Behind the counter at your local gas station, convenience store or neighborhood bodega, tucked somewhere behind the 5-Hour Energy® shots and the flavored cigarillos are a variety of male enhancement products like Rhino pills. They’re a tempting purchase at check out because these products claim to improve stamina, increase erections and more. But if you’re wondering if they’re a scam, your instincts are pretty good.
Rhino pills and other non-prescription supplements skirt the line — they aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the same way as medications, and there's rarely much science to back the claims. What’s worse, these sex supplements can sometimes be dangerous and contain undeclared and potentially dangerous ingredients. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Do Rhino pills make you hard, increase your penis size or make you last longer? Are they dangerous? Read on to see exactly how much risk you could be taking on by taking these pills.
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Rhino is a common brand of male sexual enhancement products you’ll typically find in gas stations, convenience stores and online. They’re created from proprietary blends of herbal ingredients occasionally associated with better erectile health.
According to their own packaging, uses for Rhino pills include:
Maximizing the time of sexual intercourse
Stopping premature ejaculation
Maximizing ejaculate volume
Providing “rock hard” erections
Increasing penis length, width and thickness
Making orgasms more intense and explosive
Improving sexual confidence
Supplements sold under the Rhino brand have a variety of names, including:
Krazzy Rhino 25000
Platinum Rhino 25000
Blue Rhino Pills
Gold Rhino 25000
Mega Rhino 82000
Rhino Blitz Gold
Rhino 69 Pills
Most Rhino pills come in similar packaging, with a distinctive design that’s dominated by a large, holographic rhino. You’ve probably seen a pop-up ad or glitzy package as you go about a normal day, though you may not know that these products are all connected.
Some use similar packaging with alternative brand names like Jet Black™, Jet Blue™ and others.
Rhino pills may work in theory — some of their purported ingredients can increase blood flow to your penis. In practice, they’re not considered medically reliable — or safe. The manufacturers of Rhino pills and other male enhancement supplements claim their products “work” based on thin medical research into their ingredients — ingredients rarely considered effective or safe by the FDA.
What do Rhino pills do is really a question of what they’re supposed to do. There's no scientific evidence that Rhino pills work, nor is there anything to suggest that the various exotic-sounding ingredients used in Rhino male enhancement or similar non-prescription products have any positive effects on your sexual performance.
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that Rhino pills can't possibly work at all or that they don't cause some kind of effect in men who use them. Some natural ingredients may increase blood flow to the penis, but whether they do it reliably and without adverse effects is another matter entirely. In fact, there isn't sufficient reputable evidence that any of the ingredients in them (at least the ingredients on the label) have effects that can match up to actual prescription medications.
But if you’re going to take any kind of medication or supplement, it should be backed by evidence if it's going to serve as a management option for a specific condition.
Plenty of guys first look into Rhino pills because they seem to offer a safe, doctor-free alternative to prescription sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra®). But these herbal remedies on gas station store shelves are far from safe, far from proven effective and also very far from being Viagra.
Viagra and similar medications, referred to as PDE5 inhibitors, are FDA-approved treatments for erectile dysfunction. They work by increasing blood flow to your penis, and when used before sex, they make it easier to get and maintain an erection while you’re sexually aroused.
Rhino products aren’t approved by the FDA, nor do they require a prescription. They’re also not as predictable — while Viagra typically works for just a few hours, Rhino claims that the effects of a single pill can last seven, nine or even 14 days.
It should go without saying that no one should be in this type of enhanced state of stimulation for 14 days straight. In fact, if your erection lasts more than four hours, you should definitely make your way to the closest emergency room because you may be experiencing a dangerous condition called priapism.
But a too-long erection isn’t the only side effect you’re risking with these supplements.
By now, you know that neither we, nor the FDA, are big fans of Rhino pills (or other bootleg gas station ED pills), but it’s not just because their effects can last for days or weeks at a time. There are other risks and adverse events attached to Rhino pills, too.
