Dangers Associated with Testosterone Therapy
If a person goes into their doctor’s office and complain of fatigue, low sex drive, or say they are just not feeling as well as when they were in their 40s or 50s, the doctor may test testosterone levels. If a person’s testosterone levels are on the lower side, a doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. Low-T levels are treated by testosterone therapy medications.
Again, testosterone diminishes naturally as a man ages. Therefore, having low testosterone levels is not necessarily something that requires medication. However, many doctors will do a simple blood test to check for Low-T levels.
If you were prescribed testosterone replacement therapy, contact a Raleigh low testosterone lawyer to learn more about the risks you may be facing and what financial compensation you may be eligible for.
If you have suffered a blood clot, had a heart attack, or another cardiac event while taking testosterone therapy medication or shortly after stopping, testosterone therapy may have been the cause. If the heart attack or cardiac event is bad enough, a person may require surgery and/or hospitalization, as well as ongoing follow-up with a cardiologist and medication to ease the side effects in the future.
In that case, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible as there is nothing a person can do to prevent heart failure or blood clots while on testosterone therapy, except to stop taking the medication.
How Can You Determine If a Heart Condition is Connected To Testosterone Therapy?
For a person to have a heart failure claim connected to his Low-T therapy, he must have been taking a form of testosterone replacement therapy, such as AndroGel or Axiron, and then suffered a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism either while taking the medication or shortly after stopping.
Low-T Therapy and Blood Clots
Low-T therapy is a medication that’s used to treat low testosterone levels in a man’s body; however, if a man does not have hypogonadism, but rather has testosterone levels that have decreased with age, the use of the testosterone replacement medication can change the viscosity of blood and create clotting problems that can lead to some of these cardiac events.
When a person experiences a bad enough heart attack or other cardiac events, they may require surgery and/or hospitalization, as well as ongoing follow-up with a cardiologist and medication to ease the side effects in the future. In the case of a medical emergency, they must contact their doctor and let them know what is going on. They should make sure they continue to check in with their doctors, especially the doctor who prescribed the medication.
If they have suffered a blood clot while taking testosterone therapy medication or shortly after stopping, it may have been the cause. In that case, they should contact an attorney as soon as possible. For a person to have a blood clot claim connected to his testosterone therapy, he must have suffered a blood clot while taking the Low-T medication or shortly after stopping.
Original FDA Approval & Later Studies
The FDA originally approved testosterone replacement therapy for the treatment of a very specific medical condition, called hypogonadism.
The Finkle Study in 2014 links an increased risk of heart attack and stroke to the use of testosterone replacement therapy in men who are not diagnosed with hypogonadism. There are a couple of other studies that have been done over a longer period of time that also show a relative increased risk. The Finkle Study, however, is the one that really showed the most prevalent risk increase in association with testosterone therapy medications.
An observational study of older men in the VA system was done in 2013, which found that patients faced a 30% increase risk of stroke or heart attack when taking testosterone replacement therapy, as opposed to those men who were not. That study suggests a 30% increase risk of stroke, heart attack or death from men aged 60 and older with an underlying history of cardiovascular disease, based on the patient population.
The 2014 Finkle study found a connection between testosterone therapy and an increased risk of heart attack among men aged 65 and up, as well as an increased risk of heart attack among younger men with a pre-existing history of heart disease. This is a much larger sample size and population, and there were a significant number of men under age 65 that also had the same risk as the older men.
Importance of Independent Studies
Studies demonstrating the dangers associated with testosterone therapy are important when preparing a claim. Pharmaceutical companies conduct their own testing of the medication before submitting a medicine to the FDA for approval. However, the FDA reviews all medical studies and literature for each of the various drugs that they must approve.
Independent studies that prove a correlation or risk association are important because they give the FDA another sample size and data set regarding what a particular drug can do and cause. Independent studies can ultimately cause the FDA to take action, such as require a company to update warning labels, issue a recall, or issue safety communications to the public.