Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism or andropause, is a condition in which the amount of testosterone in a man gradually declines. Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. Along with sexual and reproduction function, testosterone is important for muscle growth, bone density, and an overall sense of well-being.
It is estimated that low testosterone affects approximately 39 percent of men over the age of 45. Typically the decline of testosterone begins around the age of 30 and continues throughout life, 20 percent of men over 60 suffer from hypogonadism while 30 percent men over 70 do as well.
Although the condition is spurred by age, there are several other causes such as injury or infection to the testicles, cirrhosis of the liver, congenital disorders such as Kallman’s Syndrome, hemochromatosis, and more.
Despite the lack of understanding, there is on testosterone deficiency, many treatments have been approved. In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they will be reviewing the safety of testosterone therapy after a new study noted that there are increased health risks.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious side effects due to testosterone therapy, the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. At The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, our highly trained attorneys have numerous courtroom victories and negotiated settlements that have helped to recover tens of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and can help to fight for the justice you deserve.
For a no-cost, no-obligation review of your testosterone therapy claim, call us today at (217) 394-5885 or fill out the contact form – it’s completely confidential.
At Tapella & Eberspacher, we proudly offer 100% FREE case reviews and we only get paid when we win.
Types of Testosterone Therapy Replacement
As the amount of testosterone your body produces continues to decline with age, some men may opt for testosterone therapy. Some of the most common types of testosterone therapy include:
- Intramuscular injections
- Testosterone patches
- Testosterone gels
- Oral tablets
- Testosterone stick
The options available provide adequate levels of hormone replacement, but each has their own disadvantages. The most common type of therapy is use of a gel which is used by approximately 70 percent of patients, according to the Urology Care Foundation.
Popular brand name testosterone therapy replacement products include:
Testosterone therapy may stimulate the growth of the prostate, if early prostate cancer is present then the testosterone may stimulate the cancer’s growth.
Testosterone Therapy Side-Effects
In 2014, the FDA announced that they would be reviewing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and death in men taking FDA-approved testosterone products. The investigation was spurred after a recent report published in the PLoS One journal found that certain therapies increased the risk of heart attack in men with a history of heart disease.
In 2013, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that men using testosterone therapy were 30 percent more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack or stroke three years after use of testosterone therapy.
Additional side effects of testosterone products include:
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots
- Low sperm count
- Sleep apnea
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Painful or enlarged breasts
- Enlarged prostate
- Acne and other skin irritations
- Increased risk of prostate cancer
In 2013, The New York Times highlighted testosterone therapy in an article and noted that many men were now using the therapy for low energy and decreased sex drive rather than specific disorders such as hormone deficiencies. Advertising was blamed as direct-to-consumer advertisements urged older men to speak to their physicians about low testosterone. According to The New York Times article, sales of AndroGel, a popular topical testosterone gel, have more than doubled between 2007 and 2012.
Long-term research on testosterone therapy has been minimal despite the FDA approving many of these therapeutic products. Minimal studies on the long term effects along with the increased use of these products has led the FDA to question how safe testosterone therapy is.
Side Effects to Women and Children
Testosterone treatment should only be used by adult men and it is not known if it safe or effective in men under the age of 18. A safety notice on the label for Androgel and other testosterone gels notes that the gel can transfer from one person to another.
Women and children should avoid contact with the unwashed or unclothed area where the gel is applied as they can be exposed to the medication through skin-to-skin contact. It has been noted that young children exposed to the testosterone have exhibited signs of puberty that are not expected such as increased erections in boys and premature development of pubic hair.
Women exposed to the testosterone gel may suffer from:
- Changes in body hair
- Significant increase in acne
- Enlarged clitoris
- Changes in behavior
According to manufacturers, men should try to apply the gel in areas such as their shoulders or rib cage which can easily be covered with a t-shirt or other article of clothing.
In 2013, The New York Times highlighted testosterone therapy in an article and noted that many men were now using the therapy for low energy and decreased sex drive rather than specific hormone disorders. Advertising was blamed on direct-to-consumer advertisements that urge older men to speak to their physicians about low testosterone. According to The New York Times article, sales of AndroGel, a popular topical testosterone gel, have more than doubled between 2007 and 2012.
Additionally, a major increase in testosterone use has been seen in 37 countries according to a study in the Medical Journal of Australia. In the United States drug makers spent $107 million advertising testosterone according to Kantar Media. The advertisements are often posed as “quizzes” and when men identify with the symptoms mentioned they will ask their physicians about treatment.
Skin patches and gels were originally approved by the FDA to treat classic testosterone deficiency rather than the decline of testosterone levels due to age. Misleading advertisements could lead to men who do not need testosterone therapy to be put at risk of suffering from serious medical conditions.
Contact our Dangerous Drug Attorneys Today
Although there are advantages and disadvantages to these drugs, the FDA is now looking into further side effects men undergoing testosterone therapy may have suffered. If you or a loved one suffered serious side effects due to testosterone therapy, our lawyers are here to help.
The attorneys at Tapella & Eberspacher understand low testosterone can affect a man’s well-being and confidence, however, we also believe that drug manufacturers should be held responsible for failing to adequately know of, or advise consumers of, the dangers of testosterone therapy.
With a superior reputation for quality, personal service and handling complex litigation we will work hard to ensure that you get the justice you deserve. We can provide legal counsel and help to guide you through the litigation process.
We have offices located in Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. For more information on how we may be able to help you with your dangerous drug claim, contact us at (217) 394-5885. Your initial case consultation is 100% FREE and completely confidential.