Testosterone treatment is used by millions of men nationwide to treat “low-T” or hypogonadism, a condition characterized by abnormally low testosterone levels. Due in part to aggressive marketing from pharmaceutical companies asking men if they suffer from low-T, the sales of testosterone have increased fivefold since 2000.
Unfortunately, testosterone treatment has been linked to dangerous side effects in some men, including potentially fatal cardiovascular side effects such as stroke or heart attack. In the wake of these studies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched an investigation into the safety of testosterone products marketed by drug companies.
Our testosterone treatment side effect lawyers know that drugs designed to treat a specific medical condition sometimes have side effects that outweigh the benefits of the medication. While these dangerous drugs might treat the intended condition, the patient can end up hospitalized or could even die because of the harmful side effects.
What Are Potential Side Effects of Testosterone Treatment?
The FDA issued a safety alert on January 31, 2014, announcing that it is investigating the risk of stroke, heart attack and death in men using testosterone therapy products. The FDA began its investigation into the side effects of testosterone therapy medication after multiple studies revealed a potential link between testosterone and a number of potentially fatal cardiovascular side effects that include stroke and heart attack.
According to USA Today, one study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed a direct connection between testosterone supplements and heart problems. Men with heart problems using low-T prescription medication have a 30 percent higher chance of suffering stroke, heart attack or death than healthy men who do not take supplements, researchers found.
In addition, studies have also found that men with the following medical conditions could also be at risk of suffering adverse cardiovascular events while using testosterone supplements:
- Artery blockage
- High cholesterol
- Plaque buildup
- Previous heart attack
In another recent study, researchers at UCLA studied adverse event rates within 90 days for 56,000 men taking testosterone therapy medication. The study revealed testosterone therapy doubled the risk of heart attack among men over age 65 and nearly tripled heart attack risk in men under age 65 with a history of heart disease.
Has Testosterone Therapy Been Over-Prescribed?
Testosterone medication is touted as a way to improve quality of life among those living with clinically low testosterone levels. Companies marketing the treatment say it reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, and improves bone density and muscle mass.
However, a report in Reuters in mid-February raises serious concerns. Although testosterone therapy has only been approved to treat hypogonadism by the FDA, most men in the United States receiving testosterone therapy don’t have documented testosterone measurements. Testosterone levels naturally begin to decline after age 30, and testosterone therapy medications aren’t approved for age-related conditions and natural, age-related decline in testosterone levels.
Despite the narrow scope in which testosterone medication is approved by the FDA, medical experts interviewed by Reuters also said that testosterone therapy sales have grown to become a $2.2 billion industry in 2013. Furthermore, some estimates suggest the testosterone industry is projected to rise to $5 billion a year by 2017.
When a pharmaceutical company chooses to put profits over people, though, it’s possible for testosterone medication to be over-prescribed or used for purposes other than its original intention. Manufacturers may even know about dangerous side effects, but still fail to provide adequate warnings for both consumers and doctors.
With the FDA currently investigating claims that testosterone companies have done just that, consumers should consider speaking with an experienced attorney if they have suffered adverse side effects after taking testosterone medication.
If you or a loved one was injured or a loved one died after taking testosterone therapy medication, contact the Shelton Law Group immediately at 888-761-7204 to learn about your options.