“I recommend that you think twice before beginning testosterone treatment to make sure it’s appropriate,” Dr. Keith Roach, in his syndicated column “To Your Good Health,” told a 62-year-old man who questioned whether his weekly testosterone injections put him at an increased risk of heart attack and strokes.
“Testosterone replacement treatments for me should be given only to men with consistently low testosterone levels and who have symptoms,” said Dr. Roach, a respected physician at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital. “The most common early symptoms in adult men are low energy levels, poor libido and depressed mood. Later, other symptoms and signs, such as low muscle mass, anemia and osteoporosis, may occur. None of these is specific for low testosterone levels, so it takes some judgment to begin treatment. Testosterone isn’t appropriate for healthy men who have a single borderline or low testosterone level without significant symptoms.”
Manufacturers of testosterone therapy have heavily advertised the hormones to men as a treatment for “Low T,” a manufacturer-made term to describe a set of symptoms that can be related to low testosterone, such as low sex drive and weight gain. The advertising campaigns have resulted in skyrocketing prescriptions for testosterone therapies. Research has found that most of the men prescribed the drugs never had their blood levels tested to determine if they had low testosterone.
Recent studies have linked testosterone treatments to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and death. “Blood clot risk may be increased,” Dr. Roach said, adding that some studies showed an increase of up to one additional heart attack per 100 men taking testosterone.
Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are currently investigating cases of cardiovascular events in men who have taken testosterone replacement therapies.
Source: Sun Coast Today