product, with some requiring hospitalization and surgery because of sharp drops in blood pressure.
The FDA said it's not able to test and identify all products marketed as dietary supplements that have potentially harmful and undisclosed ingredients, and urged consumers to be cautious. That's especially true for products promoting sexual enhancement, weight loss, body building and pain relief, the agency said.