In mid-August, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) received a report from the Virginia Poison Center of a cluster of patients in the Central Virginia area with severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar levels) requiring hospitalization, following use of an over-the-counter pill promoted for male sexual enhancement. The pills are commonly sold at convenience stores and/or gas stations in Virginia. Following the initial report, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) issued a press release advising consumers not to purchase or use that type of product sold under the name “V8.”

There are reports of similar illnesses across Virginia, in individuals who have reported taking the pills. As of Sept. 16, VDH has received additional reports of illness associated with V8 in the Eastern Region (one case), Central Region (four cases) and Southwest Region (six cases). Of those, VDH has confirmed seven cases; four remain under investigation.

Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include sweating, a racing heartbeat, irritability, anxiety, shakiness and altered mental status. Individuals experiencing symptoms of severe hypoglycemia should seek immediate medical attention. Previously reported cases have recovered with timely medical treatment.

Individuals and healthcare professionals are encouraged to contact one of Virginia’s three Poison Control Centers at (800) 222-1222 about adverse events and side effects of products.