Many men who have undergone treatment for low testosterone are filing a lawsuit against the manufacturers of these drugs, citing serious side effects arising from their use. For many experts, it’s no surprise that this form of hormone treatment is now regarded with a lot of skepticism. From the outset, the treatment has primarily been sold on unverifiable claims, and doctors still aren’t sure what actually constitutes low testosterone. While many doctors have noted some improvement in patients who have received these supplements, it’s difficult to predict who will benefit and whether the benefits are worth the risks.
Why are some experts concerned with how Low-T drugs are marketed?
There are many medical facilities that try to market the drugs based on weakly supported claims of improved sexual performance and other such assertions. These facilities often fail to examine patients to determine what their proper hormonal levels are, merely promising miracle cures with hormonal replacement therapy. Commercials advertising the drugs often make them seem like hormonal replacement can replace manhood itself, a powerful lure for men who are older. Marketing efforts are now being directed toward younger patients as well, selling the idea of embracing manliness by having more of the hormone.
It’s difficult for regulatory agencies to address this often-sensational marketing because the research is still weak, and because there are many companies selling the treatment.
Why are some men who have received testosterone supplements filing a lawsuit against drug makers?
Altering hormonal balance in the body is always a gamble, because there is really no telling how an individual will respond. For years, researchers accepted that replacement therapy could cause a number of side effects, like acne, breast swelling or rashes. These side effects usually disappear once treatment is halted.
Serious side effects include an increased risk of prostate cancer, prostatic hypertrophy (a swelling of the prostate) and worsening sleep apnea.
Most legal action, though, concerns a number of cardiovascular risks. In November 2013, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that tracked nearly 9,000 men for three years after receiving a coronary angiography. Researchers found that within three years of the angiography approximately 20 percent of men who were not undergoing replacement therapy had experienced a cardiac event. Among men who were receiving replacement therapy, the portion of men who suffered a cardiac event within three years jumped up to 26 percent. After checking for other factors, researchers determined that hormone replacement therapy was responsible for the risk increase.
A study by the Boston University School of Medicine confirmed the JAMA report, determining that hormone replacement therapy results in a five-fold increase in risk of severe heart complications. These can result in, but are not limited to, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, or congestive heart failure.
Within days of the FDA releasing a safety report on testosterone, the first lawsuit was already filed against several supplement manufacturers, including Pfizer, Abbott, AbbVie and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. Now, more than 100 claims are currently being organized in courts around the nation, so victims will soon have a chance to attain justice for their suffering.