The testosterone replacement therapy injury attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently investigating and evaluating potential suits on behalf of clients who have suffered serious side effects after using “Low T” products.
What Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Many doctors prescribed Testosterone Replacement (Low T) Therapy to aging men to counteract a medical condition hypogonadism, which is an extreme, but common, warning of the naturally produced male hormone testosterone. Men often experience a decline in the naturally produce testosterone levels as they age.
Originally, the therapy was used to strengthen male bone density, boost energy, improve sexual libido, assist in building muscle mass, and enhance muscle performance in males suffering from unnaturally low levels of testosterone. Doctors typically prescribed testosterone therapy as a patch, gel or injection offered in a variety of testosterone products that include:
Who Uses Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Many men at various stages of life experience symptoms of low levels of testosterone including diminished sex drive, decreased energy levels, and mood alteration. While the promise of positive outcomes of using testosterone replacement therapy might be enticing to men, there are numerous misconceptions of its benefits versus the risks.
Male testicles primarily produced the majority of natural male testosterone to assist the body in many functions including:
- Maintaining bone density
- Enhancing sexual drive (libido)
- Developing muscle mass and strength
- Producing body and facial hair
- Producing red blood cells
- Sperm production
However, the peak level of testosterone production occurs during adolescence into the early years of adulthood. As men grow older, the level of testosterone gradually declines as a part of the normal aging process or through hypogonadism, a disease that diminishes the production of the male hormone. Hypogonadism causes the body to produce normal amounts of testosterone. This is often because there are serious issues with the pituitary gland or testicles. Males can determine if they have a natural decline in the testosterone level based on its associated symptoms and signs that include:
- A Physical Change – Males can experience an increased production of body fat, decreased bone density, reduced muscle strength or bulk, hot flashes or flushing, fewer spontaneous erection, and low sex drive. Some males develop gynecomastia (tender or swollen breasts) and lose body hair and energy/strength.
- Sexual Function Problems – Males may be experiencing diminished sexual drive, challenging spontaneous erections and/or infertility.
- Diminished Self-Confidence/Motivation – Doctors know that a newly developed lack of self-confidence or motivation might be caused by low testosterone levels where the man feels depressed or sad, or has difficulty remembering or concentrating.
- Sleep Disturbances – Low testosterone levels can produce insomnia, where the male experiences the inability to sleep or suffers other sleeping disturbance.
Many of the common symptoms and signs associated with low testosterone levels often have numerous underlying factors. This could include thyroid problems, pituitary gland issues, weep apnea, drug side effects, depression, diabetes. Typically, the doctor will perform a blood test to determine the levels of testosterone before making an accurate diagnosis.
Testosterone Therapy Contraindications
Testosterone replacement therapy is not the ideal solution for every male. This is because specific conditions could negatively affect some men due to contraindications when using the product. Known contraindications that could increase testosterone levels in men and cause significantly bad outcomes include:
- Male breast cancer
- Elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels
- Diagnosed or suspected prostate cancer
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Diabetes mellitus to
- Kidney or liver disease
- Heart disease
Replacement testosterone hormones can interfere with the active ingredients in many medications. It is advisable to discuss with your doctor any medication interactions you are currently taking when used concomitantly with testosterone replacement therapy. These potentially bad drug interactions include:
- Inderal (propranolol)
- medications to treat diabetes
- Coumadin (warfarin) or other blood thinning medication
- Many herbal supplements
Before visiting the doctor, it is important to list all prescription medications, herbal products, and over-the-counter drugs currently being taken. This discussion can prevent severe problems that could occur when supplemental testosterone is taking concomitantly with other medicines and products.
The Enticement of Youth and Vitality
Many aging men long for the days when they were younger and had more sexual vitality. Because of that, pharmaceutical companies have promoted the use of testosterone therapy as a way for men to feel younger and more sexually alive. However, a few comprehensive research studies have evaluated the effectiveness of testosterone therapy in males with normal levels of the male hormone that produced mixed results.
While some study results indicate that men developed increased levels of their muscle mass, the testosterone drug failed to improve their strength. The studies also concluded that testosterone therapy might cause unwanted side effects that include:
- Testicle shrinkage
- Low sperm production
- Enlarging breasts
- Skin reactions including acne
- Increased potential risk of developing life-threatening DVT (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
- Sleep apnea
Some research studies have hinted that participating in testosterone therapy could increase the potential of developing heart disease. While studies of indicated that testosterone replacement therapy could correct anemia, it does not seem to improve memory loss or cognitive functioning like once believed.
