Testosterone Therapy and Heart Attack Risk

The FDA has approved several forms of testosterone therapy for men across the United States. At least one recent study has pointed to an increased risk of a heart attack in males who use testosterone therapy. In January 2014, PLOS One published, Increased Risk of Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction Following Testosterone Therapy Prescription for Men, which found the risk of a heart attack doubles for men aged 65 and older.

Forms of Testosterone Therapy

If you have been tested by a doctor and find that you have a low testosterone level, you may be prescribed a form of testosterone therapy. A doctor will be able to tell you if your testosterone levels are low. These results can be due to age or a condition called hypogonadism. If a doctor finds that you have hypogonadism, there is a problem with your pituitary gland or testicles causing your body to produce below-normal levels of testosterone. There are a few different options on the market that fall into one of four categories. The hormone can be injected directly into the muscles, or implanted as pellets into soft tissues. It also comes in the form of a “skin patch” that is worn on the upper body or arm. A “mouth patch” is a tablet that is placed on the upper gums. There are also topical gels that are absorbed into the skin.

In 2009, the FDA required manufacturers of two gel products on the market, AndroGel 1% and Testim 1%, to change their warning label due to “secondary exposure.” The FDA cites reports of adverse affects in children including enlargement of the genitalia and, therefore, recommend that people who come into contact with these gels wash their hand thoroughly.

The FDA also found a risk of “secondary exposure” with the use of Axiron. Axiron is a topical solution also used to treat low or no testosterone in men.

Other brands of testosterone therapy approved by the FDA include:

  • Androderm-Watson Labs
  • Android 10-Valeant Pharm Intl
  • Android 25-Valeant Pharm Intl
  • Axiron-Eli Lilly and Co.
  • Delatestryl-Endo Pharms
  • Depo-Testosterone-Pharmacia and Upjohn Inc.
  • Fortesta-Endo Pharms
  • Striant-Actient Pharms
  • Testopel-Actient Pharms
  • Testosterone Cypionate-Watson Labs, Paddock LLC
  • Testosterone Enanthate-Watson Labs, Paddock LLC
  • Testred-Valeant Pharm Intl

Testosterone Treatment & Heart Attacks, Strokes and Death

The FDA announced plans to investigate the risk of heart attack, strokes and death with the use of testosterone therapy in January 31st, 2014.

More research shows that taking a form of testosterone therapy with underlying health conditions can exacerbate the problems. If you have prostate cancer, testosterone therapy can stimulate prostate cancer growth. It can also worsen sleep apnea, which is a condition where a person stops breathing during sleep. Testosterone therapy can make it difficult for patients to urinate, also known as benign prostatic hypertropthy, or BPH. Studies also show that the therapy can increase red blood cell count for those are already diagnosed with erythrocytosis. Experts recommend that those with congestive heart failure not take testosterone therapy.

The FDA asks patients and doctors to report any side effects to the “FDA MedWatch Program.”

Testosterone Therapy Treatment Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that may be related to the use of testosterone therapy, you should contact our defective drug lawyers for a free and confidential case review.

Please consult a doctor before starting a testosterone therapy treatment or discontinuing use.