Testosterone is a hormone naturally produced by men in their brains and testicles. Testosterone maintains muscle mass, hair patterns, and sex drive.
Some men have a condition known as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is lower production of testosterone. Lower testosterone is often linked to increased body fat, decreased body hair, heat flashes, and decreased muscle mass. Low testosterone is also linked to insomnia, depression, and lower energy.
Men who have hypogonadism may undergo treatment to boost their testosterone back to normal levels. Treatment can include gel, cream, patches, injections, or implants.
Are There Any Health Risks with Such Treatments?
Low testosterone treatments are not always recommended. First, hypogonadism can be mistaken for other conditions. Alcohol use, side effects of medication, and the normal process of aging can lower testosterone. However, hypogonadism is testosterone below normal levels. As a man ages, his testosterone naturally goes down, but those levels would be normal for men that age. The use of testosterone treatment without hypogonadism can be dangerous.
More importantly, a recent study showed that men over 65 had twice the rate of heart attacks in the three months after beginning testosterone treatment. The same was true for men under 65, but who had a history of heart conditions.
What Type of Claim Can I Bring?
According to the New York Times, 1 in 4 men who receive treatment never receive blood tests to check their testosterone levels. Physicians who prescribe patients treatment without conducting proper tests may be committing medical malpractice through their negligence.
Drug companies which manufacture testosterone treatments may neglect to mention that such treatments should only be used to treat hypogonadism. They may also neglect to describe the side effects of treatment or state that patients with histories of heart problem should ask their doctors before using such treatments. Drug companies must properly label their medications before placing their products in the market.
Drug companies may also advertise testosterone treatment for depression, loss of sex drive, or other side effects of hypogonadism. However, the companies often fail to link such symptoms to hypogonadism. As mentioned above, testosterone treatment is only meant for hypogonadism. If drug companies mislead the public into believing that treatment can cure aging or drug use, the companies may be committing fraud.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Testosterone treatment is necessary to help men who are not producing the testosterone they need. However, the misuse of such treatments can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and death. If you or your family has been injured by testosterone treatments, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.