AndroGel has become one of the most popular products for men with low testosterone levels. For years, men have used AndroGel and similar testosterone therapies to combat fatigue, low sex drive, depression and other male health issues. But the men using these products were not told that testosterone therapy can increase the risk of heart conditions—including heart attacks and strokes. In some cases, AndroGel can be deadly.
If you or your loved one experienced a heart attack, heart condition or any other serious health effect while taking testosterone therapy, you do not have to bear the costs and aftermath alone. You may be able to receive a complete financial recovery from AndroGel for the costs of your health care, therapy and ongoing treatment, as well as any missed work time. John Foy & Associates is investigating cases like yours and has the legal resources to help you get your financial recovery. We are one of the largest and most experienced law firms dealing with testosterone cases nationwide. Give us a call at 404-400-4000 and get a free consultation today.
What is AndroGel?
AndroGel is just one of a variety of testosterone therapy products marketed to men of all ages, but especially older men. These products can come in the form of pills, patches, or injections, but AndroGel is a topical treatment. It’s a gel spread on an area of skin and absorbed directly into the body. The gel contains testosterone, one of the primary male hormones, and is intended to raise testosterone or “T” levels for those who take it.
Testosterone therapies were developed to treat a specific medical condition, hypogonadism, which is when a man’s body does not produce enough testosterone on its own. This condition usually involves a drastically low testosterone level, often due to an injury or infection that affected the testes. Testosterone therapy was not approved for other uses, like men whose testosterone naturally declined with age—but AndroGel and other products were widely marketed for a variety of “low testosterone” conditions.
How does AndroGel cause heart conditions?
The link between testosterone therapy and heart risks is now firmly established. It appears that AndroGel and similar products can thicken the blood of the men using them. Thicker blood results in a higher risk of blood clots forming inside the body, and blood clots can wreak havoc. They may lead to:
- Heart attack
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot blocking blood flow in the lungs)
All of these cardiac events require immediate treatment and can be deadly. In addition, AndroGel may raise blood pressure, further increasing the risk of heart disease and serious heart conditions.
The correlation between AndroGel and these cardiac events is not minor. A 2014 study of over 56,000 patients found that among older men and men with a previous history of heart disease, testosterone therapy doubled their chance of heart attack. A similar study by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a 29% increase in the rate of strokes, heart attacks and death. And another study on testosterone therapy was actually stopped early because too many of the subjects were falling victim to cardiac events. One man actually died in the study.
Are some men at higher risk from AndroGel than others?
Yes. All men should be aware of the risks before taking AndroGel, but those most likely to develop a heart condition are:
- Older men, age 65 and above, even if they have never had a prior history of heart disease.
- Men of any age if they have a prior history of heart disease or other risk factors for heart disease.
These are the groups that have shown dramatic increases in the rate of heart attack and stroke while taking AndroGel. But that doesn’t mean other men are immune. It simply has not been well studied. Even if you are a younger man with no prior risk factors, if you experienced a cardiac problem while taking testosterone therapy, you should consult with a lawyer.
Did AndroGel do anything wrong?
Yes. AndroGel is made by AbbVie, which marketed it in a misleading way. Marketing materials have tried to convince men they have “low testosterone” because of vague symptoms, and suggested that a testosterone product could help—even though AndroGel is not approved for treating natural “low testosterone” levels. And the vast majority of men using testosterone therapy were never tested for hypogonadism, the only condition it was approved for.
The FDA agrees. In a 2014 Drug Safety Communication, the FDA found that labeling on testosterone therapies was not clear and urged doctors to prescribe it only for valid medical uses.
But most importantly, AbbVie and other manufacturers did not warn doctors or patients about the risk of heart conditions. The FDA has now ordered them to change their labels and include this information. But for many men it’s too late. It is likely that men have actually lost their lives because they weren’t told of the risks. Countless others have been hospitalized.
Do other testosterone therapies besides AndroGel hold the same risks?
Yes, the research indicates that any testosterone therapy product is likely to have the same risks of heart conditions. Some of the brand names of these products include:
- Bio-T Gel
What do I do if I used testosterone therapy and developed a heart problem?
The company that manufactured your testosterone therapy is responsible for what happened. The same is true if it was a loved one who experienced heart problems while taking testosterone. There is no way to reverse the injuries caused, but you can recover the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
The law firm of John Foy & Associates can help. We work exclusively on behalf of individuals who have been harmed or wronged, and we have represented thousands of clients in medical injury cases. We offer a FREE consultation and we charge you nothing unless we get you a financial recovery. Call 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.