Jesse Mitchell was in his mid 40s when he was stricken with lethargy, anxiousness and depression. He started taking AndroGel testosterone replacement therapy, lured by the aggressive marketing campaigns geared directly to consumers informing them that AndroGel could cure so-called Low T. Mitchell said the gel did boost his energy and he continued to use the hormone treatment, Law360 reported.
But in 2012, after using the medication for about two years off and on, Mitchell suffered a heart attack. He learned that testosterone treatments had been linked to cardiovascular risks including heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and death, and in 2014 filed a lawsuit against AbbVie Inc., maker of AndroGel. He says the small benefit he got from using the testosterone replacement therapy was not worth the heart attack he suffered. Had the company warned of the heart risks associated with use, he would never had begun the treatment, Mitchell told an Illinois federal jury, making his case in a trial against AbbVie.
Mitchell’s case is among more than 4,000 in a multidistrict litigation against AbbVie and other manufacturers of testosterone treatments alleging the drug companies downplayed cardiovascular risks with their testosterone therapies. They also claim the drug companies used aggressive advertisements to lure men into using the drug for unapproved uses, such as treatment for so-called Low T.
Testosterone treatments are intended for men with hypogonadism, a condition in which men do not produce enough of the male hormone due to injury or disease. It is not intended for men with a natural drop in testosterone due to the normal aging process.