A number of recent studies have shed new light on the link between testosterone therapy and increased risk of cardiovascular complications such as strokes and heart attacks. Testosterone therapy, which comes in various forms such as testosterone gels, patches, pellets and injections, has become highly sought after by young men who are looking to better their physical performance as well as older men who want to counter the effects of aging.
In large part due to deceptive advertising practices, testosterone therapy has been prescribed as a miracle cure for infertility, loss of libido and fatigue. Studies have shown however that only a small number of men have the required medical condition that would justify the prescription of testosterone therapy. New research indicates that testosterone therapy can lead to heart complications, especially in men who have had a prior medical history of cardiovascular disease. Because of this, several lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers who did not disclose the risks involved in either the products’ labeling and packaging or the advertising materials associated with the drug.
Low T and the Connection to Heart Strokes
The first study that stood out for showing the link between testosterone therapy and heart strokes was published in 2010, in the New England Journal of Medicine. Conducted at the Boston University’s School of Medicine, this study was important because it was discontinued when a large number of the subjects started reporting heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications. While only a small study, it indicated that men who were taking testosterone treatments were five times more likely to have a serious heart event such as a stroke or heart attack compared to men who weren’t on testosterone medication.
The FDA announcement in January 2014 had referenced two studies as the basis for the warning. In 2013, a study conducted with 9000 male veterans had analyzed the risk of heart stroke and heart attacks using coronary angiography. Using this method of evaluation, it was found that men who had taken AndroGel or a similar testosterone drug were 29% more at risk of having a stroke or heart attack. On average, the subjects age was 60 years old but younger men were also present.
The second study was conducted by a group of researches and endocrinologists from California. The paper, published in the medical journal PLoS One in January 2014, describes that men were examined for the first 90 days of taking the prescribed testosterone drug. The results were different but they all showed an increase in heart stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. For men younger than 65 years old and with a history of heart disease, the risk was 3 times higher to suffer a serious heart event. For men 65 years or older without any previous heart disease the risk was 2 times higher.
Aggressive Marketing And A Billion Dollar Industry
More than 5.3 million prescriptions were written for testosterone drugs such as AndroGel in 2012 which resulted in sales of nearly $2 billion. According to Global Industry Analysts Inc, sales are projected to grow to $5.1 billion by 2018. The growth is driven by the aging of the population and by the increased availability and marketing of testosterone products. Manufacturers have faced criticism for deceptive marketing practices that diagnose people through online quizzes through simple “yes” “no” answers to questions such as “Do you suffer from a lack of energy?” or “Are you feeling grumpy?”.
Here is a brief list of the most common drugs sold or prescribed for alleviating low testosterone:
FDA Still Investigating the Risks of Heart Stroke
Following the studies of the NCI and the JAMA, on Jan. 31 2014 the FDA made a public statement saying that it would investigate the risk of prescription testosterone drugs. The agency has yet to issue any conclusive statement. Adding to that, it says that patients should not interrupt testosterone treatment without consulting with a medical expert first and that healthcare professionals should thoroughly consider the risk/reward proposition of such drugs.
Have You Suffered From a Testosterone Heart Stroke?
Males who have suffered from one or more strokes or from other cardiovascular incidents (heart attacks, blood clotting, see the side effects page for more information) while taking testosterone products may be eligible to file a Testosterone Heart Stroke Lawsuit. Our firm can represent clients in a testosterone stroke lawsuit on a contingency basis, meaning that there is no fee or obligation involved unless we win get a settlement on your behalf.