Testosterone therapies are being aggressively marketed toward men who may be looking for a simple, quick fix for their decreased libido. Recent studies however, should have these male consumers hesitating toward pulling the low T therapy trigger. Researchers have identified that cardiovascular risks may be associated with the following popular brands: AndroGel, Axiron, Fortesta, Testim, Delatestryl, Striant, Androderm, and Testopel, among others.
New study results posted on the NEJM Journal Watch site indicate the increased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the months after beginning testosterone therapy (i). Older men have a particularly high risk of heart attack, as the potential for danger rises with age.
Although the studies cannot definitively prove cause and effect between testosterone therapy and heart attacks, their results do suggest caution and a link between the therapies and their accompanying risks.
More and more American men – millions it is now estimated – use gel, patch, or injection testosterone therapy products to boost their hormone levels. Increased testosterone can aid those with truly low testosterone level who may be experiencing bone and/or muscle loss or a decreased sex drive. For men who have borderline low testosterone and no demonstrated symptoms, these low T therapy products may have less to offer.
Harvard Men’s Health Watch reported in February 2014 that pharmacies are aggressively marketing low T products as a solution to increase alertness, energy, mental sharpness, and sexual function (ii). In both the commercials and print advertisements for testosterone therapy, details regarding the risks of these products may be understated, if even mentioned at all. In order to be an informed consumer, males considering testosterone therapy treatments should be aware of the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other adverse cardiovascular events.
For men who are just beginning to confront their low T issues, the testosterone therapy treatments may not agree with them. A small portion of men reported side effects early on, including: acne, larger or tenderer breasts, or swollen ankles. Some men may experience blood clots in their arteries or veins as a result of the therapy causing an overproduction of red blood cells.
Adverse cardiovascular events remain of the utmost concern, however. The studies suggest that taking extra testosterone to supplement hormonal levels could pose heart problems. Additional concerns arise regarding the increased chance of developing prostate cancer. The preliminary links established between testosterone therapy and heart problems, as well as testosterone therapy and prostate cancer, warrant further research and attention.
In the interim period, for those men who are considering testosterone treatment therapies to deal with decreased sexual function, energy, and alertness, the following items may shed light on their condition:
- Assess your overall health before making any decisions about a testosterone therapy treatment. Look into other reasons why you may be experiencing fatigue, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and other symptoms you feel may be due to low testosterone levels.
- Seek an accurate assessment from a qualified medical professional. Talk to your doctor, and if the both of you think you have low testosterone levels, measure hormone levels in the early to mid-morning hours (i.e. 7am-10am) when testosterone is generally at its highest point daily.
- Inquire about the risks of testosterone therapy treatment. Speak with your doctor about the risks and side effects of any low T treatment. Different formulas – whether they be gels, injections, or patches – operate differently and be mindful of any troublesome signs that may result. If you have already identified a personal high risk for prostate cancer or cardiovascular complications, heed greater caution in your contemplation of testosterone therapy treatment.
Remember that testosterone therapy is not for everyone, and it should not be used for the purpose of achieving a more youthful physical or sexual self. For those who are trying to increase their sexual energy, mental alertness, and muscle tone, increasing levels of exercise is a much healthier, safe, and more effective alternative to any available medication on the market.
If you or a loved one has experienced cardiovascular complications such as a stroke or heart attack, or have developed prostate cancer after taking testosterone therapy, you should speak with an experienced dangerous drug attorney. The injury and disability attorneys at d’Oliveira & Associates work closely with attorneys nationwide who are following the ongoing testosterone therapy investigation and handling these types of claim.
Contact our office by calling our toll free number, or visiting our website to fill out an online contact form. We charge no fees unless you obtain a settlement or award, so reach out to us for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.
- (i) NEJM Journal Watch. November 2013.
- (ii) Harvard Men’s Health Watch. February 2014.