Men naturally experience diminished levels of testosterone as they age. This leads to diminished muscle mass and tone, fatigue, and a lower sex drive. The advent of testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, seemed for many an ideal answer to this problem—at least until recently.
Studies over the past several years have made it clear that some potentially very serious health concerns are associated with TRT. In particular, men who are otherwise healthy run a significantly greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. If you are a victim, you should speak with a testosterone lawsuit attorney to discuss your options.
TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT POPULARITY
No one wants to experience the negative physical effects of age. In a time when medical treatments for so many diseases and conditions are increasingly sophisticated and effective, the natural inclination is to seek ways of turning back the clock. Plastic surgeries and other procedures give evidence of the public’s demand for such treatment.
Testosterone replacement therapy involves the administering of a product in order to help men regain the libido and physically fit appearance they enjoyed in younger years. Among the products available are:
The specific condition they are meant to treat is termed hypogonadism, and the popularity of these products is evident: in the past decade, the number of male patients who have sought TRT has tripled.
HOW TRTS ARE ADMINISTERED
Several methods of administering synthetic testosterone are available, each with its advantages and side effects. Oral treatment is one of the earliest types of treatment, but some patients experience hepatotoxicity, or toxic interference with liver function. The oral method of delivery also means that the testosterone does not last very long, and must be taken more often. Patients often suffer highs and lows as the amount of testosterone varies in the bloodstream, especially if they forget to take a dose.
Another method of administration is through injection into the buttocks, thigh, or other large muscle. Injectable testosterone does not cause damage to the liver and is available in several time-release variants.
Some patients prefer to use a skin patch. While this method is more convenient and can be done within the home, about 5% of patients who use the patch experience skin rashes and irritation. Moreover, many patients complain that they only experience a mild gain in energy and libido with the skin patch. A skin cream or gel is also available, but as with the skin patch, patients tend to experience only a limited positive effect. Finally, a pellet form is available that is placed subcutaneously, or between layers of the skin, such as in the armpit. The downside of this form of treatment is that men must have the pellets surgically implanted. Also, the sensation of the pellet is unpleasant for some patients.
THE DANGERS OF TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Recent research has produced evidence that there is a substantial health risk for men who decide to seek TRT, leading some doctors to be more reluctant to prescribe this therapy. Among the problems associated with TRT are:
- High cholesterol and buildup of plaque in the arteries
- Heart attacks
- Blockage of arteries
TRT has also been tied to an increased danger of blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, arrhythmia, and transient ischemic attacks. Among the less severe symptoms associated with TRT, include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, acne, swelling of the skin, and difficulty sleeping.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association detailed the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in patients who used testosterone replacement therapy. The study reviewed health records of 8,700 men diagnosed with low testosterone and determined that those who sought TRT were 30% more likely to suffer one of the above events within three years of commencing testosterone replacement therapy.
A further study published in 2014 by the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research, Inc. and the University of California at Los Angeles produced similar results. Of the 56,000 TRT patients tracked between 2008 and 2010, the risk of heart attack among men 65 and older was doubled. Young men with a history of heart disease experience up to three times the risk of heart attack within 90 days of beginning treatment.
On January 31, 2014, the FDA issued a Medical Safety Alert warning men of certain risks and side effects of testosterone-boosting products. There were reported increased risks of blood clots, stroke, heart attacks and death related to gels, creams, injections, pills and implants following the use of these products.
These medications are prescribed to men who have been diagnosed with hypogonadism, a condition associated with low levels of testosterone. Hypogonadism can be caused by a person’s genetic profile or following chemotherapy to treat cancer.
These drugs are used by men to boost diminished sexual drive and diminished energy levels. The medications have also been prescribed for off-label uses, which are uses not specifically approved by the FDA. Most of the testosterone boosting products are administered via gel, transdermal patch, injection and pellet implantation.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE GIVEN TRT
The attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP believe that the manufacturers of low testosterone medication did not adequately research the side effects associated with these treatments prior to seeking FDA approval. We also believe the manufacturers may not have included adequate label warnings or failed adequately to warn patients of associated heart attack and stroke risks in their television ads.
We are actively investigating cases in order to bring testosterone lawsuits throughout the country to obtain a monetary recovery for testosterone treatment side effects, including blood clots, heart attacks, strokes or death.
If you or a loved one suffered a testosterone therapy side effect, immediately contact the drug side effect lawyers of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP. For a free case evaluation, complete the form to the right or call 1-800-718-4658 to speak with a member of our drug injury team. We are available for you seven days a week.
We have 24 offices throughout California and are investigating these side effects for men in all 50 states.