As an industry, it’s estimated to be worth over $2 billion annually. As a treatment method, it’s used by nearly one in every 25 men over the age of 60.
Testosterone manufacturers promise better moods, stronger erections, and increased muscle mass. But what have they told you about the risks? About the numerous studies that have found severe side effects, especially in those with pre-existing medical conditions?
Pharmaceutical companies have sold testosterone drugs to treat an amorphous new medical condition called “Low T.” But many health professionals, including Dr. Joel Finkelstein of Harvard Medical School, consider Low T an “invented condition.”
The reality is that testosterone manufacturers have preyed on healthy males and their anxiety over aging; converting normal aspects of growing old, like decreased sex drive, into “symptoms.”
Now, several influential research studies have concluded with startling results. Low T medications can cause heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and several other devastating conditions. The pharmaceutical industry has systematically concealed this information, from doctors, physicians, and consumers.
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Numerous pharmaceutical companies, including big names like Eli Lilly and AbbVie, have jumped on the bandwagon, producing huge quantities of testosterone-based substances. You can purchase gels, to rub on your arms and shoulders, patches to apply like smoking cessation products, even pellets for subdermal implantation. Here’s a list of the big names:
By the sheer number of names on that list, it’s clear that testosterone has taken the pharmaceutical industry by storm.
The FDA has approved these drugs for men suffering from hypogonadism, a condition marked by abnormally low levels of testosterone. Many of hypogonadism’s symptoms, including abnormal weight gain and loss in bone density, can be successfully treated using Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
But recent research has shown that only 5% of the American males with hypogonadism are being treated. Coupled with an almost 500% increase in testosterone prescriptions since 1993, the situation becomes clear. Testosterone is being prescribed to many men who don’t need it, and could benefit from other treatment methods altogether.
Most of testosterone’s serious side effects seem to involve blood clotting. In a normal human body, blood’s ability to clot is a good thing. After we’re injured, platelets and proteins flock to the site of trauma and form a patch or plug to prevent excessive bleeding. Anti-clotting proteins come in afterward to ensure that the clot doesn’t spread too far and harm other parts of the body.
Testosterone gives clotting a bad name. For one, it can increase your hematocrit, the concentration of red blood cells in your bloodstream. In essence, it “thickens” your blood, which can only flow at a sluggish pace and is more likely to clot. Working in the opposite direction, testosterone also stimulates the production of thromboxane, a substance that constricts blood vessels, making it even harder for “thick” blood to flow properly.
And now, independent research programs have shown that TRT drugs can cause a sudden onset of several clotting-related conditions.
Blood clots can form in undamaged blood vessels where they aren’t needed, causing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT occurs in large vessels, usually in the legs, and causes severe pain.
When a part of this clot breaks off, it can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is extremely serious; according to the Mayo Clinic, “about one-third of people with undiagnosed and untreated pulmonary embolism don’t survive.”
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) was aware of testosterone’s increased risk for thrombolytic events, but only among patients with a history of polycythemia, a rare genetic disorder that causes bones to overproduce blood cells. After receiving numerous reports of blood clots in patients without polycythemia, the FDA now requires all TRT medications to warn consumers about a general risk of venous blood clots.
Heart attacks, or myocardial infarction as they are known in the medical community, occur when a major artery supplying the heart becomes blocked. Without oxygen and other essential nutrients, heart tissue begins to die and eventually stops beating.
A group of researchers at UCLA investigated the medical records of over 56,000 men who had been prescribed testosterone drugs. They found that Low T medications increased a man’s risk of heart attack by 200%. Their conclusions, and those of several other studies, led the FDA to announce a wide-scale study of their own in 2014.
Strokes are caused by clots that block blood vessels supplying the brain. Without nutrients, brain tissue dies, causing long-term effects as disparate as impaired memory, aphasia (inability to speak or understand language), and decreased motor abilities.
Have you suffered the severe side effects of Low T drugs like AndroGel or Testim? The lawyers at the New York firm, Banville Law, are currently offering free consultations. Call (917) 551-6690 or complete our contact form here to speak with an experienced attorney within 24 hours. We’ll describe your situation in plain, clear terms and advise you on the best course of action.