Testosterone Therapy for Women
To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved testosterone replacement therapy for women with sexual problems. There is no cream, patch or pill approved for women and all prescription creams, gels, and patches are at too high a dosage to be safe for women to use. To get around this problem, many doctors prescribed compounded formula-testosterone at lower doses. This is not to be confused with therapies that use methyltestosterone that is often prescribed to treat menopausal symptoms and improve sexual response and desire. Women should avoid participating in testosterone replacement therapy if they:
- Have been diagnosed with a liver disease
- Have been diagnosed with heart disease or high cholesterol levels
- Have been diagnosed with uterine or breast cancer
- Are pregnant or could become pregnant, because any level of extra testosterone in the body could cause the development of male traits in a female fetus.
In addition, many medical experts, doctors, and pharmaceutical manufacturers advise women who have yet gone through menopause not to use testosterone therapy.
Testosterone Therapy Lawsuits
Many men were injured using low tea products have filed testosterone injury litigation lawsuits in an effort to hold the pharmaceutical manufacturers financially and legally accountable. Some of these cases involve:
- Low-T Drug Lawsuits Alleging Injuries Filed against AndroGel
November 2015 – More than 2700 testosterone replacement lawsuits have been filed in an Illinois federal court in an MDL (multidistrict litigation) procedure. Many of the plaintiffs filing a lawsuit against AndroGel are making claims that their testosterone replacement therapy product caused them to suffer severe health issues including heart attacks, strokes, and death.Bellwether cases have been set to be heard in 2016 and 2017 to determine the outcome of the majority of cases that will use the same evidence and provide information on the product’s safety concerns. Many of the plaintiffs are claiming that testosterone replacement medication manufacturers adequately tested the safety of their products or downplayed/concealed potential risks including cardiovascular problems when taking the drug. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
- AndroGel Lawsuit Plaintiff Claims That Taking Medication Led to His Stroke
February 2016 – AbbVie, makers of AndroGel, are facing a lawsuit, this time filed by a plaintiff claiming that taking the testosterone replacement therapy product led to him having a stroke. This is one more case involved in the multidistrict litigation hearings being heard in an Illinois federal courtroom. The plaintiff claims that he began taking the medication in December 2010 and developed a stroke less than two years later in August 2012.Attorneys working on behalf of the plaintiff have built the case against the pharmaceutical manufacturer alleging there is a strict liability design defect in their product. The lawyers are also claiming that the company failed to warn their client of the dangerous side effects and have made allegations of negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, breach of implied and express warranty, unjust enrichment, consumer protection, and compensatory and punitive damages. The case has been filed as a part of multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy Lawsuit against Manufacturer Claiming Injury
August 2015 – An additional testosterone replacement therapy lawsuit has been filed against the makers of AndroGel, the testosterone replacement therapy medication by a couple claiming the husband suffered injuries after taking the drug. Lawsuit documents reveal the male plaintiff was prescribed male hormone replacement therapy AndroGel in February 2012, which he took for three months until the end of May. Even though the plaintiff discontinued using the gel in May, the following month of June, he suffered a deep vein thrombosis and bilateral pulmonary embolism.Attorneys working on behalf of the couple against Abbott Laboratories, and their subsidiary AbbVie, making claims of the company’s failure to warn, design defect, strict liability, negligence, fraud, breach of implied and expressed warranty, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation of the product. This lawsuit was filed as a part of multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Male Hormone Replacement Therapy Makers Promoting Likely Dangerous Products
April 2014 – Researchers have found that many men are enticed by persuasive TV advertisements by pharmaceutical companies promoting testosterone therapy to improve a man’s strength and increase his sexual libido. Even though there are significant risks known to occur when taking the low testosterone therapy product, many men are asking their doctor for prescriptions. Studies indicate that men still want the product because they are experiencing some of the symptoms and signs heard in the advertisement nor the actual benefits and risks of taking the product.
Want to File a Testosterone Hormone Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit against testosterone therapy manufacturers is relatively new in the legal world. Initial bellwether cases are now being heard in federal courts in multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases. Typically, these suits involve product liability with the drug manufacturer that failed in their duty to provide a safe and effective product and failed to adequately test their product for safety, or concealed the evidence of the serious side effects and adverse reactions their medication causes.
Hire a Lawyer
The personal injury attorneys at the Drug Law Center are now investigating and evaluating evidence for our clients who have suffered injury after taking testosterone replacement treatment medications. We are handling these cases through contingency fee agreements. This means we postpone payment of our fees until after your case has been successfully resolved through a negotiated out of court settlement or jury trial.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured after taking any low tea medication, contact us today to discuss the merits of your case during a no-obligation, comprehensive case evaluation at no charge to you.
Learn more about reported risks regarding Depo-Testosterone here