The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a Texas-based company is voluntarily recalling a coffee product after it tested positive with an ingredient similar to what’s in the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

An FDA laboratory ran tests on a new lot of “Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee,” manufactured by Bestherbs Coffee LLC, and found that the product contained desmethyl carbodenafil.

New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee. Image Credit: Kedari Bestari
New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee. Image Credit: Kedari Bestari

Desmethyl carbodenafil is a compound structurally similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. The FDA released a statement last week to announce the recall, in which they added that the coffee product also contains undeclared milk.

Coffee recalled for containing Viagra-like ingredient also has potentially harmful milk

Bestherbs Coffee LLC marketed the coffee as a “male enhancement” product, though the company was probably unaware the coffee actually had a “male enhancement” ingredient. The recall was voluntary, as desmethyl carbodenafil could be potentially harmful to people.

“These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels,” said the FDA in a statement. “Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.”

Furthermore, the undeclared milk contained in New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee may also be potentially dangerous for some people. The FDA explained that those who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk are at risk of serious or life threatening allergic reactions if they consume the coffee product.

To date, there are no reports of illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. Bestherbs Coffee LLC distributed the drink from July 2014 to June last year. The product is consumed as an instant coffee beverage.

The company is also voluntarily notifying its customers by phone. The FDA noted that anyone that still has the product should stop using it, discard it, and contact their doctors immediately. They can also return the instant coffee to Bestherbs Coffee LLC, 4250 Claremont Dr, Grand Prairie, TX 75052. If someone returns the product, the company will reimburse them by check for the instant coffee and postage, said the FDA.

Similar coffee products have been recalled after testing positive for the Viagra-like ingredient

Albert Yee, the owner of Bestherbs, told The Washington Post the coffee mix was so popular in Malaysia that he decided to import it to the United States.

“There are whole streets of it, like tequila in Mexico,” said Yee.

It isn’t the first time the Viagra-like compound makes its way into coffee products. In September last year, the FDA also advised consumers not to purchase or use Stiff Bull Herbal Coffee. The beverage, promoted as an energy drink, also tested positive for desmethyl carbodenafil.

Stiff Bull Herbal Coffee. Image Credit: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Stiff Bull Herbal Coffee. Image Credit: Th U.S. Food and Drug Administration

And in May, the FDA announced voluntarily recalled all of its Caverflo Natural Herbal Coffee after it tested positive for sildenafil and tadalafil. Both of these ingredients are used in two prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction.

In neither of those cases did someone report illness caused by the consumption of the coffee products.

Source: FDA