Testosterone Product Lawsuits
A 2014 study shows that men over 65 years old and even younger men who have pre-existing heart conditions are at greater risk of heart attack if they are taking medication for low testosterone. Testosterone medication has been prescribed for men who have complained to their physicians that they have low sex drive or are seeking physical boost. Testosterone medicine is often seen on television commercials, on the internet and other media where drug or a supplement is being advertised as enhancing the lives of men of all ages with the simple use of testosterone products. One of the makers of the testosterone product, AndroGel has been the target of lawsuits because of associated heart attacks, strokes and heart-related side effects that testosterone enhancements products or supplements such as the AndroGel have caused.
The 2014 study comes out of the work done by the National Cancer Institute, UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and Consolidated Research, Inc. which came up with statistical methods to show that men with pre-existing heart conditions were twice as likely to have a fatal heart attack within 3 months after they began taking testosterone enhancement medication. This collective report compared other men of the same ages who were not taking the testosterone drugs.
In addition, the study confirms earlier reports that showed men taking testosterone drugs were developing heart problems not long after beginning the use of testosterone medicine.
In January 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would be investigating the use of testosterone products because of the added risks of heart attack, stroke and other heart ailments associated with the taking of testosterone products.
Low testosterone occurs in about 3-7% of the male population of the United States. Symptoms of testosterone deficiencies include tiredness, low libido and infertility. Some doctors have been prescribing testosterone products to men who requested the supplement for benefits such as increased energy and ability to work out or exercise at a more competitive pace.
Some of the products prescribed to treat low testosterone include:
Sales of testosterone products to men have been skyrocketing since the late 1980s. As of 2011, sales were expected to have reached $1.6 billion. There seems to be a lack of consensus as to whether or not the prescribing of testosterone products to men is beneficial. Although many physicians prescribe the medication, some are opposed to it because of the risks associated with heart attack, stroke and other heart ailments.
There has been filed whistleblower lawsuit in the federal district court in Texas that alleged that Solvay Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as Unimed Pharmaceuticals, was improperly marketing the testosterone product AndroGel. AndroGel was not approved to treat the erectile dysfunction as Viagra is, but nevertheless was marketed as a product that would more or less follow the use of Viagra. In the whistleblower lawsuit, a former sales manager attributed AndroGel’s rise in sales to the company’s decision to market the drug for off-label uses even though it wasn’t approved to treat erectile dysfunction.
As of February 2014, there have been a number of lawsuits filed against Abbott Laboratories and its spinoff AbbVie, Inc. alleging injuries because of the use of AndroGel.
These testosterone products and there are more coming onto the market all of the time, can be dangerous. It seems that not only Abbott Laboratories but others are using the marketing practice of testosterone products as a way to piggyback on the success pharmaceuticals have had with erectile dysfunction drugs that have been approved by the FDA. Eli Lilly & Co. is another manufacturer that has faced criticism for these tactics.
Many men have found that taking testosterone products have little effect on the belief that they would have increased energy, increased libido and longer workouts and compare that to the high-risk of cardiac injury. The problems persist that the unnecessary use of testosterone supplements can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, stroke and related heart ailments. Caution should be taken when considering using these products.
If you or someone you know has been injured or harmed by using testosterone products or supplements, please call us for an immediate free consultation. Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling pharmaceutical defect cases for more than 40 years.
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