While the “Rhino” brand does not include potential risks on its labels, the FDA went through the trouble of listing a number of potential physical side effects on their website, some of which include:
You might be asking how something with so many dangerous side effects hasn’t been removed from the market by the FDA, in which case you’re asking the right questions.
Because Rhino pills and other sexual enhancement capsules aren’t FDA-approved prescription erectile dysfunction drugs, they aren’t subject to the same strict drug ingredients testing and licensing rules. And because they don’t require a prescription, there’s limited opportunity for a healthcare provider to assess their safety.
Fast-acting male enhancement supplements are particularly concerning as many of these products are labeled as harmless “dietary supplements.” Yet, some of them are made in potentially unsafe or unsanitary facilities that may be cross-contaminated by other substances.
The ingredients used in these products — both the stuff on the label and the stuff they don’t tell you about — may not be measured accurately, meaning some supplements may use an unsafe amount of unlabeled active ingredients.
These factors combine to create products that aren’t necessarily effective, aren’t safe and should never be viewed as replacements for prescription pills for ED or PE.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released several public warnings about non-prescription sex enhancement pills as a whole. A 2021 news release from the FDA found that all 26 of the male sexual health supplements the agency purchased from Amazon for laboratory testing contained undeclared ingredients — hidden stuff that the label doesn’t say should be in these male enhancement pills.
That means they might interact dangerously with nitrates, medications for heart disease and high blood pressure, and other prescription drugs you could be taking.
Furthermore, 80 percent of the 25 supplements the FDA purchased on eBay contained undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients.
The same active ingredients as Viagra®. Starts working in 30 minutes and lasts up to 6 hours.
Same active ingredient as Cialis®. Starts working in 1 hour and lasts up to 24 hours.
Exclusively at Hims, starts working in 15 minutes and lasts up to 6 hours. Same active ingredients as Levitra®.
This seems like a great time for our favorite reminder: before using any sexual enhancement products, supplements or medications, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about safe alternatives.
Not only can they tell you what works and what likely doesn’t — they can also make sure you’re safe while using these supplements or medications.
Most FDA-approved prescription-only medications have a clearly understood mechanism of action for increasing blood flows to your penis.
Currently, there are four FDA-approved prescription-only oral drugs. They are:
Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra)
There is also an injectable medication, alprostadil, and a recently FDA-authorized, non-prescription topical gel for ED.
PE treatments include sprays, gels or wipes that contain local anesthetics like lidocaine or benzocaine to help decrease sensitivity and lengthen the road to orgasm and ejaculation.
There are also prescription medications like sertraline and paroxetine, which delay the process of reaching orgasm and ejaculating. ED medication can also actually be effective for PE and is sometimes prescribed off label for this purpose.
While reliable penis enhancement practices might be few and far between, more is known about their safety risks than is necessarily known about Rhino pills and other non-prescription male enhancement products.
Here are a few common ways that medical experts hesitantly recommend:
No matter which way you slice or dice it, Rhino pills are never the way to go. Period.
They’re untested. Not only are these pills not scientifically proven to actually work, but many contain unlabeled or unapproved drugs that could put your health at serious risk — especially if you use medications.
They’re unsafe. The FDA has released numerous advisory warnings about the safety of Rhino pills and other non-prescription sex pills, warning consumers against everything from unlabeled ingredients to manufacturing quality concerns.
There are other options out there. If you’re worried about erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, the best option is to talk to your healthcare provider or look into FDA-approved treatments.
Unlike Rhino pills, these medications contain exactly what they say on the label, meaning you’ll be able to treat ED, PE and other sexual performance issues with confidence.
We offer a range of evidence-based erectile dysfunction medications and premature ejaculation treatments online, with prescription products available following a consultation with a healthcare provider.
You can also learn more about improving your sexual function naturally in our detailed guide to the best ways to naturally protect your erection.
Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!
Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years in digital health focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show and Sharecare and has served on the Medical Expert Board of Eat This, Not That!.
Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.
Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs.
In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information
Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.
Bachelor of Arts, Egyptian and Ancient Western Asian Archaeology. Brown University |
Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist. Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs
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