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Dangers of Low Testosterone Therapy

Dangers of Low Testosterone Therapy

Testosterone Replacement Therapy produLow Testosterone Therapy Riskscts for men have been linked to an increased risk of death, heart attack, stroke and blood clots. Testosterone therapy, such as the prescription topical treatments Androgel, Testim and Axiron, are used to help boost testosterone levels in men who have “Low T,” a deficiency of the male hormone. Call us today if you think you or a loved one may have a claim. Toll free at 1 866 975-7766. Or e-mail Mark Wolfe at Put “Low T Therapy Claim” in the subject line.

Synopsis of “Low Testosterone Treatment Risks” from Yahoo Health

New research indicates millions of men may be risking a heart attack, stroke or even premature death by taking testosterone therapy they don’t actually need.

Based on two large new studies linking approved prescription testosterone therapy to increased risk for cardiovascular events, the FDA has launched an investigation and cautions medical providers to carefully weigh if the benefits exceed the potential harms before prescribing these drugs, which are only advised for men who have low T and an associated medical condition.

In the latest study, published in the journal PLOS ONE and funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers report that within 90 days, taking the hormone can more than double heart attack risk in men ages 65 and up—as well as nearly triple risk in younger men with known heart disease.

November, 2013 study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported a 30 percent rise in risk for stroke, heart attack, and death in men age 60 and older who had been prescribed testosterone, compared to those who not.

“I’m very concerned that widespread use of testosterone supplements without any long-term safety studies is putting millions of men at risk for the most common lethal condition in the United States: heart disease,” says Steven Nissen, MD, department chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

“The FDA needs to require makers of these drugs to do long-term studies of these drugs, which are being marketed to men as a fountain of youth, just as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was to women 20 years ago,” adds Dr. Nissen.

“When HRT was finally studied, it turned out to increase women’s risk for heart attack and stroke, and now the PLOS ONE study suggests that testosterone may have similar dangers for men,” says Dr. Nissen.

Treatments for low testosterone are now an estimated $2 billion-a-year industry in the US—with up to 25 percent of prescriptions written without medical providers bothering to do a blood test to check the man’s hormonal levels, according to the New York Times.

“Assuming that ‘low T’ is a huge global issue for all older men and prescribing the hormone without checking the man’s testosterone levels and cardiovascular risk is a scary—and highly irresponsible—practice,” says Amy Doneen, ARNP, medical director of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center in Spokane, Washington.

“Direct-to-consumer ads make it seem that if a man is tired and doesn’t have the libido he did at age 20, maybe the problem is ‘low T’,” reports Dr. Nissen, who feels that this problem may be greatly over-diagnosed. “The message men get is that these supplements are the fountain of youth they need, which is very seductive to men, but there isn’t much research to support these purported benefits.”

“What these well-done studies are telling us is that this treatment needs to be used cautiously in men who actually need it, after a careful, individualized assessment of both their symptoms and their cardiovascular health,” adds Doneen, who is also coauthor of Beat The Heart Attack Gene.

Currently, testosterone therapies, which have been FDA-approved for decades, don’t carry any cardiovascular warnings. The FDA is now investigating the link with heart attack, stroke, and early death identified in the new research.

Here’s a closer look at the studies and what men should know about testosterone-boosting drugs—available in at least five formulations, including gels, patches, and injections.

In the PLOS ONE study, the researchers compared rates of heart attacks in 55,593 middle-aged and older men in the 90 days after they received a new testosterone prescription with rates during the year prior to the initial prescription.

In addition, pre- and post-prescription heart attack rates were compared in a separate group of 167,279 men who were treated for erectile dysfunction with a type of medication known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, such as Viagra and Cialis. This type of drug has not been linked to cardiac issues, so these men were studied as a control group.

The study found that among all men who received testosterone therapy, risk for non-fatal heart attack jumped by 36 percent in the 90 days after starting use of the hormone, compared to the rate of heart attack in these men during the one year prior to starting hormone treatment.

Among men age 65 an older, rate of heart attack soared by 219 percent in 90 days among those who received testosterone therapy, whether or not they had known heart disease. In men under 65, those with a prior history of heart disease had nearly triple the 90-day heart attack risk, compared to rates in the prior year.

“Men have higher rates of heart attacks than women do, and testosterone may be a factor, so there is a plausible biological explanation for the association between using these supplements and higher cardiovascular risk observed in the studies,” remarks Dr. Nissen.

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If you or a loved one has suffered a heart attack, stroke and/or blood clots after starting testosterone therapy, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. We can help. For more information, please contact Mark Wolfe of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe toll free at 1 866 975-7766 or by e-mail at  [please place Low T Therapy Claim in the subject line]

 Learn more about Boteler, Finely & Wolfe. Learn more about Mark Wolfe’s experience and qualifications.

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