Pharmaceuticals enable us to lead healthier, longer lives . . . most of the time.
We’ve all seen the television commercials: A man is distressed because he’s “not the man he used to be,” but through the miracles of modern medicine his youthful vigor is returned and he’s once again able to attract and please beautiful women. The pharmaceutical companies promise to rectify “low T” through testosterone therapy; that message comes through loud and clear. What you may not be aware of are the warnings that such medications can have serious side-effects and consequences.
- What is testosterone?
- Does everyone have it?
- What causes low testosterone levels in men?
- What are the symptoms of low-T?
- How is low-T treated?
- What are the risks of TRT?
- What are some of the low-T drugs?
- What pharmaceutical companies produce low-T drugs?
- What is the recourse for a man harmed by a TRT drug?
A recent study, published in November 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found a link between testosterone therapy and an increased rate of heart attack, stroke and death. The research focused on a group of 9,000 male veterans. The average age of the participants was 60, and they all had undergone coronary angiography and had low testosterone levels. About 15% of them started testosterone therapy; 26% of that group had a heart attack or a stroke or died from another cause within about three years. Comparing this rate to that of the group not on testosterone therapy, the researchers concluded that those on such medications have a 30% higher risk of serious, even deadly, heart issues.
We anticipate that more research will be conducted, no doubt funded in part by pharmaceutical companies hoping that the data can be refuted. It’s no wonder: Prescriptions for low-T therapy have more than doubled since 2006, with 5.3 million prescriptions for testosterone being written in the United States in 2011. Already, estimates are that 13.8 million American men experience the effects of declining levels of testosterone; our aging population is likely to provide a ready market for hormone replacement – in fact, pharmaceutical companies are counting on it.
The Function of Testosterone
Testosterone is the predominant male sex hormone, responsible for sexual maturation and function as well as for muscle and bone growth. The failure of the testes to produce an adequate level of testosterone is called hypogonadism. Not all cases of low-T, however, are the result of this kind of medical condition. A decrease in testosterone level is also a natural function of aging. The Mayo Clinic advises that for each year over age 30, a man’s testosterone level can be expected to drop by about 1 percent.
The Uses of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Men with lower than normal testosterone levels typically experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Lack of libido (low interest in sex)
- Muscle weakness
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Weight gain around the waist
- Reduction in bone density
Testosterone treatments can combat these issues, but they’re not without risks.
Side-effects and Risks of TRT
As the VA study showed, potentially serious risks may be linked to testosterone therapy, including heart attack, stroke, and death. Other risks are enlarged prostate or breasts, blood clots, sleep apnea, liver disease, high cholesterol, and blocked arteries.
How is Low-T Treatment Administered?
- Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be administered orally, by injection, or in a patch or topical gel to be absorbed through the skin.
- Oral testosterone is sold under the brand names Android, Androxy and Testred.
- Intramuscular injection products are Depo-Testosterone, Andro LA 200, Delatestryl, Depandro 100, Testosterone Cypionate, and Testosterone Enanthate.
- Transdermal (patch or gel) testosterone products include AndroGel, Fortesta, Testim, Androderm, Axiron, Testoderm, and Fortesta.
- Striant is a product that is placed between the cheek and gum for absorption.
Low-T Drug Legal Counsel
The mission of Pogust Braslow & Millrood is to protect those who are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others – including pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical devices. These companies, who are making billions of dollars from selling testosterone replacement therapy drugs that cause serious harm, must be held accountable. If you or your loved one has taken a low-T product and suffered a heart attack, stroke or death, call Pogust Braslow & Millrood to see how our drug injury attorneys can help you get compensation from the responsible pharmaceutical giant. You can reach us through our online form for a free consultation.