The Downside of Testosterone Therapy
The Food and Drug Administration or FDA ordered pharmaceutical companies to begin placing warning labels on bottles of testosterone in 2014. According to the FDA, testosterone therapy increases the possibility of stroke and heart attacks.
Another study also discovered that testosterone therapy is linked to a higher chance of developing venous thromboembolism. This is a particularly dangerous form of a blood clot.
What Is Testosterone Therapy?
Testosterone therapy is a treatment for the symptoms associated with hypogonadism or low testosterone. It is a condition that many males experience as they age. At around the age of 30, a man’s testosterone levels begin to decrease by approximately 1% to 2% every year, but there are also other reasons that testosterone levels can drop.
As their testosterone levels are falling, men begin to notice symptoms, including the following:
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased muscle mass
Many physicians use testosterone therapy to treat the symptoms listed above.
Some people mistrust pharmaceutical companies where testosterone therapy is concerned. Men are spending more than $2 billion on testosterone products every year, and the number appears to be increasing. Four times as many men started to use testosterone products in the year 2014 than they did in the year 2000.
In 2011, approximately one in 25 men 60 years of age and older were taking testosterone, and sales for this drug went up to $1.6 billion that year. In 1988, testosterone sales were equal to $18 million. Also, 2.3 million people started treatment with testosterone therapy in 2013.
Because of these numbers, some people are critical of pharmaceutical companies. They believe that pharmaceutical companies are marketing testosterone products so that they can continue to see sales rise.
Heart Attacks and Testosterone Therapy
Because several studies linked testosterone therapy to the possibility of an increased risk for heart attacks, officials with the FDA began to warn the public. Testosterone therapy has also been shown to increase the risk of the following conditions:
- Prostate cancer
- Hormonal imbalance
- Worsening of sleep apnea
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks in males over the age of 65
However, other studies suggest a weaker connection between heart attacks and testosterone therapy. As a matter of fact, one study showed that men with normalized levels of testosterone were 24% less likely to experience a heart attack. The same sample of men was also found to be 36% less likely to have a stroke.
Because the heart risks associated with testosterone therapy are debatable, you should consult your doctor about your family history and personal risk factors for heart disease before starting a hormone replacement therapy regimen.
Additional Risks of Testosterone Therapy
In addition to all the serious medical conditions described above, testosterone therapy can also cause other side effects, including:
- Increased aggression
- A lower sperm count
- Decreased size of the testicles
- Increased breast size
- Frequent urination
- Retention of fluid
- An increased amount of acne
The Benefits of Increased Testosterone Levels
If you have low testosterone levels, you may wonder if it’s worth it to take testosterone replacement therapy. Some men make this decision because testosterone replacement therapy or TRT offers them many benefits. Some of the positive results may include:
- Increased growth of facial and body hair
- Restoration of bone density
- Muscle strengthening
- Sperm production
Another issue that is very important to men is their ability to function sexually. Testosterone therapy has the effect of increasing a man’s libido and performance, but TRT will not necessarily have this effect on men with hypogonadism.
If you have been harmed by TRT, it may benefit you to consult with a dangerous drugs lawyer. You may be able to file a claim against the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the drug that harmed you.