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Dangers of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Written by Ankin Law Office

The use of testosterone supplements among American men has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, almost 3 percent of American men over the age of 40 have been prescribed some form of testosterone therapy and, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg Business Week, sales of testosterone are projected to reach $5 billion by 2017.

Testosterone is taken a treat a number of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and bone loss
  • Decreased libido

Although there are several ways to treat low testosterone, many doctors and patients are rushing to use testosterone replacement therapy, which comes in many forms such as:

  • Testosterone patches
  • Testosterone gels
  • Buccal testosterone patch (placed on upper gum each day)
  • Testosterone injections (given every few weeks)
  • Subcutaneous testosterone pellets (inserted under the skin every three to six months)

Dangers of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Yet, despite its widespread use, testosterone supplements are not necessarily safe. In fact, testosterone therapy has been linked to a number of serious side effects, including heart attack, stroke, and even death. Moreover, data is mounting that shows just how dangerous testosterone therapy really is.

For instance, a study published in the Journal of American Medicine last fall found that that among men with heart disease and low testosterone levels, the use of testosterone therapy increased the risk of serious problems including heart attack, stroke, and death of nearly 30 percent. 

In addition to risk of stroke and heart attack, testosterone therapy has a number of other side effects, including:

  • Acne and oily skin
  • Lower sperm count (which can cause infertility)
  • Higher red blood cell count (which can increase risk of heart attack and stroke)
  • Shrinkage of the testicles
  • Larger breasts
  • Worsening of urinary symptoms
  • Increased male pattern baldness

Unnecessary Use of Testosterone Therapy

Not only is testosterone therapy dangerous – particularly if the patient has a history of heart disease – but it is often prescribed when a patient does not need it. The Washington Post reports that the number of men starting testosterone therapy has almost quadrupled in the United States since 2000 and the majority of these patients had not had their testosterone levels measured recently or only had them tested once prior to beginning treatment, which is inadequate evidence that testosterone replacement therapy is necessary.

Testosterone Lawsuits Mounting

Manufacturers of unsafe pharmaceuticals, including testosterone gels and other forms of testosterone therapy, can be held accountable for their products and you may be able to recover money damages for medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress caused by dangerous testosterone side effects. Additionally, doctors who negligently and unnecessarily prescribe testosterone replacement therapy could be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Chicago testosterone attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC are committed to protecting the victims of unsafe pharmaceuticals, such as testosterone replacement therapy. We have considerable experience representing clients in a wide variety of personal injury and product liability lawsuits, including class actions lawsuits based on unsafe pharmaceutical drugs. If you have suffered serious testosterone side effects, contact the skilled Chicago unsafe pharmaceutical drug law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to discuss a possible testosterone lawsuit.