Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 15, 2014

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The Drugs Used To Treat Low T

Low T refers to Low Testosterone, a condition that is not a disease. Low T is a symptom and is therefore not an approved medical condition according to the FDA. Despite this, pharmaceutical companies have created disease awareness campaigns aimed at getting mostly middle-aged and older men to the doctor to be prescribed drugs for treatment.

Pharmaceutical companies have created the following treatment drugs:

  • AndroGel
  • AndroGel 1.0% (gel)
  • Androgel 1.6% (gel)
  • Axiron (topical/underarm)
  • Androderm (patch)
  • Testim (gel)
  • Testopel (implant pellet)
  • Fortesta (gel)
  • Depo Testosterone (injection)

A patient is at increased risk of ill health and death if they use these treatments for a symptom and not a diagnosed disease. Testosterone is simply a biomarker associated with a man’s general health and naturally declines with age. Lower testosterone levels in older men are also associated with the presence of chronic diseases prevalent in western populations, such as obesity, smoking, and diabetes.

An increasing number of older men with lower testosterone levels are using these products despite not meeting diagnostic or symptomatic criteria for a recognised testosterone-related disease, such as hypogonadism. These men are at significant risk of ill-health and death if they use these treatments.

Risks of Using These Drugs

Several large studies published in 2014 have listed several serious risks associated with using the above treatments for Low T. Current labelling of these products does not include a warning for heart attack or stroke, nor does it recommend any pre-screening for cardiovascular disease.

Studies show that use these drugs includes the following risks:

  • Injury to the vein
  • Slow blood flow
  • Increased estrogen
  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Myocardial infarction (Heart attack)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Spinal Cord Infarction (Tissue death)
  • Stroke
  • Death

While one study indicates the highest risk is for men over the age of 65, all studies support a broad warning of heart attack and stroke. Men should also be screened for cardiovascular disease before starting the medication. Warnings should also be given in regard to blood clots, which can cause death.

A doctor should have a detailed conversation with their patient about the risks and benefits of using testosterone. Adding additional hormones into the body can place the patient at severe risk. In older men and in younger men with pre-existing diagnosed heart disease, the risks are substantially increased.

Consult With An Experienced Injury and Product Liability Attorney

Consumers are being misinformed and their health is being put at risk due to incorrect labelling and insufficient warnings associated with these drugs. If you, or someone you know, have suffered from a heart attack or other health problem following Low T drug use, then you should consult with an experience injury and product liability attorney right away.