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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2012 Apr 7;63:135-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2012.01.035. Epub 2012 Feb 4.

Analysis of herbal dietary supplements for sexual performance enhancement: first characterization of propoxyphenyl-thiohydroxyhomosildenafil and identification of sildenafil, thiosildenafil, phentolamine and tetrahydropalmatine as adulterants.

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Groupe de RMN Biomédicale, Laboratoire SPCMIB (UMR CNRS 5068), Université Paul Sabatier, 118 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France.


Nine herbal dietary supplements intended to be beverages for enhancing sexual performance were analyzed before their possible launch on the market. Four of them contained a sildenafil analog reported for the first time as an adulterant. After isolation and characterization using NMR, MS, IR and UV, this analog was named propoxyphenyl-thiohydroxyhomosildenafil as the ethoxy chain on the phenyl ring of the already known analog thiohydroxyhomosildenafil was replaced by a propoxy moiety. One formulation was tainted with thiosildenafil, another unapproved PDE-5 inhibitor. Sildenafil along with the natural alkaloid tetrahydropalmatine that has no documented effect for enhancing erectile dysfunction were identified in two formulations. Another formulation was adulterated with phentolamine, a drug that is not approved for boosting male sexual performance when taken orally. The last formulation containing osthole, a bioactive natural coumarine improving sexual dysfunction, is most probably truly natural.

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