Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Web Sites Selling 'Herbal Viagra' Fail to Fully Inform Users

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Web Sites Selling 'Herbal Viagra' Fail to Fully Inform Users

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Important gaps in the information provided by Web sites selling herbal treatments for erectile dysfunction could put buyers in danger, Ramesh Thurairaja, M.D., said at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

A study of 33 Web sites selling herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction found that none met Code of Conduct requirements provided by the Health on the Net Foundation, a group backed by the World Health Organization that accredits medical Web sites to promote safety and reliability, said Dr. Thurairaja of Bristol (England) Royal Infirmary.

The keywords "herbal Viagra" on the Google search engine produced 160,000 hits. Of the first 50, 17 were not independent Web sites but links to other sites. Dr. Thurairaja assessed the 33 independent Web sites selling "herbal Viagra" products such as Vuka Vuka, Boom!, and Red Rooster.

Of the 33 sites, 29 described the effectiveness of the product and 23 stated drug ingredients. Only 13 listed contraindications and 7 described potential side effects.

Medically trained personnel provided the information on seven sites, and eight sites clearly stated that their information should not replace advice from a physician. …

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