Low Testosterone Drugs May Increase Risk of Serious Health Problems

Low testosterone drugs may cause serious health problems in some men.

Men who take prescription medication to raise their testosterone levels also may be raising their risk of other serious health problems. Research studies and professional opinions are amassing that support the conclusion that low testosterone medicines are dangerous, and hundreds of lawsuits have been filed alleging just that.

Testosterone is the hormone that stimulates the development of male sexual characteristics. The aging process and certain medical conditions can cause lower than normal levels of testosterone, a condition that may be referred to as Androgen Deficiency or AD, or hypogonadism.

The condition may cause a myriad of challenging symptoms, including:

  • Sweating and hot flashes
  • Fatigue, low energy and sleep problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Weakened muscles
  • Sexual problems
  • Hair loss
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • And more

So it is understandable why men suffering from low testosterone are often interested in so-called low-T drugs or treatment, touted by clinics that set up shop for the purpose of treating these patients. However, evidence and professional opinions are raising alarm.

For example, Dr. Steven Nissen, prominent cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, shares his safety concerns on the clinic website, namely that not enough is known about low-T medications, which are not the “fountain of youth.” He cites a U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA panel’s recommendation that low-T drugs only be prescribed for low testosterone levels caused by diseases or other medical conditions, not by aging.

Dr. Nissen also refers to a 2013 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or VA study for the finding that patients with pre-existing heart conditions who took low-T drugs had almost a 30 percent higher chance of stroke and heart attack.

The FDA for its part issued a Drug Safety Communication in early 2014 that cites the VA study as well as another study published in January 2014 reporting with low-T therapy a higher risk of heart attacks in men at least 65 and in younger men who already had heart disease.

In June 2014, the FDA ordered that low testosterone drug labels contain a warning about the risk of venous blood clots.

The FDA also convened a panel of experts in September 2014 to look at these issues. The panel recommended that product labeling be changed to say that the drugs should only be prescribed for medically caused low testosterone and not that caused by aging, according to The Associated Press. The panel also reportedly found the other studies inconclusive and voted that pharmaceutical companies should be ordered to do a long-term study on the impact of testosterone drugs on heart health.

In the meantime, more than 200 lawsuits against low testosterone drug companies have been consolidated in federal multi-district litigation in Illinois. In addition, many such suits have been filed in state courts across the country alleging injury and even death from low-T therapy based on many legal theories, including product liability, failure to warn, misrepresentation, negligence and more.

Any man who has suffered heart or blood clot problems, or other ill effects, after taking low-T drugs, or any family member of a man who has suffered in this way and passed away, should contact an experienced dangerous drug attorney as soon as possible for an assessment of whether legal basis for filing a lawsuit exists and of other legal options.

In California, Washington, Utah, and Oregon, such victims can contact an attorney with knowledge of current low-T drug litigation at Brayton Purcell LLP with offices in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Portland.