Yesterday, I mentioned how fast the testosterone replacement heart attack litigation is progressing. Of course, to have litigation you need lawsuits. Here they come. A lawsuit has been filed against AbbVie, makers of AndroGel, a testosterone gel that is used to treat conditions in men that result from a lack of natural testosterone. This won’t be the last claim filed against AbbVie. They are a big player and they are going to have a target on their back.
Everyone has known there side effects of this medication, such as nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and change in sexual desire. Heart attacks and other serious cardiac events are a different animal.
A North Carolina man has filed a product liability failure to warn lawsuit claiming that the gel caused him to suffer a pulmonary embolism. Recent studies have found that testosterone therapy increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which can lead to life-threatening complications including pulmonary embolisms. DVT is where the body develops blood clots in the deep veins, most commonly in the legs. These blood clots can break off and travel through the body resulting in potentially life-threatening complications. According to the Plaintiff, he suffered blood clots in his lungs and legs after receiving a prescription for the testosterone gel.
AndroGel is a topical gel that is applied to the upper arms as a testosterone replacement therapy. It is designed for men suffering from testosterone deficiency caused by medical conditions such as hypogonadism. It causes the hematocrit level to increase, thereby thickening the blood. If not monitored and controlled properly, it can lead to serious health issues including pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and other blood clots.
Testosterone replacement therapy was never approved by the FDA for any treatment other than to treat men who have medical conditions resulting in lower testosterone than normal, though the Plaintiff in this matter indicates that he began using AndroGel after viewing advertisements that encourage older men to use the testosterone therapy if they are experiencing decreased sex drive, weight gain, depression or lack of energy. Critics have suggested that the market for these drugs was created by aggressive television advertisements encouraging men to seek prescription treatment for low testosterone if they are suffering from any number of common symptoms that are experienced by men of all age. In fact, studies have suggested that many men receiving testosterone treatments have no real medical need for the drugs.
Additional Health Risks
In addition to concerns of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and other severe health related issues, the FDA recently launched an investigation into testosterone therapy, after research revealed an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or sudden death. Most testosterone drugs, incredibly, currently carry no mention of an increased cardiac risk in their advertising materials; however, researchers found a two-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the three months after an initial prescription among men aged 65 years and older, and a two to three-fold increase among younger men with a history of heart disease.
There is no doubt that Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is big business. It has brought huge profits for companies with sales in the billions of dollars. Over 5.3 million prescriptions were written for these drugs in 2011. But huge profits shouldn’t come with a huge price to pay for the consumer. If you or a loved one has used one or more of these products, and have suffered any ill effects, call our attorneys at 1.800.553.8082 or online here. Our attorneys are currently reviewing potential lawsuits and we want to talk to you.