Patients should understand the dangers of testosterone replacement therapy before they undergo the procedure. If they have already undergone testosterone replacement therapy and suffered medical complications, a medical malpractice attorney can help them understand whether a lawsuit is an option.
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Testosterone Replacement Therapy
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. Most patients are unaware of the dangers of testosterone therapy.
Testosterone is taken a treat a number of symptoms, including:
- 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 the dangers of testosterone therapy and its adverse effects.
For instance, a study published in the Journal of American Medicine last fall found 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 by 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 Treatment Lawsuit
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. Any patients suffering adverse side effects from testosterone therapy may consider filing a testosterone replacement therapy lawsuit. It may be the only way for a patient to protect his or her rights.
The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Ankin Law 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 medical malpractice law firm of Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 to discuss a possible testosterone lawsuit.