The number of lawsuits in multidistrict litigation (MDL) against makers of testosterone replacement therapies alleging the treatments caused cardiovascular side effects including death have significantly increased in recent months, according to a Reuters analysis of statistics from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
More than 4,000 lawsuits have been filed in federal court against various manufacturers of products including Androgel, Testim and Axiron. Testosterone treatments are approved to treat hypogonadism, a rare condition in which men do not produce enough testosterone due to injury or disease.
The level of testosterone declines as men age – a natural process of aging. Testosterone is not approved for age-related hypogonadism. However, makers of testosterone products have promoted the hormone as a treatment for what they called “Low T.” The advertisements claimed that their testosterone boosters could reverse symptoms of aging such as low libido, weight gain and muscle loss.
The strategy worked. Sales of testosterone treatments skyrocketed as men went to their doctors and asked for the drugs by name. What the drug companies didn’t reveal were testosterone side effects, some of which could be fatal.
Researchers found that men who used testosterone treatments were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die after three years of testosterone therapy. Another study found that men had a significant increased risk of heart attack and stroke in just the first 90 days of testosterone treatment. Yet another study found that men who started testosterone treatment with clear, unobstructed coronary arteries were just as likely to have a cardiovascular event or die as men who entered the study with established coronary artery disease.
Anyone who has been prescribed testosterone replacement therapy and suffered a serious side effect – including heart attack, stroke, blood clot, or related problem – may be eligible to seek compensation from the manufacturers of these products and would benefit by consulting with an experienced attorney.