This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (April 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Extenze is an herbal nutritional supplement claiming to promote "natural male enhancement", a euphemism for penis enlargement. Additionally, television commercials and advertisements claim an "improved" or "arousing" sexual experience. Extenze paid $6 million to settle a class-action false advertising lawsuit in 2010.
Websites selling the product make several more detailed claims, including acquiring a "larger penis". Their enlarging effects are described as "temporary" while under the use of Extenze. Early infomercials featured a studio audience and porn star Ron Jeremy. Former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Hurricanes head coach Jimmy Johnson has also appeared in an ExtenZe commercial. ExtenZe makes pills and 2-ounce shots that are sold in over 75,000 retail stores.
False advertising and side effects
A class action was settled in 2010 for $6 million without the company admitting any wrongdoing to resolve plaintiff claims that Extenze maker Biotab Nutraceuticals, Inc engaged in deceptive marketing (advertising, labeling, promotion, etc.) by claiming it enlarged a man's penis despite the lack of any credible scientific evidence supporting that claim.
In 2006, ExtenZe agreed to pay the Orange County, California, district attorney's office $300,000 in civil penalties for unfair business practices and false advertising. Susan Kang Schroeder of the DA's office said the company could not back up its claim that the pills caused users' penises to grow 27%. After several customers in Laguna Beach, California complained to the Better Business Bureau that ExtenZe was making them sick, the district attorney investigated.
Extenze's side effects are possibly associated with yohimbe extract. Potential side effects include increased body temperature, increased blood pressure, sweating, increased heart rate, nausea, and upset stomach. Other side effects can include aggression, pounding heart, restlessness, fever, feeling like fainting, hallucinations, muscle twitches or spasms, abnormal behavior, severe headache, bruising easily, shortness of breath, blurred vision, seizures, ringing in the ears, chest pain, confusion, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, insomnia, mild skin rash, nervousness, cold feeling in the feet or hands, tingling or numbness in the feet or hands, and difficulty staying asleep.
Individuals who are on prescription medication or who suffer from various medical conditions are recommended to consult a medical care provider before consuming ExtenZe. Also, if side effects are experienced, one is advised to interrupt taking the pills and visit a doctor.
In 2018, Extenze came under scrutiny of the FDA as a certain production lot of Extenze Plus was found to contain sildenafil, which is the active ingredient in Viagra.
Sports and doping
Both professional football and Olympic athletes are banned from taking ExtenZe because the DHEA in ExtenZe is considered a performance enhancer. To date Viagra has not been banned by these sports agencies. In 2010, 400-meter Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt was banned from competition for taking ExtenZe, which contains dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a steroid that is banned in athletic competition. Merritt apologized, saying that he did not realize that the formulation contained DHEA. Merritt provisionally accepted a two-year ban from competition, although he announced plans to appeal. Sports authorities, however, were not sympathetic:
"Any professional athlete in this sport knows that they are solely responsible for anything that goes into their bodies. For Mr. Merritt to claim inadvertent use of a banned substance due to the ingestion of over-the-counter supplements brings shame to himself and his teammates. Thanks to his selfish actions, he has done damage to our efforts to fight the plague of performance-enhancing drugs in our sport," USA Track and Field CEO Doug Logan said in a press release.
Late in 2011, however, his ban ended and he was cleared to compete in the 2012 Olympics.
The product is manufactured by BIOTAB Nutraceuticals, Incorporated.
It has been reported that the product website lists DHEA as an ingredient.
The following ingredients comprise ExtenZe, as reported on the images of labels on vendor websites:
- Folate (folic acid)
- Zinc (as oxide)
- Micronized DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)
- Pregnanolone (3β-hydroxypregn-5-en-20-one)
- Black pepper (seed)
- Piper longum (seed)
- Ginger (root)
- Yohimbe extract (bark)
- Tribulus terrestris extract (aerial part and fruit)
- Korean ginseng extract (root)
- Cnidium monnieri (seed)
- Eleutherococcus extract (root) standardized to .8% eleuthrosides
- Xanthroparmelia scarbosa (aerial part)
- γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)
- Velvet deer antler
- Horny goat weed (leaf)
- Damiana (leaf)
- Muira puama extract (stem)
- Pumpkin (seed)
- Stinging nettle (root)
- Astragalus (root)
- Licorice extract (root)
- L-arginine hydrochloride
- Ho Shou Wu extract (root)
- Boron (as chelate)
- Other ingredients include dicalcium phosphate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, stearic acid, film coating (dextrin), titanium dioxide, hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose, Brilliant Blue FCF, aluminum lake, Macrogol/PEG 8000, dextrose monohydrate, lecithin, maltodextrin, Macrogol/PEG 400, magnesium stearate, and silica.
- Haldane, David (25 July 2006). "Enhancement Marketer Is Fined for False Advertising". Los Angeles Times.
- Edwards, Jim (December 1, 2010). "Extenze Settles a False Advertising Suit; Now the FTC Should Go After Jimmy Johnson". CBS. Moneywatch. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- Ahrens, Frank (September 26, 2004). "Miracle Infomercials: TV's Hard Sells Are a $256 Billion Business". The Washington Post.
- "Jimmy Johnson, ExtenZe Spokesman! Coach To Pitch 'Male Enhancement' Pills". The Huffington Post. 2010-02-05.
- Haldane, David (July 25, 2006). "Enhancement Marketer Is Fined for False Advertising". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- "Additional ExtenZe Unauthorized Sexual Enhancement Products Removed from Sale". Health Canada. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
- "Olympics Blog". The Los Angeles Times. 2010-04-22.
- "USATF - News". www.usatf.org.
- "Sprinter Leaves Humiliation Behind". www.nytimes.com.