Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that many people experience. It refers to when a person regularly finds it difficult to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual activity. However, treatments are available that can help with symptoms of ED and improve sexual performance.

ED affects around 30 million people in the United States. A 2019 review found ED to have a 3% to 76.5% global prevalence, with high reports among young individuals. Aside from prescription medications for ED, such as Viagra, numerous male enhancement products, including ExtenZe, reportedly help treat the condition.

This article will discuss what ExtenZe is, what ingredients it contains, and whether it works.

ExtenZe is a male enhancement dietary supplement containing natural ingredients. It reportedly helps boost sexual performance, desire, and pleasure by increasing the size of an erection. It contains a combination of ingredients that previous studies suggest may be effective in treating ED.

The manufacturer of ExtenZe suggests that its fast-acting, extended-release formula allows for improved blood flow to the penis, which may help increase the firmness and duration of an erection. The company also compares the product to other enhancement methods and indicates it is a more affordable and safer option.

People should carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of any product before making a purchase.

Pros

  • ExtenZe is available without a prescription.

Cons

  • The FDA recommends people not buy or use ExtenZe products due to undeclared sildenafil in its ingredients.
  • There are no scientific studies investigating the effectiveness of this product.
  • There is little scientific evidence that the declared ingredients in this product help ED.

ExtenZe is a proprietary herbal blend containing several active ingredients that may help treat ED. The company has a variety of products with different ingredients. Some of the active ingredients include:

L-arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid that may help achieve erections easier and maintain them longer. Evidence suggests it may work in combination with other ED ingredients.

A 2021 study notes that a combination of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors and L-arginine improved sexual function and testosterone levels more than monotherapy. A similar study reports a similar effect when combining L-arginine with sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

GABA is a neurotransmitter that people may use for ED due to its vasodilatory properties. For example, a 2017 study suggests that a 75% GABA and 25% sildenafil mixture may be the most effective combination of these ingredients to help treat ED symptoms.

Yohimbe

Also known as yohimbine, yohimbe extract is an herbal supplement from the Pausinystalia johimbe tree that practitioners commonly use in West African medicine for ED. A 2018 study notes that yohimbine and ginseng were effective treatments for ED.

It works by blocking alpha-2 adrenergic receptors that inhibit erections. Yohimbe also promotes the release of nitric oxide that dilates blood vessels, allowing more blood to pool into the penis.

Horny goat weed

Also known as yinyanghuo or epimedium, horny goat weed is a herbal medicine popular in China as a treatment for ED. Its active ingredient, icariin, is a PDE5 inhibitor, which prevents PDE5 from stopping the dilation of arteries in the penis.

One study suggests that icariin and daily sildenafil could treat neurogenic ED, while another study indicates that icariin may help treat diabetes-associated ED. However, it is worth noting both of these were rat studies.

Folic acid and zinc

Zinc is a necessary mineral for sperm formation — it works with folic acid to form DNA in sperm. A zinc deficiency may also relate to hypogonadism, where the testes have issues producing the sex hormone testosterone, sperm, or both. Another study found that weight training coupled with zinc supplementation improved testosterone levels.

Research from 2018 found that low folic acid may be a risk factor for ED, while in another study, folic acid supplementation could help improve erectile function in people with ED.

Dehidroepindrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is a steroid hormone that functions as a precursor to both male and female sex hormones. A 2020 review notes that DHEA supplementation can significantly increase testosterone levels.

DHEA is known to improve mood, sexual function, and cognitive ability. However, doctors classify this hormone as a performance-enhancing drug, which is why professional athletes are not eligible to take ExtenZe.

Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone that helps the body produce other hormones, such as testosterone and DHEA. Some people may use it as a supplement to increase testosterone levels.

Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is an herb that people have used for centuries to treat ED, as it may increase libido. It may also help with erections and increase DHEA and testosterone levels.

A 2021 study suggests that Tribulus terrestris, ginseng, and L-arginine are suitable supplements for improving ED, possibly due to their positive effect on nitric oxide synthesis, which could enhance blood flow in the body.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a popular natural supplement for treating ED. A 2021 study notes that it is effective for improving ED and reducing fatigue in individuals with prostate cancer. In addition, research from 2018 compared several herbal dietary supplements for ED and found ginseng to be an effective herbal treatment.

Maca

An older 2010 review looked at four randomized clinical studies that investigated maca’s effect on a range of sexual conditions, including ED. Only one of these studies focused entirely on people with ED. It found that maca may have a mild positive effect compared with a placebo.

However, the authors of the review note that none of the studies have been replicated and therefore cannot definitively state that maca affects ED.

Cnidium

There is very little research on Cnidium‘s effect on ED.

One review states that two studies have found that Cnidium has a vasodilating effect on rabbit penises. However, there is no evidence that this ingredient is effective in humans.

Muira puama

To date, there have not been any studies investigating the effect of muira puama on ED in humans.

However, the authors of a 2020 review noted that muira puama, alongside other ingredients such as ginger, may have a slight positive effect on ED in rats and humans. The authors also state that it is not possible to determine what effect this specific ingredient has, as the supplement tested contains numerous other ingredients.

Astragalus

Astragalus is an herb that some people believe may benefit the immune system and increase sperm count.

However, there is currently no evidence that astragalus has any benefits for ED.

Black and white pepper

There are currently no studies that investigate whether black and white pepper have any effect on ED.

