Testosterone therapy is often recommended for men with prostate cancer and marketed to those of a certain age who feel they need a T boost. The popular medication, however, has been linked to a range of serious health effects, including high rates of kidney problems, stroke, heart attack, and even death. Dangerous drug attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn men currently undergoing or considering testosterone therapy to inform themselves of the true risks.
The study associating T medications and supplements with cardiac conditions was recently published in the highly-esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study followed over 8,500 men with low levels of testosterone. All patients recently underwent coronary angiography, which is a test to diagnose and treat heart and blood vessel conditions.
About 1,200 patients decided to begin T therapy after their heart tests. In the final results, 67 of the T therapy patients passed away, 23 suffered heart attacks, and 33 had strokes. The rate of adverse cardiac events was about 30% lower in the group of men who chose not to take T medications.
This 30% higher rate is particularly significant because the smaller cohort of men who chose to undergo T therapy were, overall, healthier and younger than the men who chose not to. All men were followed for three years after their initial heart tests, and, as stated, those taking T medicines were 30% more likely to suffer a serious cardiac event.
It is important to note that, among the patients who received T therapy, even the men who did not show preliminary signs of cardiac blockage were just as likely to suffer a cardiac event as those who had blocked arteries. This is extremely significant, as is suggests that spiked levels of testosterone could cause heart attacks and strokes in younger men with clear, unobstructed heart arteries.
Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Kidney Problems
The authors of the study concluded that the long-term risks of T therapy are still unknown, and their findings suggest that it may in fact be harmful. This is the second peer-reviewed study conducted on the health effects of testosterone medications in men; the first focused on men receiving T therapy for prostate cancer, and was also published in JAMA in 2013.
That study found that men receiving hormone-targeted therapy had a significantly higher risk of developing kidney problems (though it does lower the risk of death in men with advanced prostate cancer). In their concluding remarks, the authors suggested that physicians should be more careful in prescribing T therapy, particularly in men who have less-aggressive prostate cancer, as the risks may outweigh potential benefits.
The testosterone market in the United States is worth about $1.6 billion every year, and prescriptions are steadily increasing. T medications are marketed to men over the age of 60, who generally have high blood pressure and otherwise obstructed arteries. The promotions are aggressive, often displayed during sports games, news programs, and late-night talk shows.
The advertisements ask men if they’ve been feeling low in energy lately or experiencing decreased libido, then suggest that these could be caused by “low T.” Men are then prompted to go online and take a test to see if a product like AndroGel could “work for you!” and free you from all the normal signs of aging.
Subsequently, millions of men go to their doctor requesting T treatments, exposing themselves to an array of serious health risks despite little to no proof the medications will even cure their problems. Dangerous drug lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm urge men considering testosterone treatment to read up on all issues surrounding it. If you or a loved one took testosterone medications and suffered a serious cardiac or kidney condition, contact our firm immediately. You may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages through a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Our legal evaluations are completely free and available to injured patients nationwide.