I was prescribed testosterone and suffered severe side effects. Should I file a lawsuit?
The drug industry has cleverly and aggressively marketed testosterone therapy to men in recent years. Despite not having an official medical condition, men were prescribed testosterone drugs and suffered severe complications as a result. Many are taking legal action against the makers of these testosterone products.
Recent research has shown risks related to testosterone therapy and other “low T” treatments are common and include:
- Ischemic stroke
- Myocardial infarction
These drugs were designed to treat a condition known as hypogonadism, which is a severe deficiency in testosterone levels. However, they are being marketed and prescribed to men who have natural and normal decreasing levels of testosterone.
FDA Issues Safety Announcement Regarding Testosterone Therapy
Issues with testosterone therapy became so bad the FDA finally issued a safety warning in 2014 regarding use of these drugs. It also announced it plans to investigate claims of problems after two studies showed an increased risk of negative reactions in people using testosterone therapy for just a short time.
The studies, one of which was published in PLOS ONE and the other in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), revealed a potential link between testosterone therapy and an increased risk for heart health problems.
According to data, there is a two to three fold increase in the risk for heart health problems for users of testosterone therapy within the initial 90 days of use for men over 65. Men under 65 with a history of heart disease face the same increased risk.
Testosterone Prescribed at an Astounding Rate
Much of the concern over testosterone therapy is because of the rate at which the drugs are prescribed.
Data suggests that nearly 43 percent of men who are given testosterone prescriptions actually have normal levels of testosterone based on their age.
Men experience a natural decline in testosterone levels as they age. Drug companies that make testosterone supplements are accused of preying on these men and going as far as to create a condition – low T – to convince them they need medication.
Testosterone medications are available in a variety of forms and include:
- AndroGel – Produced by AbbVie
- Androderm – Produced by Actavis, Inc. (formerly Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Axiron – Produced by Eli Lilly and Company
- Bio-T-Gel – Produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals
- Depo-Testosterone – Produced by Pharmacia & Upjohn Company
- Fortesta – Produced by Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Striant – Produced by Columbia Laboratories
- Testim and Testopel – Produced by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals
Severe Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy
Though many of the side effects linked to testosterone therapy are mild, some are severe and can be deadly. There is also evidence testosterone therapy can worsen pre-existing conditions. Use of testosterone has been linked to:
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or enlarged prostate
- Prostate cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
Testosterone Therapy Lawsuits
Since the FDA issued its safety warning, many men have made public their injuries linked to use of testosterone. They suffered heart attacks, strokes, and mini-strokes following their use of testosterone therapy products. Lawsuits have been filed against AbbView, maker of Androgel, and more are expected.
There are an estimated five million testosterone prescriptions in action in the United States today. It’s one of the most popular drugs on the market.
Despite its popularity, there is growing concern users are at risk for severe complications related to their use of testosterone therapy. Current testosterone lawsuits include claims of:
- Misleading marketing tactics
- Understating risks
- Failure to warn of risks
If you or a loved one used testosterone therapy and experienced any adverse reactions because of it, you might have a right to compensation. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case.