Millions of men have taken advantage of testosterone therapy for Low T issues. It has been determined, through many studies, that some men may suffer serious side effects of taking testosterone hormone. The most common serious side effect is a heart attack.
What testosterone therapy does is to help replace a man’s level of the hormone. This helps relieve symptoms that go with lowered testosterone levels, including low sex drive, weight gain and fatigue.
A common therapeutic medication called Andro Gel is among those that increase the risk of heart attacks. Many men who take advantage of this form of therapy are unaware that such risks are present. Other TRT or testosterone replacement therapies pose similar risks.
Studies conducted revealed these risks, and they were brought to the FDA’s attention. The FDA followed up by issuing a safety alert. It plans on investigating all findings to make sure new labeling information is in order.
The government agency also went so far as to remind consumers that these therapies should only be done when a person has serious symptoms of Low T. Furthermore, these therapies should only be administered under the supervision of a doctor.
Dr. Bradley Anawalt of the Hormone Health Network, warns patients about so called Low T clinics. These places tend to administer therapies without testing male patients properly. This can be hazardous to a man’s health because of the fact that the therapies are comprised of sex hormones. The levels must be tested in a patient before receiving the testosterone.
One study that was published in January of 2014 by epidemiologist, William Finkle, found the increase for heart attacks in men who used testosterone did not apply only to men over 65 years of age. Younger men with pre-existing heart conditions had double the risk of having a heart attack after undergoing testosterone therapies. Finkle recommended that the notable risk of heart attacks should be part of the patient-doctor discussion.
The study reviewed 55,000 records of men who were prescribed testosterone in the US. It found that after 90 days of the therapy, 1 in 167 men older than age 65 could have a heart attack from the testosterone. It also found that 1 in 100 men under 65 with pre-existing heart diseases may have already had a heart attack from the testosterone.
Another earlier study in 2010 from the New England Journal of Medicine found that there was also an increased risk in cardiovascular problems. The results were derived after studying both men who had been given a placebo as well as men with the effects of taking testosterone. It was determined that the group receiving the testosterone had a significantly higher risk of enduring a cardiovascular problem.
The above study was actually canceled because of the evident risks that were present. It became clear that patients deserved to be warned about what might happen with the effects of taking testosterone even if they had Low T symptoms.
In late 2013, another study determined that there was a definite increase in the rate of heart attacks and cardiovascular problems in veterans who took the hormone versus veterans who did not.
The proven risks of cardiovascular problems have led consumer advocacy groups to demand that black box warnings be placed on all testosterone drug packages. Public Citizen is one of the advocacy groups that have already petitioned the FDA to add the warnings to some existing products available on the market.
A leader of the group has been reported as saying that the 50 percent increase in cardiovascular problems was found through 14 studies. These studies were not conducted by the drug companies that promote the hormonal therapy. As such, the warnings must be made clear to help prevent people from misusing testosterone products.
After some time, there have been lawsuits filed by men who have experienced heart attacks related to the effects of taking testosterone therapies. Some law firms have already begun to reach out to more victims of this dangerous form of therapy.
After the FDA issued the safety alert about testosterone in 2014, several lawsuits were filed in federal court in Chicago. The men involved sued Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, Inc., the makers of the testosterone replacement drug Andro Gel.
The complaints detailed the plaintiff’s claims that three of the men had heart attacks shortly after using Andro Gel. Additionally, the complaints revealed that one man had suffered a stroke and another had suffered a mini-stroke. The claims went on to allege that the drug companies had misled consumers by failing to warn them of the existing risks the drugs pose. In addition, the drug companies played up the benefits of the testosterone, making the hormone therapies seem attractive to male consumers who were plagued with the uncomfortable symptoms of Low T.