Girard Gibbs LLP represents clients in mass tort personal injury cases and is currently investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of men who have suffered from a heart attack, stroke, thrombotic event, or other serious side effects after taking prescription testosterone supplements. Millions of men in the United States have been prescribed testosterone.
Drug companies and men’s health clinics have been marketing testosterone supplements in the form of gels, creams, pills, and injections to address symptoms associated with aging, such as fatigue and changes in sex drive.
What is Testosterone Therapy?
Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles and is involved in maintaining red blood cell levels and muscle bulk as well as bone growth and sexual function. Low testosterone levels can be caused by the medical condition, hypogonadism, where the body fails to produce enough testosterone, leading to a potentially severe testosterone deficiency. Male testosterone levels also decrease naturally with age.
Symptoms of what is marketed as “Low T” or low testosterone include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depression, loss of body hair, decreased strength, and decreased bone density. Testosterone replacement therapy drugs, which are usually in the form of topical gels and creams, as well as in pill and injectable forms, have become increasingly popular in the past couple of years. The percentages of men over 40 treated with testosterone drugs have tripled from 2001 to 2011. Approximately 5.3 million prescriptions were written in 2011. Many of the men who undergoing TRT have not been diagnosed with hypogonadism and some have not had their testosterone levels tested.
Studies Link Heart Attack, Stroke, and Death with Testosterone Prescriptions
Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine found serious adverse events in older male patients associated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). In 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a randomized controlled trial studying safety and efficacy of testosterone treatment in improving muscle performance and physical function in older men with limitations in mobility study. The study was discontinued in December 2009 due to a higher proportion of adverse events in the group of men using testosterone gel. The adverse events included serious cardiac side effects.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013 reported on the findings of a national database of men who underwent coronary angiography in the Veterans Administrion. Use of testosterone therapy in a group of veterans was associated with increased risk of death, myocardial infarction (heart attack), or ischemic stroke. Among 1223 patients receiving testosterone therapy, 67 died, 23 had heart attacks, and 33 had strokes. There was a 29% increased risk of these adverse events among the testosterone therapy group.
The warning label on testosterone therapy drugs do not include heart attack, but a study published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE in January 2014 found a doubled risk of myocardial infarction in patients over 65 and a tripled risk in men with a history heart disease. This study and the 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association study by Dr. Rebecca Vigen and colleagues prompted a safety communication by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcing an investigation into a possible association between FDA-approved testosterone prescription therapies and heart attack, stroke, and death.
Common Testosterone Prescription Medications
AndroGel, the most commonly prescribed drug in TRT with 60% market share, surpassed Viagra in popularity in 2012. In 2012, drug makers spent approximately $107 million dollars marketing testosterone products to potential consumers. Additional brand name testosterone prescription medications include:
If you or a loved one has experienced serious side effects, such as heart attack or stroke, after taking the testosterone supplements and would like a free, confidential consultation with an attorney, please fill out the form on the right or call toll-free (866) 981-4800.
Injured by Testosterone Treatment?
The testosterone lawyers at Girard Gibbs LLP are investigating the link between testosterone treatment and serious side effects, including heart attacks and strokes. If you or a loved one took testosterone supplements and suffered serious side effects, you may have a legal right to pursue financial compensation for your injuries or other damages.
Fill out the form to the right or call (866) 981-4800 for a free confidential consultation concerning your possible testosterone treatment lawsuit.