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Forensic Sci Int. 2008 May 20;177(2-3):e25-7. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.11.007. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Designer drugs in herbal aphrodisiacs.

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  • 1RIVM-National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, P.O. Box 1, NL-3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


In the presented case three herbal aphrodisiacs (Libidfit, Satibo and Viamax) were investigated for the presence of regular pharmaceuticals against erectile dysfunction. However, high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection and mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses revealed the presence of ingredients, having a molecular structure strongly resembling those of sildenafil (Viagra) and vardenafil (Levitra). The health risk posed by these analogous substances is high because they were found to be potent phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors used in pharmacologically relevant quantities having no known safety profile. Based on structural and functional analogy these analogs represent a new class of designer drugs and should be taken off the market for being unapproved drug substances. In the Libidfit court case this was done successfully, setting a precedent.

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