However, cayenne pepper is a common ingredient in ED supplements that may have a vasodilating effect.

Pumpkin

Research suggests that raw and roasted pumpkin seeds may improve erectile function in rats by reducing oxidative stress in the penis.

However, there is currently no evidence to support the use of pumpkin for ED in humans.

Stinging nettle

A 2017 review notes that stinging nettle may have anti-inflammatory properties that could help reduce inflammation of the prostate.

However, there is currently no evidence that stinging nettle reduces ED symptoms.

Fo-ti

Polygonum multiflorum, or fo-ti, is a plant native to China. It is an ancient herbal remedy for many conditions, including ED and infertility, and it is most commonly available as a supplement.

However, there is no evidence that fo-ti is effective for ED or any other condition.

Hops

There is currently no scientific evidence that hops benefit ED.

Boron

An older review suggests that boron may increase levels of free testosterone in males.

However, there is currently no evidence to suggest that boron affects ED.

While there are several studies on the efficacy of many of ExtenZe’s ingredients, such as ginseng, yohimbine, and L-arginine, there are currently no trials or studies specifically investigating the effectiveness of this product. Additionally, ExtenZe has mixed reviews online, with some users reporting anecdotal benefits.

However, the FDA notes that it does not regulate male enhancement supplements and that taking them can be harmful. While some ingredients may help improve ED symptoms, taking ExtenZe or any other male enhancement will not increase a person’s penis size.

Some of ExtenZe’s ingredients may cause side effects. For example, yohimbe may cause anxiety, dizziness, drooling, bloating, rapid heart rate, headaches, and frequent urination. In addition, a 2021 study found an overdose of this substance may cause poisoning and even death.

A 2015 study found that many male enhancement supplements containing yohimbine had inaccurate information on their labels. Only 9 of the 49 products undergoing tests provided information about its adverse effects. Additionally, the FDA has issued a warning against ExtenZe, as it does not declare sildenafil as an ingredient. Sildenafil can interact with prescription drugs and may also lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.

A 2019 case report also notes that hormones in male enhancement supplements may cause the development or worsening of male breast cancer. Another 2018 case study adds that ExtenZe may cause priapism, a prolonged and often painful erection.

Aside from the lack of reliable sources regarding the efficacy of ExtenZe, the FDA does not regulate it or any other male enhancement supplements. This means these products may contain ingredients that could be harmful to health. Individuals who wish to take male enhancement supplements or have problems with sexual function should consult their doctor first.

For people who want better sexual performance, there are several FDA-approved medications for ED, including:

  • Sildenafil: This is the active ingredient in the popular ED medication Viagra. After consumption, sildenafil takes effect after 30–120 minutes.
  • Tadalafil: The active ingredient in Cialis. It takes longer to take effect than sildenafil but can remain effective for up to 36 hours.
  • Vardenafil: The active ingredient in Levitra. Since it is more potent, a lower dose is enough to cause an effect and may result in fewer side effects.
  • Avanafil: The active ingredient in Stendra. Unlike sildenafil, avanafil has a lesser tendency to lower a person’s blood pressure.

Learn more about Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Stendra.

Additionally, specific lifestyle changes may help improve a person’s sexual health, such as:

  • quitting smoking
  • decreasing alcohol intake
  • eating a nutritious diet
  • following an active lifestyle

The following table compares ExtenZe to prescription ED medications.

ExtenZeViagra (sildenafil)Cialis (tadalafil)Levitra (vardenafil)Stendra (avanafil)
Has FDA approvalnoyesyesyesyes
Is FDA regulatednoyesyesyesyes
Backed by third-party or double-blind clinical studiesnoyesyesyesyes
Requires a prescriptionnoyesyesyesyes
Has FDA warningsyesnononono
Needs to be taken dailyyesnononono

The FDA recommends that people do not buy or use ExtenZe supplements due to the organization finding undeclared sildenafil in ExtenZe during testing. Taking sildenafil unknowingly alongside nitrates can cause dangerously low blood pressure.

Instead, people who wish to purchase products to treat ED should contact a healthcare professional.

In addition to prescribing medication, doctors may recommend that a person make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and increasing physical activity.

Learn more about home remedies for ED here.

Here we answer some common questions about this supplement.

Is ExtenZe safe to use?

The FDA released an announcement in 2018 advising people not to buy or use ExtenZe Nutritional Supplement. The organization states that laboratory testing found that the supplement contained undeclared sildenafil, a prescription medication for ED.

Taking a supplement with undeclared ED medications is dangerous, as it can negatively interact with nitrates and cause dangerously low blood pressure. People may take nitrates as part of their treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

How long does ExtenZe last?

The company does not state how long the supplement lasts. However, it recommends men should take it every day for maximum results.

It is important to note that there is very little scientific evidence that the declared ingredients in this supplement may help ED symptoms.

How long does it take to achieve an erection with ExtenZe?

ExtenZe is a supplement, not a prescription drug such as Viagra. As such, it should not trigger an immediate erection.

Additionally, there is very little scientific evidence that the declared ingredients in this supplement can help a person maintain an erection for longer.

ExtenZe is a male enhancement supplement containing a proprietary herbal blend that claims to enhance sexual performance and increase libido and pleasure. However, male enhancement supplements do not have FDA approval and may contain ingredients harmful to a person’s health.

For safety, people with ED and even those keen to try male enhancement supplements should consult with a healthcare professional first for supervision and guidance.