Extenze, a nonprescription herbal supplement, is advertised throughout the United States as a natural male enhancement product. Proponents of Extenze claim that its key ingredients increase blood-flow to the penis, thereby increasing its size and sensitivity. Some scientific studies support the use of Extenze and similar products; for example, its ingredient yohimbe contains a compound that is approved by the FDA as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, Extenze may cause significant side effects. Consult your health care provider before taking any herbal supplement.
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The bark of the yohimbe tree is one of the main ingredients in Extenze. According to the National Institutes of Health, yohimbe can trigger significant episodes of anxiety. People taking yohimbe products may experience panic attacks, flushing, irritability, agitation and nervousness. Avoid Extenze entirely if you have a history of anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder, since it may trigger panic or mania in people with these conditions.
Many of the medicinal herbs in Extenze, including yohimbe, licorice and damiana, may cause mild to moderate digestive problems. Some Extenze users experience diarrhea, abdominal cramping, constipation, nausea or vomiting. Discontinue your use of Extenze and consult a physician if these problems persist or cause significant problems.
Licorice, DHEA and yohimbe in Extenze products may cause a caffeine-like "high" along with accompanied side effects. Ingredients in Extenze may cause insomnia or restlessness, especially in people who are prone to these disruptions. Increases in heart rate may also occur as a result of these stimulant effects.
Extenze can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure. According to the National Institutes of Health, licorice root can trigger increases in blood pressure and may lead to episodes of hypertensive crisis. Other ingredients, including yohimbe and DHEA, may also cause or worsen this side effect. Avoid Extenze and similar products if you have pre-existing heart disease.
Despite its reputation for improving the size of the male reproductive organs, Extenze may have the opposite effect for some people. The National Institutes of Health warn that the Extenze ingredient DHEA can cause feminizing effects in men, including prominent breasts and testicular wasting. The National Institutes of Health also link licorice root to decreased testosterone levels in men. All products containing hormone-altering compounds may paradoxically worsen conditions such as erectile dysfunction and male infertility.