MCAZ Warns Against Consuming Zambian Energy Drink With Viagra Effects

THE Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has warned Zimbabweans to stop consuming an energy drink-cum-aphrodisiac finding its way into the country from Zambia.

By Kudakwashe Pembere

MCAZ said the energy drink named Natural Power SX High Energy Drink was found having an active pharmaceutical content with fatal impacts experienced by those who overdose viagra.

“The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) wishes to advise members of the public to avoid buying and consuming Natural Power SX High Energy Drink which, following a series of laboratory tests, the Authority has found to contain an active pharmaceutical component (sildenafil), which can have adverse impact on health such as heart problems (which can be fatal), loss of vision and loss of hearing,” said the authority in a statement.

Natural Power SX is manufactured by a Zambian company called Revin Zambia Limited. In January the company reportedly received huge export orders from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

“The product is declared to contain the following ingredients: Extract of natural ginger, Tongkat ali extract, Citric acid, Sugar, Purified water, Colour (caramel), Preservative (sodium benzoate), and Stabilizer (xanthan gum). The product is purportedly manufactured by Revin Zambia Limited, of Ndola, Zambia. It carries a warning: “Not suitable for persons under the age of 18”,” said MCAZ.

MCAZ Projects and Public Relations Officer Mr Shingai Gwatidzo told HealthTimes that alongside local police they seized 54 000 units of the 250 ml bottles. He said the estimated value of confiscated units is $292 720.

“The product was being sold in some local shops and supermarkets. The MCAZ inspectors, together with the Zimbabwe Republic Police CID Drugs and Narcotics Section seized and confiscated a huge consignment of the product. We found the product being sold in one high street food shop and some retail warehouses in Harare CBD.,” he said.

The product according to MCAZ, also has unproven medical claims of increasing male libido, being an aphrodisiac, and a performance booster.

“The Authority therefore advises members of the public that, such products must NOT be sold and/or distributed without seeking approval from the Authority, failing which, these will be confiscated and the owners prosecuted for endangering public health. And just to reiterate, anyone found selling these or any other unapproved products will be prosecuted,” said Mr Gwatidzo.

In January, Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia (PSZ)president Jerome Kanyika issued a similar warning advising Zambians to avoid taking the aphrodisiac (sex enhancing) drink marketed and sold indiscriminately in shops and supermarkets around their country and beyond. The product was on the spotlight after a Ugandan national allegedly suffered a six-hour erection after consuming the soft drink.

The complainant reportedly also suffered an abnormal heart beat with constant sweating prompting the Uganda National Drug Authority to issue a red flag on Natural Power SX Energy Drink.

“According to the information of the test results shared by the Uganda National Drug Authority (NDA) and obtained by the PSZ on the analysis of the samples collected upon receipt of a complaint from a consumer of Natural Power SX energy drink, it was established that the product was contaminated with Sildenafil Citrate. The complainant reported prolonged erection of nearly six hours, heart palpitations and abnormal sweating; these are all classical symptoms of Sildenafil Citrate overdose,” said Mr Kanyika.

The product, a Viagra known for causing erectile dysfunction if put in an energy drink is hazardous.

“The members of the public may wish to know that Sildenafil Citrate sold under the popular brand name Viagra among others is a very important drug for erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. This drug is carefully prescribed at the right dosage (usually between 25 to 100mg max) once daily. To put it in an energy drink is extremely dangerous as there’s no practical way of limiting the daily intake by consumers,” he added.

However, Lusaka Times reported that an analysis of test results from various accreditation authorities in the SADC region have confirmed that contrary to the recent reports, Natural Power SX Energy Drink is safe and the product confirms to quality requirements.

The product was approved in Uganda, Malawi and Uganda with Revin officials arguing the Ugandan incident was a scheme to de-campaign them.

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