In light of a recent study that found men over the age of 65 and men with known heart disease using testosterone face increased stroke and heart attack risks, medical experts have expressed concerns over the widespread use of testosterone therapy. Many believe that far too many men are being prescribed testosterone without a legitimate need; some being prescribed without even having their testosterone levels tested.
Researchers have stated that the risks posed by testosterone therapy are significant – equivalent to smoking one or two packs a day or having very high cholesterol. While testosterone therapy is prescribed for conditions such as low testosterone, drug manufacturers often market testosterone directly to consumers, capitalizing on claims of increased strength and sexual function.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, these marketing efforts were a success:
- More than 5.3 million prescriptions for testosterone therapy were written in 2011 – five times as many than in 2000.
- From 2001 to 2011, the number of men taking testosterone nearly quadrupled.
- Nearly 4% of men in their 60s use testosterone.
- Only half of all men taking testosterone are diagnosed with hypogonadism – a condition that causes low testosterone. 25% had never even had their testosterone tested.
- The most common diagnoses were sexual dysfunction and lack of energy.
Medical professionals have suggested that these statistics should prompt the medical community to reconsider prescription practices. Proper diagnosis, they believe, should be based on evaluations of symptoms, lab tests, and a patient’s overall health needs. Regulators such as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration should also require companies that manufacture and market testosterone therapy to conduct more rigorous trials to examine heart risks.
At The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, our legal team is currently investigating cases of adverse effects – including heart disease and heart attack – in men who have taken testosterone. If you would like to learn more about your case and rights, call (949) 557-5800.