Testosterone replacement therapy, used clinically since 1937 and approved by the FDA in 1953, has been used to improve testosterone levels in men with lower than normal testosterone levels. The number of testosterone prescriptions given to American men has tripled since 2001. Since testosterone treatments have exploded in popularity, the treatment is now administered in at least five forms, including patches, gels, and injections.
Testosterone gels are applied once daily to intact skin of the shoulders or upper arms. AbbVie’s AndroGel currently accounts for 66% of the prescriptions in the gel market. The top manufacturers of testosterone treatments include AbbVie, Eli Lilly & Co, Pfizer Inc., and Endo International, but there are others that produce the products. A majority of the lawsuits are filed against the aforementioned.
The following is a list of other testosterone treatments that are looking to expand with the continued push in the market for the treatment of “Low T:”
- Androderm Patch
- Axiron Gel
- Delatestryl Gel
- Depo-Testosterone Gel
- Fortesta Gel
- Striant Gel
- Testim Gel
- Testopel Gel
Testosterone treatments have long been used to treat the medical condition known as hypogonadism in which the body does not produce enough testosterone. Hypogonadism is tested by looking at the testosterone levels in the blood. This measures the patient’s hormone levels and allows the doctor to rule out other conditions. It is estimated that up to one-quarter of the testosterone treatment prescriptions are dispensed without a blood test, and often there is little or no re-testing or dose adjustment after the initial prescription.
The lack of testing has permitted many testosterone products to be administered to patients who may not have hypogonadism, but rather, simply experience low testosterone due to the natural aging process. This has put many aging men at risk of suffering a heart attack, embolism, or stroke due to the testosterone treatment.
Disease Mongering Leads to Testosterone Treatment Lawsuit
The manufacturers of testosterone replacement gel have manipulated and coerced men into seeing their doctor to see if they suffer from “Low T” by asking a variety of questions through advertisements including, “Do you have a decrease in sex drive? Lack of energy? A decrease in strength and/or endurance? A loss in height? Have you noticed a decrease in your enjoyment of life? Are you sad or grumpy? Are your erections less strong?”
Well produced advertisements show aging men who claim to be “back in the swing of things” after using the gel. These marketing materials did not carry the warning of increased risk of heart attack, embolism, or stroke.
Critics now question this marketing tactic. Testosterone levels have always declined naturally by age, but men’s average testosterone levels have been dropping from historical levels by at least 1 percent a year, according to a 2006 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The reasons for this decline seem to be tied to drugs like steroids, an increase in weight, chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) that is found in plastic food containers, and diseases like Type 2 diabetes.
So should you treat this natural decline? Is this a new condition? “Low T,” as this condition has been labeled by the testosterone replacement manufacturers, isn’t nearly as common as they would have you believe. Pharmaceutical companies have seized on the decline in testosterone levels as a marketing objective designed to coerce men into asking for the treatment.
Pharmaceutical companies aim to convince men that common effects of aging like slowing down a bit and feeling less sexual actually constitutes a new disease and that they need a prescription to cure it.
Aggressive marketing of “Low-T” to the public and doctors has resulted in a boom for testosterone treatments manufacturers. Testosterone gels represent 89% of the overall $2.1 billion testosterone replacement therapy market. Sales of all testosterone-boosting drugs are projected to accumulate to $3.8 billion in 2018.
Avoiding taking medication to increase testosterone levels may be in the best interest of many and anyone considering taking testosterone boosting drugs should speak to their doctor about the benefits and risks. There are also natural ways to increase testosterone levels such as an improved diet, natural supplements, exercise, or getting enough sleep.
Testosterone Treatments Increase Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
The problem with testosterone drugs is that it doesn’t just give your testosterone levels a boost – it may also increase your risk of a heart attack. In some men, it increases aggression and irritability. Children who accidentally come in contact with the hormone (because their father applies it topically) can develop unwanted pubic hair and genital changes.
New research has found that testosterone treatments could cause many unwanted side effects, including an increased risk of stroke, heart attack or even death which has led to a testosterone treatment lawsuit. According to studies, men younger than 65 with known heart disease had a two-fold increase in the risk of a nonfatal heart attack shortly after initiation of testosterone therapy. Older men with a history of heart disease were 30% more likely to suffer from an adverse event such as a stroke, heart attack or even death.
The link between the drugs and deadly consequences have resulted in a testosterone treatment lawsuit.
Testosterone Treatment Lawsuit Filed
Testosterone lawsuits have been filed by men who suffered heart attacks and strokes while using testosterone treatments. The FDA re-examined the safety of testosterone replacement treatments after two studies showed a higher risk of heart attack risk and strokes in men who use them. The testosterone treatment lawsuit claims that the men who used testosterone treatments were deceived by a marketing campaign that underplayed the risks despite the fact that the manufacturers have known the risks.