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Testosterone Benefits & Risks

Testosterone Lawsuit

In recent months, several studies have suggested an association between the use of testosterone and increased risks of stroke, heart attack, and death. One of the most recent studies published in PLOS One – which you can read more about here – suggested that heart attack risks double in men over the age of 65 using testosterone and nearly triple in men with a history of heart disease.

In response to these studies, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement on January 31, 2014 that it would be investigating the association between the use of FDA-approved testosterone products and the risk of stroke, heart attack, and death. FDA-approved testosterone products may include:

  • Topical Gels, including AndroGel
  • Transdermal Patches
  • Buccal Systems
  • Injections

Weighting Benefits & Risks

As studies into the association between testosterone and heart risks continue, researchers and the FDA are stressing the importance for men and doctors to discuss risks and benefits. Some of these studies include:

  • A study published in 2010 revealed that men taking testosterone were stronger and could more easily carry weight up a flight of stairs than men who did not take testosterone. However, men using testosterone experienced nearly five times the number of cardiovascular problems.
  • A 2012 study of veterans over the age of 40 with low testosterone suggested that men taking testosterone therapy were less likely to die.
  • A 2013 study published in JAMA suggested that men taking testosterone faced a 30% increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and death.

These studies offer conflicting evidence and suggest alarming risks for cardiovascular problems. Another issue concerning medical experts is that testosterone use by men over 40 has skyrocketed in the past decade – nearly quadrupling from 2001 to 2011. The popularity of testosterone, direct marketing to consumers, and belief that testosterone has become a type of male cure-all, according to experts, means that many men without a true medical need are taking testosterone.

One researcher has suggested that benefits of testosterone therapy can outweigh the risks in men who actually have low testosterone levels. For others with normal levels, however, testosterone may be nothing more than snake oil, with risks outweighing the benefits.

More Research

In addition to FDA research, the National Institutes of Health is conducting a government-funded clinical trial to more closely analyze the benefits and risks of testosterone therapy. As encouraged by the FDA, men should always discuss their need for testosterone therapy with a qualified medical professional, including their underlying condition, testosterone levels, and the risks and benefits of taking testosterone.

The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP is currently investigating claims from men who experienced cardiovascular problems – including stroke or heart attack – after taking testosterone products. For more information about your claim, call 800-773-0849.

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