Lamar Odom in Coma, Took Dangerous Combination of Drugs

Former LA Lakers player Lamar Odom remains in a coma since he was found unresponsive Tuesday at a legal brothel, the Love Ranch in Crystal, Nev. Odom, who is probably better known as the estranged husband of Khloe Kardashian, is intubated and reportedly “fighting for his life.” Khloe,  as well as other Kardashian family members and family friend Rev. Jesse Jackson have been by Lamar’s bedside.

Additional details are now emerging about Odom’s time at the Love Ranch. He was brought to the ranch on Saturday, reportedly “to get far away from something.”  He told one of the staff that he had taken a small amount of cocaine prior to his arrival at the ranch. According to a Nevada sheriff, he also took about 10 doses of a sexual stimulant in the days before he was found by brothel workers on Tuesday morning.

Richard Hunter, a spokesman for the legal brothel, said that Odom had taken multiple 1,875-milligram doses of a packaged supplement called Reload 72-Hour Strong Sexual Performance Enhancer for Men over three days. Odom had obtained the supplements at the Love Ranch. The Sheriff’s office believes that the supplement is legal.

Two women companions during his stay came to check on him Tuesday, and found him unresponsive.

Mitzy Jones, a brothel manager, told a 911 dispatcher:

“They need to hurry, please, because he’s got blood coming out of his nose, white stuff coming out of his mouth. We can’t get him to wake up. He’s, like, almost not breathing.”

Formal drug testing is currently underway to determine what medications were in Odom’s system at the time of his hospitalization.

What is Reload?

Reload, sometimes called “herbal Viagra” is a “herbal supplement” that claims to be a “sexual performance enhancer for men.” The enhanced effect is supposed to last 72-hours long.


However, in 2013, the FDA advised consumers not to purchase or use “Reload” or similarly promoted herbal sexual enhancers.

FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that “Reload” contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved prescription drug Viagra, used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).  This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.  Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.

The FDA went on to say: Consumers should stop using this product immediately and throw it away.  Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.

Viagra (chemical name Sildenafil) is a medication used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), which is the  inability to perform sexual intercourse. Sildenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. Sildenafil treats erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. This increased blood flow can cause an erection.

The most common side effects of Viagra are headache, facial flushing, and upset stomach. Less commonly, bluish vision, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light may briefly occur. Viagra should not be taken by patients who take nitrates, often prescribed for chest pain, as this may cause a sudden unsafe drop in blood pressure.

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • sudden severe loss of vision
  • blurred vision
  • sudden decrease or loss of hearing
  • ringing in ears
  • erection that is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • chest pain
  • worsening shortness of breath
  • itching or burning during urination
  • rash
As is the case with most herbal preparations, they not regulated by the FDA. This can pose several problems:
  • “Propietary” ingredients may actually contain active compounds that are not listed and may be dangerous to certain patients.
  • One can not assure that the products are made consistently from batch to batch, or if they even contain any of the ingredients they claim to possess.
  • There may be contaminants that can be harmful in themselves, or when combined with other drugs or alcohol.
  • Public perception of herbal preparations is that they are “natural,” could not be harmful, and are no more dangerous than taking a vitamin. This can lead to overuse.
Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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