What is Low T?

Increasingly, men are opting to use testosterone therapy to treat erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and loss of sex drive, which are all typical symptoms of low testosterone (also referred to as “Low T”). Even as pharmaceutical companies make record profits, these testosterone medications are being linked to troubling side effects. Many men have filed lawsuits after experiencing blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.

Testosterone therapy is prescribed most often to treat male hypogonadism (“Low T”), a condition that occurs when the body does not create enough hormones because of issues with the testicles or pituitary gland. There are several prescription medications that are used to treat hypogonadism. These medications have been found to do more than treat Low T; they contribute to heart failure.

Since 2000, there have been more than 1 million men tested for low testosterone. Half a million have begun treatment with hormone replacement therapy. Four times as many men are treated with this therapy than were treated in 2000. In 2011, almost one in 25 men in their 60s was being treated with testosterone.

It is estimated that testosterone treatment sales may reach $5 billion by the year 2017. Currently, almost $2 billion is spent on testosterone each year.

Types of Testosterone Products

There are several forms of testosterone products and supplements: from gels, creams, and injectable solutions, to pills and patches. Many of these are only available with a prescription, while some are available over the counter from drug and health food stores. A small amount even claim to be all-natural.

Regardless of the form, each of these supplements can cause side effects. In spite of this, drug manufacturers strategically market their products as a “fountain of youth,” and promise increases in strength, libido, and endurance.

Some of these products include:
Capsules: Methyltestosterone, Android
Gels: like Testim, AndroGel
Injections: Depo-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate)
Patches: Androderm
Boosters: DHEA, Testofen

Many men who had used testosterone treaments and suffered strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots sued Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, the maker of AndroGel.

A few examples of men who experienced these life-altering side effects include Stephen Nichols, 59, who had a heart attack after using AndroGel. Another, Edward Downes, 51, had a stroke, and stated AndroGel ruined his life. He now uses a cane to walk and has difficulty conducting daily activities as simple as taking out the garbage. Both of these men want Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie to stop selling the AndroGel.

In June 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) combined all federal testosterone lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Matthew F. Kennelly is presiding over the MDL. Thousands of lawsuits are predicted to be filed by plaintiffs’ attorneys./span>

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Complications & Side Effects of Low T

There are some doctors who believe that what is often diagnosed as hypogonadism is actually just symptoms of the normal aging process. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a study showing that record numbers of men are choosing testosterone therapy to increase their energy level and libido.

Critics state that Low T is an issue advertised by drug manufacturers in order to increase profits. Dr. Lisa Schwartz, a professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, authored a paper on drug companies who market testosterone hormone therapies. She told the New York Times, “We’re giving people hormones that we don’t know they need for a disease that we don’t know they have, and we don’t know if it’ll help them or harm them.”

Increasing testosterone levels can be unsafe. Researchers warn that it can induce serious health risks, including prostate cancer, stroke, and even death. Many doctors are worried that the long-term effects of testosterone therapy have not been properly examined. They are now concentrating on studying testosterone products and heart issues.

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Heart Issues
  • Stroke