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Food Addit Contam. 2004 Aug;21(8):737-48.

Structure elucidation of sildenafil analogues in herbal products.

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  • 1Centre for Quality of Chemical-Pharmaceutical Products, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, PO Box 1, NL-3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


The structure of unknown compounds present in herbal products was elucidated using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry, direct-infusion electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Compounds 1-3 were identified as sildenafil analogues, 1 bearing an N-ethylpiperazine moiety instead of an N-methylpiperazine, and an acetyl group instead of the sulfonyl group, named acetildenafil, 2 bearing an N-ethylpiperazine moiety instead of an N-methylpiperazine (homosildenafil), and 3 bearing an N-hydroxylethylpiperazine moiety instead of an N-methylpiperazine, named hydroxyhomosildenafil. When analysing products marketed for penile erectile dysfunction or marketed as aphrodisiacs, attention should be given to the possible presence of these components.

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