Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone that tends to decrease in men as they age. Many choose to supplement their testosterone levels to enhance energy and strength, ward off depression, and increase sex drive. In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding a condition known as “low-t,” which many believe is nothing more than the gradual decrease in testosterone levels that occur as a man ages.
Many believe the epidemic of low-t is perpetuated by drug marketing companies that want to sell prescription testosterone products. These medications are available to men who report symptoms associated with decreased testosterone levels, such as fatigue, feelings of depression, and decreased sex drive. There are also younger men who request the product from their doctors in hope of improving their stamina and promoting physical enhancements.
For many, prescription testosterone medications do improve quality of life and leave men feeling better than they have in years. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone, though, and many men have found their use of testosterone lead to serious adverse side effects.
Testosterone and Heart Issues
One of the greatest concerns about testosterone prescriptions is the way in which it seems to contribute to cardio-pulmonary issues. These medications have been linked to an increase in heart attacks and strokes. There have even been some cases in which the use of testosterone proved fatal.
Though there are risks associated with all types of medications, there are concerns about low-t products because many believe the manufacturers of these medications were aware of the risks and concealed them from consumers. Increasingly, the drugs used to treat low-t are coming under scrutiny not only for their risks, but for how they are marketed so aggressively by drug companies. Often, ads for low-t medications focus only on the benefits of the drugs, often over-exaggerating them, and leading men to believe they are in need of treatment based on nothing more than their normal symptoms of aging.
There have been a number of lawsuits filed against drug makers that have low-t products on the market. The lawsuits claim the drug manufacturers failed to provide reasonably appropriate and accurate information to consumers and to the medical community concerning the risks and benefits of their medications.
Testosterone Medications and the FDA
In 2014, the FDA announced an investigation into testosterone medications and their potential link to heart attack and stroke. The agency planned to look at the side effects associated with the medications, as well as the manner in which they are promoted and marketed by drug makers.
The following year, the FDA issued a safety warning that testosterone users faced an increased risk for stroke, heart attack, and death. In October 2016, the FDA announced that supplemental testosterone can cause heart attacks, as well as infertility and personality changes. It also warned against the potential for men to abuse the drugs. Also included in its overall warnings about testosterone was mention of:
- Heart failure
- Liver toxicity
Men using abusively high doses of testosterone are at risk for withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, decreased libido and insomnia.
As a result of its findings, the agency ordered all prescription testosterone products have label revisions to warn consumers of the risks.
Legal Action Related to Prescription Testosterone Medications
There are currently millions of men in the United States that use testosterone products and many have experienced side effects. In many cases, those side effects were severe. Though some of the men prescribed testosterone medications do suffer from conditions that make it medically necessary to boost testosterone levels, the majority of men taking prescription testosterone supplements are doing because of quality of life concerns. And there is growing concern over whether there are really even any benefits to supplementing testosterone levels when they are reduced as a natural part of aging.
If you or a loved one used a prescription testosterone medication and suffered a cardio-pulmonary health incident or any other side effect, you might have a right to take legal action. We want to share as much information about these low-t products as possible in hopes of better informing consumers and helping them, with their doctor’s guidance, make the best decisions possible about their health.