If you, a friend or a loved one has suffered an injury associated with taking testosterone therapy, please contact the Law Offices of John David Hart at 800-247-1623 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your legal rights. In recent months, there has been an increasing amount of evidence indicating that testosterone therapy may cause serious and permanent injuries resulting from heart attack and strokes in patients.
In November 2013, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the results of a study that sought to understand the relationship between testosterone therapy intake and health issues in men, particularly heart attack and stroke. The study assessed a group of men across the country with low testosterone levels that underwent heart tests, such as coronary angiographies, between 2005 and 2011. The results of the study indicate there is an association between the use of testosterone therapy and an increase in adverse health risks, specifically heart attack and stroke.
Rise of testosterone therapy use in the United States
The use of testosterone therapy in the U.S. has increased dramatically in the past few years. According to the JAMA study, in 2011 alone, 5.3 million testosterone therapy prescriptions were filled, leading to a market with revenues of over $1.6 billion. Furthermore, the number of testosterone prescriptions increased more than five-fold between 2005 and 2011.
Fortesta is a commonly prescribed testosterone gel sold in the U.S. (image from http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/archives/fdaDrugInfo.cfm?archiveid=45112)
Reasons for prescribing testosterone therapy
Doctors typically prescribe testosterone therapy for patients who are experiencing testosterone deficiencies. This type of therapy can be helpful in improving strength, addressing depression, improving bone mineral density and improving sexual function. However, there is a lack of information available on how testosterone therapy can affect older men with cardiovascular diseases, a problem that this study sought to address.
Link between testosterone therapy and heart attack, stroke
Researchers in this study found a significant association between the use of testosterone therapy and adverse health risks, such as heart attack and ischemic stroke. Perhaps more alarming, this association was found amongst patients with and without coronary artery disease (CAD). The researchers themselves stated that “these findings raise concerns about the potential safety of testosterone therapy.”
Testim is a commonly prescribed testosterone gel sold in the U.S. (image obtained from http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/archives/fdaDrugInfo.cfm?archiveid=68586)
Possible explanations for link between testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risk
There are several possible explanations for the link between the use of testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risk. The first explanation indicates that testosterone use can lead to an increase in platelet formation in the body. Research shows that platelets can contribute to coronary plaque formation. This plaque formation can eventually result in acute coronary syndrome.
The second explanation states that testosterone therapy can lead to increases in smooth muscle proliferation throughout the body. This in turn increases the presence of white blood cells, known as monocytes, in the cellular lining of blood vessels. Monocytes have been found to lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to the development of acute coronary syndrome.
Finally, testosterone therapy can worsen breathing problems amongst patients who suffer from severe sleep apnea. Severe sleep apnea has been found to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis can in turn lead to severe heart problems.
Implications of study on future of testosterone therapy
The results of the JAMA study indicate that further research must be done to further understand the possible health risks associated with taking testosterone therapy. It is vitally important for doctors to discuss with their patients both the possible health benefits and the possible health risks associated with the use of testosterone therapy. Patients should be aware that testosterone therapy can be harmful and that the long-term risks of using these types of medications are still unknown.
If you or a loved one has experienced a heart attack or stroke while taking testosterone therapy, contact the Law Offices of John David Hart at 800-247-1623 or email@example.com to discuss your legal rights. We are experienced in helping individuals and families deal with the devastating effects of dangerous drugs and are dedicated to helping you during this difficult time.