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SA Health has issued a warning about a Chinese medicine after a 60-year-old man had an adverse reaction to it.

Nangen Zengzhangshu is promoted as a treatment for sexual and erectile dysfunction and is available over the internet.

The medicine contains the drugs sildenafil and glibenclamide otherwise only available on prescription in Australia.

SA Health says people with pre-existing heart disease who take sildenafil can suffer sudden cardiac death, heart attacks or strokes.

Glibenclamide is used to treat diabetes and can cause dangerously low blood pressure, vomiting, loss of consciousness and fits.

SA Health says the medicine poses a risk because it contains two drugs which should only be taken under medical supervision with a prescription.

South Australia’s chief medical officer Professor Paddy Phillips says sildenafil can cause serious heart problems.

“Sildenafil is used for erectile dysfunction and can cause low blood pressure, chest pain, abnormalities of heart rhythm, even stroke,” he said.

“Especially it can cause problems if it’s used for, if it’s used in combination with certain medicines used for heart disease such as nitrate medicines.”


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