Testosterone / Low T Lawsuit
You’ve seen the commercials on late night TV. Testosterone therapy was supposed to be a quick-fix, a cure-all for the more unsatisfying aspects of growing older. Increased sex drive, increased muscle mass, more energy and improved moods — the commercials said taking testosterone could better our lives, for the rest of our lives. What they failed to mention fully were the dangerous side effects.
If you suffered from a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot issues, such as pulmonary embolism or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) while taking prescription testosterone products, you may be able to file a testosterone therapy lawsuit with us. Prescription testosterone products may include the following low testosterone supplements: AndroDerm, AndroGel, Axiron, Bio-T-Gel, Delatestryl, Depo-Testosterone, Fortesta, Striant, Testim and Testopel.
More on Testosterone Therapy
In the last decade, “Low T” has become a phenomenon seen on late night television advertisements across the country. We were told that there was an easy solution to one of nature’s worst gifts, the decreased sex drive and fatigue that comes with aging, and that, by taking a testosterone supplement, we could become more confident, more satisfied in our relationships, more committed, more manly, even. In the commercials, the possibilities for increased well-being were endless. So it’s no wonder why so many men went to their doctors and started taking prescription testosterone therapy supplements.
“Why wouldn’t you?,” the commercials seemed to ask. Unfortunately, some men are starting to find out now: Strokes, heart attacks or blood clots; all of these dangerous side effects have been linked to testosterone therapy.
In the commercials many of us paid attention to the federally required voice over listing the negative side effects of testosterone therapy, from potentially increasing the risk of prostate cancer to greater hair loss, sperm count and nausea. But the extent to which the commercials kept appearing is undeniable, and they were not just persuasive. Instead, at one point the advertisements went so far as to up the ante of their message. It was no longer just about increasing sex drive. Suddenly, taking testosterone supplementation was about ensuring the safety and well-being of both the male patient and his family, as if it was imperative for every man to know his “number” and to actively attempt to raise it.
However, there is little medical validity behind mature men knowing, even obsessing over, their “number” or taking medication to raise their testosterone level.
Was it all just smoke and mirrors? After all, there was something going on in your body, a natural decline in testosterone, that made you feel different, made you feel as if taking testosterone could help. Right?
Also known as androgen replacement therapy, testosterone therapy is used to treat male hypogonadism, a condition wherein the male body fails to produce enough of the male sex hormone testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or pituitary gland.
There can be two causes of male hypogonadism: primary or central. With primary male hypogonadism, the testicles themselves do not function properly. Causes of primary male hypogonadism may include infection, radiation, liver and kidney disease or certain autoimmune disorders. With central male hypogonadism, the centers in the brain known as the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland that signal the testicles to produce testosterone do not function properly. Causes of central male hypogonadism may include genetic problems, certain medications such as steroids, bleeding, surgery or tumors.
No matter the cause or type of male hypogonadism, the symptoms of hypogonadism are typically the same: a loss of sex drive as well as other symptoms such as impotence, osteoporosis, fatigue or weakness.
Similar to the decline in sex hormones that women experience as they age, male hypogonadism is a natural occurrence that comes with aging and men normally have lower testosterone as they age. However, for men, the decline is typically not as quick or dramatic as it is in women, instead, there is a more slow and continuous decrease in male testosterone production.
That leads us to this question. While male hypogonadism — the medical term for “Low T,” or low testosterone — is a real condition, how common is it, particularly for older men?
The answer? In reality, experts say that few men are actually diagnosed with hypogonadism and that many signs or symptoms of hypogonadism are a normal part of aging.
The largest study to date examining heart disease in men taking testosterone supplements was performed by UCLA, the National Institutes of Health and Consolidated Research Inc. and published in the Jan. 29, 2014, online edition of the journal PLOS ONE. The study found that men under 65 with a history of heart disease were twice or even three times as likely to have a heart attack shortly after beginning testosterone therapy. The study also confirmed previous studies that found that men older than 65 were twice as likely to have a heart attack shortly after beginning testosterone therapy, with or without a history of heart disease.
The study’s senior author, Sander Greenland, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a professor of statistics in the UCLA College of Letters and Science, said that, “The extensive and rapidly increasing use of testosterone treatment and the evidence of risk of heart attack underscore the urgency of further large studies of the risks and the benefits of this treatment.”
Another study, cited by the FDA along with Greenland’s study as a cause for the FDA’s decision to reassess the cardiovascular safety of testosterone therapy, was an observational study of older men in the U.S. Veteran Affairs health system first published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in November 2013. The study suggested that a 30 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death was present in the group of men that had been prescribed testosterone therapy.
As Greenland said, more studies are needed to discover how testosterone negatively affects the heart, however there is a theory that testosterone may cause fluid retention and edema, thereby putting extra strain on the heart.
On January 31, 2014, the FDA released a safety announcement saying that it was investigating the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in men taking FDA-approved testosterone products due to the studies mentioned above. The FDA noted that they had not made a final decision regarding whether or not FDA-approved testosterone treatments increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or death however they noted that, “Testosterone products are FDA-approved only for use in men who lack or have low testosterone levels in conjunction with an associated medical condition.” Likewise, “None of the FDA-approved testosterone products are approved for use in men with low testosterone levels who lack an associated medical condition.”
While the need for many aging men to take testosterone therapy may be up for debate, there is no debate surrounding the popularity of testosterone therapy. In fact, according to the independent medicine website Drugs.com, sales of the testosterone gel AndroGel exceeded sales of Viagra in 2013.
Four times as many men who are 40 and over take testosterone therapy today than did in 2000 and, since 2000, over a million men have had their testosterone levels tested and half a million men have begun using testosterone therapy.
In 2011, nearly one man in 25 in their 60s was taking testosterone supplementation. What’s more, as a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals, these men are taking testosterone therapy for two things only: to increase sex drive and energy levels.
But perhaps a quote in The New York Times by Dr. Lisa Schwartz, a professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, says it best of all: “We’re giving people hormones that we don’t know they need for a disease that we don’t know they have, and we don’t know if it’ll help them or harm them.”
Brand name prescription testosterone products we are investigating as part of the testosterone therapy lawsuit include:
Testosterone products can be applied in a number of ways such as tablets to be stuck in the gums of the mouth like Striant, medicated skin patches like Androderm, skin gels like Bio-T-Gel, injections like Delatestryl or solutions applied to the underarm like Axiron. Typically, once testosterone therapy begins, patients undergo lifelong treatments with these products.
Both bioidentical and synthetic versions of pharmaceutical testosterone are used in testosterone therapy. While bioidentical testosterone is created in a laboratory, it is chemically identical to the natural testosterone hormone made by the body. Because of this — in theory rather than in practice — it is thought to result in fewer side effects. One of the most popular testosterone gels, AndroGel, is a bioidentical testosterone hormone.
Synthetic testosterones, as the name suggests, do not match the hormone made by the body as they have been altered from their original chemical build. Synthetic testosterone is sometimes used in steroids taken for fast muscle development and are more recognized for their serious side effects.
An unhappy truth surrounding a testosterone therapy lawsuit is a simple one: that men may be able to raise their testosterone naturally via diet, exercise and losing unwanted weight. For many men, taking testosterone therapy was not just unnecessary, it was also avoidable altogether — had they known the real facts.
Testosterone lawsuits exist to help bridge the gap between what should have happened and what actually happened. With a testosterone lawsuit, you can also stand up against pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of your good intentions to look after your health and that of your families. You can say, What you did was wrong.