Ed Downes’ stroke seemed to come out of nowhere. Ed, who was in his upper 40s at the time, was taking medication for hypertension and attention deficit disorder (ADD), but was otherwise healthy. When he began to lose interest in sex and his energy level plummeted, he, like hundreds of thousands of other men, followed the advice of a drug company’s television commercial and had a “conversation with his doctor” to see if he was suffering from low testosterone, or, as the advertisement called it, “Low T.”
Ed was prescribed AndroGel, a testosterone replacement gel, which he took for two years. He said it did give him more energy and improved his muscle mass. Then, surprisingly for an otherwise healthy man, Ed suffered a stroke. It has left him partially paralyzed. He now walks with a gate, has chronic fatigue, is in constant pain, and is often short of breath.
It was a mystery what may have caused Ed’s sudden stroke, until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was investigating the safety of testosterone replacement products after two studies linked the therapy to an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, and death. The agency said it would notify the public about any recommendations – such as adding a black box warning or restricting its use – after it completes its review.
Ed, who is now unable to work due to his disability, is one of thousands of men (or survivors of those who died) who are suing the manufacturers of testosterone supplements claiming the drug maker did not adequately warn consumers about the serious risks associated with the products.
“I just wouldn’t want this to happen to any other family, what we had to go through,” said Ed’s wife, Kathy. “Things will never be the same, but we’re just thankful he’s alive, period.”
Source: CBS Local