gas station sex pills hung up on rack in store

The Scary Truth About Gas Station Sex Pills

These so-called T-boosters aren’t the fuel you want

You’re picking up a pack of gum at your local fuel stop and spot them: a rack full of ‘supplements’—those gas station sex pills with bold fonts and intense names like Super Panther, Gold Rhino 25,000, and Black Mamba. They claim to fuel everything from your libido to your erections. It can’t hurt to try them, right?

Maybe not so fast.

“These pills are not regulated by the FDA so the actual ingredients may be a mystery,” says urologist Fenwa Milhouse, M.D., of Down There Urology in Chicago.

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about possible harmful side effects and hidden ingredients the supplements could contain.

Milhouse adds that the gas station isn’t necessarily the only place these pills can be purchased, —many of them can also be found online.

So should you avoid these pills altogether? Probably. Here’s why.

Their Ingredients Are a Mystery

Since they’re not regulated by the FDA, gas station sex pills could contain anything.

“Common ingredients in most brands include L-arginine, zinc, Yohimbe, ginseng, and horny goat weed to name a few,” Milhouse says. While some of these potential ingredients have been linked to improved libido and erections (such as ginseng and L-arginine), since anything, at any dosage can be in these pills, it’s hard to know if they can be effective (1).

“None of these pills are tested for efficacy,” says Milhouse.

Gas Station Sex Pills Aren’t Safe

No surprise. There are many reasons you shouldn’t use them, but the biggest is what you might really be getting: 

Hidden OTC medications

Milhouse explains that some hidden ingredients can include caffeine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, like ibuprofen), and even laxatives. Definitely not what you want going on during a hot night between the sheets.

Prescription erectile dysfunction drugs

You could be getting more bang than expected—to the tune of prescription erectile dysfunction drugs—which could be in the wrong doses or even not recommended for you as an individual.

“Many over-the-counter supplements contain versions of sildenafil (generic Viagra) or tadalafil (generic Cialis),” Milhouse says. “When prescribed by a physician who has performed an initial evaluation, these medications can be used safely to treat erectile dysfunction.”

Yet, Millhouse adds: “When these are used indiscriminately (and worse, without the user’s knowledge of their existence and the dosing)—these hidden ingredients can have potentially life threatening effects in some individuals.”

In fact, sildenafil and tadalafil are known to significantly lower blood pressure when combined with certain medications or even medical conditions, Milhouse says.

And the research syncs up. A 2017 study revealed the dangers of male enhancement pills and counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs, and later, in May of 2023, the FDA advised consumers not to buy the following gas station sex pills (2):

•.  V=GRA GOLD 500mg
•   Honey Girl
•.  Infinity 10K
•   Infinity
•   Mega 9K 800000
•   Meta Forte
•   Natural MiracleZEN GOLD 60000
•.  XXX Zone 40K
•   MEGA 7G 700000
•   Mr. Strong Guy Honey For Him

Earlier, in 2018, the FDA also specifically called out the popular Rhino Pills (selling under names like Platinum Rhino 25000, Krazzy Rhino 25000 and Gold Rhino 25000) for containing hidden ingredients.

Unsavory side effects

Even though gas station sex pills might contain ‘natural’ ingredients like ginseng, they’re still not without the potential for risks and side effects. Some could include headache, GI upset, lightheadedness, and vision changes, says Milhouse.

Safer Options for Low Libido and Erectile Dysfunction 

Rather than relying on gas station sex pills to help boost your libido and knock out erectile dysfunction, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider who can suggest proper care.

One common cause of low libido and ED is low testosterone. “Study after study indicates that decreased libido is the symptom that is most indicative of testosterone deficiency,”  urologist Joshua Calvert, M.D., previously told The Edge If you’re worried about your hormone levels, you can ask your healthcare provider to order a blood test, or test your T levels at home.

If low T is the issue, “Low libido can be safely and successfully treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) that is carefully monitored to minimize health risks,” Milhouse says.

If taking hormones isn’t your thing, there are also other non-testosterone options that may be used to boost libido as well.

“Erectile dysfunction can be safely treated with a vast range of options that includes prescription drugs, penile injections, vacuum erection devices, low intensity shockwave therapy, and even surgery if necessary,” Milhouse says. “These are all safe when done under the care of a licensed specialist.”

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