On March 3, 2015, The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety alert about using testosterone products for low testosterone due to aging and requires labeling change to inform of possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke with use:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions that prescription testosterone products are approved only for men who have low testosterone levels caused by certain medical conditions. The benefit and safety of these medications have not been established for the treatment of low testosterone levels due to aging, even if a man’s symptoms seem related to low testosterone. We are requiring that the manufacturers of all approved prescription testosterone products change their labeling to clarify the approved uses of these medications. We are also requiring these manufacturers to add information to the labeling about a possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients taking testosterone. Health care professionals should prescribe testosterone therapy only for men with low testosterone levels caused by certain medical conditions and confirmed by laboratory tests.
Testosterone is FDA-approved as replacement therapy only for men who have low testosterone levels due to disorders of the testicles, pituitary gland, or brain that cause a condition called hypogonadism. Examples of these disorders include failure of the testicles to produce testosterone because of genetic problems, or damage from chemotherapy or infection. However, FDA has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging. The benefits and safety of this use have not been established.
In addition, based on the available evidence from published studies and expert input from an Advisory Committee meeting, FDA has concluded that there is a possible increased cardiovascular risk associated with testosterone use. These studies included aging men treated with testosterone. Some studies reported an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or death associated with testosterone treatment, while others did not.
Based on our findings, we are requiring labeling changes for all prescription testosterone products to reflect the possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes associated with testosterone use. Health care professionals should make patients aware of this possible risk when deciding whether to start or continue a patient on testosterone therapy. We are also requiring manufacturers of approved testosterone products to conduct a well-designed clinical trial to more clearly address the question of whether an increased risk of heart attack or stroke exists among users of these products. We are encouraging these manufacturers to work together on a clinical trial, but they are allowed to work separately if they so choose.
Patients using testosterone should seek medical attention immediately if symptoms of a heart attack or stroke are present, such as:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Weakness in one part or one side of the body
- Slurred speech
Read the alert here.
DO I HAVE A LOW TESTOSTERONE THERAPY LAWSUIT?
The Class Action attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis are reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of men who used AndroGel or other testosterone therapies and suffered from heart attacks, strokes or other serious testosterone therapy side effects. AndroGel and other “low-T” treatments, which are available as testosterone gels, patches, pellets and injections, have recently been linked to an increased risk of cardiac problems in older and middle-aged men with a history of heart disease. If you or a loved one suffered a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism or other serious testosterone therapy side effects , please contact us today for a free legal consultation to discuss your situation.