The recent publication research studies have left many men who are currently taking testosterone drugs, wondering whether they may have harmed their health in the process. A Cincinnati doctor, Dr. Charles Glueck, warned men this past September to have a simple blood test to determine whether they are at risk for blood clots prior to beginning any testosterone supplement. According to Glueck’s study, published in the medical journal Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis, dangerous blood clots can develop as soon as one month after testosterone replacement therapy begins. Levels of testosterone naturally decline as men age, decreasing from 1-3% each year after the age of 30.
Testosterone, which occurs in the body naturally, helps men maintain muscle mass, strength and bone density and prevents the loss of libido, flagging energy levels, erectile dysfunction or the accumulation of fat in the belly region. Even though testosterone levels do decline with age, testosterone supplements are only approved by the FDA to treat hypogonadism which is a medical condition that prohibits the production of testosterone. Despite this, many doctors have engaged in off-label prescriptions for men who may simply be looking for the fountain of youth. What these men may not have expected, is that the dangers of testosterone therapy could be extremely serious. Another study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association in November, 2013, placed the risk of heart attack, stroke and death among those taking testosterone supplements at 30% higher than those men not taking these supplements.
Delatestryl, manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals, has been marketed since it received FDA approval on December 24, 1953, and like other testosterone drugs was approved for use in men with hypogonadism. Endo Pharmaceuticals also markets another testosterone drug, Fortesta, which is a gel, while Delatestryl is administered via an intramuscular injection. Adverse reactions noted in the literature which accompanies Delatestryl include alterations in liver function, jaundice, nausea, suppression of clotting factors, headache, anxiety, depression, an increase in serum cholesterol, inflammation and pain at the injection site. Like other testosterone drugs, Delatestryl is classified as a controlled substance under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990.
Hypogonadism Not the Same as Decreased Testosterone Levels Due to Aging
Aggressive marketing campaigns on the part of testosterone manufacturers are telling men that many of the normal “symptoms” of aging are the result of low testosterone, therefore require testosterone therapy. As Dr. Joel Finkelstein, associate professor of Harvard Medical School, notes, “The problem is that no one has proved it works and we don’t know the risks.” Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist is alarmed by the extremely high number of men using testosterone drugs, achieving testosterone levels Dr. Topol describes as “ridiculously high.” Men who believe they have “low-T,” may simply be experiencing the normal effects of aging, and testosterone drugs come with a serious risk of coronary artery disease. Many insurers are covering the costs of expensive hormone treatments, some costing as much as $500 per month.
With the filing of five lawsuits against the manufacturer of Andro-Gel, it is expected that many more will follow. Of the five men, three suffered heart attacks, one suffered a stroke and one a mini-stroke after beginning testosterone therapy. If you feel you have been harmed or injured after beginning testosterone supplements, it can be important to speak with an experienced testosterone injury lawyer as soon as possible.