Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

Font Size

FDA Warns of "Natural" ED Supplements

FDA: Don't Buy or Use "Blue Steel" or "Hero" Dietary Supplements Touted for Erectile Dysfunction
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

March 26, 2008 -- The FDA is warning consumers not to buy or use "Blue Steel" or "Hero" dietary supplements promoted and sold online for erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment.

Those products are unapproved drugs that haven't proven their safety or effectiveness, and they contain unapproved chemicals similar to sildenafil, Viagra's active ingredient, according to the FDA.

Those chemicals, which aren't noted on the Blue Steel and Hero product labels, "may dangerously affect a person's blood pressure level," an FDA news release states.

"Because these products are labeled as 'all-natural dietary supplements,' consumers may assume that they are harmless and pose no health risk," says Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "But an unsuspecting consumer with underlying medical issues may take these products without knowing that they can cause serious side effects and interact in dangerous ways with drugs that a consumer is already taking."

The undeclared ingredients in these products could interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.

People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates. ED is a common problem in men with these medical conditions. Because they may have been advised against taking ED drugs, these men may seek products like Blue Steel and Hero because the products are marketed as "all natural" or as not containing the active ingredients in approved ED drugs, the FDA notes.

The FDA advises people who have used either of these products to discontinue use and consult their health care professional if they have experienced any adverse events that they feel are related to the use of these products.

Consumers or health care professionals can report adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch program by phone at 800-FDA-1088 or on the FDA's web site.

The FDA recommends that consumers talk to their health care professional about FDA-approved treatments for erectile dysfunction. The FDA also says it may take further regulatory actions to protect consumers from these illegal products.

Blue Steel is sold in bottles containing 10 blue capsules or blister packs containing two blue capsules. Hero is sold in blister packs containing two blue capsules.

Today on WebMD

handsome midadult man
11 tips to protect your erection.
man and woman on beach
How much do you know about ED?
stress in bed
Things that can deflate erections.
senior couple hugging
How medications work.
concerned man
stress in bed
Life Cycle of a Penis
Mens Body Problem
bored man
Lamm Erections Over Life
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
senior couple hugging

WebMD Special Sections