Robert Knapik felt tired and rundown, so much so he asked his doctor what could be causing the symptoms. His doctor diagnosed him with low testosterone, and suggested testosterone replacement therapy might help.
It nearly killed him.
After using the testosterone treatment Axiron, made by Eli Lilly & Co., for three months, Knapik began feeling pain in his arm and chest. He was later diagnosed with a heart attack. He learned that recent research had revealed that men who used testosterone replacement products were at an increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. Some users have even died.
Studies are currently underway to determine just how dangerous testosterone therapy is. One concern is that the wrong men are getting the hormones.
Testosterone treatments are designed for men with hypogonadism, a condition in which the testes do not produce enough testosterone due to injury or disease. Testosterone levels naturally drop off as a man ages, but age-related hypogonadism is not grounds for treatment, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now warns.
Regardless, testosterone manufacturers have spent millions promoting the hormone for off-label uses, even using direct-to-consumer advertising asking men if they have so-called “Low T,” a made-up condition with symptoms such as low sex drive, weight gain, mood swings, and fatigue. As a result, sales of brand-name Low T products such as Axiron, AndroGel and Testim have skyrocketed.
Lawsuits against testosterone manufacturers claim that these companies have profited millions by their illegal marketing of the hormone supplements without regard to testosterone side effects, some of which can be deadly. Now men like Knapik, who claim they have been injured by testosterone products, are asking for their day in court.
Source: CBS News