TGA on ED and sunscreens

The TGA is asking consumers to consult their doctor ahead of buying medicines for erectile dysfunction (ED) from overseas websites. The organisation says there are no safety, quality or efficacy guarantees for medicines bought from overseas.

Medicines for ED may contain the active ingredient sildenafil, tadalafil or vardenafil and can cause serious consequences if combined with certain prescription medicines. Medicines containing nitrates, commonly prescribed for chest pain and heart problems, can interact with products for ED and potentially result in death, the TGA says.

Consumers, it adds, should be made aware of the dangers of sharing prescription medicines with family or friends, and should never take medicines that are not prescribed to them.

The TGA has also completed a desktop review of 94 listed sunscreen products, which it says provides a snapshot of the quality, safety and efficacy of sunscreens on the Australian market.

No compliance deficiencies that concern the TGA in relation to quality, safety and efficacy in everyday use were found.

“We identified no sensitivity issues based on the amounts of the ingredients they contain compared to regulatory requirements,” the TGA said, but it emphasises that:

  • Some individuals may be sensitive to ingredients found in sunscreens.
  • Side effects, such as allergic reactions, are possible. This is true for any cosmetic, medicine or skin treatment, and some foods.
  • Consumers are encouraged to perform a test on a small patch of skin before use.
  • Testing data supports sun-protection-factor claims on aerosol sunscreens, but TGA lab testing confirms that application remains an issue, as sunscreen is effective only if applied correctly and thoroughly, with the quantity of product delivered and the amount lost into the atmosphere during aerosol application varying between brands.

The TGA says consumers can have confidence in the sunscreen products currently available on the Australian market when used as directed on the label.