Many men that suffer from low testosterone (also known as Low T) are taking hormone replacement therapy drugs that are linked to serious health concerns including heart attack and stroke. Several studies associate certain testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drugs to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, or deep vein thrombosis.
Advocacy groups have called for updated black-box warnings to be included on all testosterone packages. These groups have also petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require Low T drug manufacturers to include warnings on the labels currently on the market.
Testosterone Therapy and Use of Low T Drugs
An estimated 3 to 7 percent of men in the U.S. have hypogonadism (low testosterone) a condition in which the body fails to produce enough hormones due to issues with the pituitary gland or testicles. However, with the advent of several Low T drugs on the market – such as AndroGel, Androderm, Axiron, Delatestryl, Fortesta, Striant, Testim, Testopel among others – the percentage of men 40 and older being treated for “Low T” has more than tripled from 2001 to 2011, according to a USA Today article.
The problem is that testosterone levels vary widely and is a highly individualized issue. For example, playing sports for an hour can cause a spike in your testosterone levels. Therefore, getting an accurate picture of whether you really need a Low T drug can be difficult and creates the risk that men who don’t really need the drug are still being prescribed this powerful medication.
The Low T side effects can be pretty severe. For example, a 2010 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed higher rates of cardiac, respiratory and skin problems among men over 65 using testosterone gel compared with men taking a placebo. Other research studies have found that testosterone therapy may stimulate noncancerous prostate growth and may worsen existing prostate cancer.
What Patients Should Do
Seek professional medical advice for any symptoms associated with the use of these products.
In serious cases, a consultation with a defective drug attorney may be needed if the patient has suffered a heart attack or stroke associated with taking testosterone products.
In fact, several lawsuits are currently pending in federal court in Illinois against Abbott Laboratories, the makers of the drug Androgel. The suit alleges three men suffered a heart attack after using Androgel while another man suffered a mini-stroke. The suits also contend these companies are guilty of deceiving consumers by using aggressive and deceptive marketing practices that stressed the benefits and exaggerated the need while downplaying the serious risks associated with the use of these products.
For more information about Low T drug and their side effects, check out this page: