Testosterone Overview

Low testosterone levels, often called hypogonadism or Andropause, is a condition in men that becomes more prevalent with age, affecting an estimated 39 percent of men older than 45 in the United States. This statistic, reported by the Urology Care Foundation, is a considerable amount of the male population, especially considering how the hormone impacts the adult male body.

Testosterone is a naturally occurring, steroid-based hormone that contributes significantly to the development of reproductive tissues in men, such as the testicles and prostate, and it is key to fostering the growth of muscle, bone mass and body hair. Although the hormone is also secreted in female ovaries and processed through the adrenal glands, testosterone is primarily found in the testicles of men. As a result of low testosterone levels, men can develop both sexual and non-sexual symptoms. Among the types of known problems associated with low testosterone are depression, irritability, concentration issues, erectile dysfunction, a decreased libido, increased body fat percentages, lack of energy, an increase in fatigue, and a decrease in muscle mass.

By itself, a low testosterone level does not warrant treatment. The lowering of testosterone levels in men is a naturally occurring process that affects all men as they age. However, those men who have been diagnosed with confirmed symptoms can be prescribed medications to help regulate the hormone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved 29 testosterone replacement therapy products, and researchers dictate that they should only be prescribed to patients who experience low testosterone levels in conjunction with other related medical disorders. Such disorders include those related to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, as well as conditions preventing the production of testosterone, which can be genetic or a side effect to chemotherapy treatments.

Today, the most widely used form of testosterone replacement therapy, however, is a gel therapy, which the Urology Care Foundation reports to being used by approximately 70 percent of low testosterone patients in the country. Although the manufacturers of these low testosterone drugs claim their product is safe, the FDA announced on Jan. 31, 2014, that it is investigating the risk of stroke, heart attack and death associated with taking previously FDA-approved low testosterone products.

Some of the medications being investigated by the FDA include:

  • AndroGel – Produced by AbbVie
  • Androderm – Produced by Actavis, Inc. (formerly Watson Pharmaceuticals)
  • Axiron – Produced by Eli Lilly and Company
  • Bio-T-Gel – Produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • Depo-Testosterone – Produced by Pharmacia & Upjohn Company
  • Fortesta – Produced by Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Striant – Produced by Columbia Laboratories
  • Testim & Testopel – Produced by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals

While the FDA has limited its investigation to side effects of heart attack and stroke, our firm is also investigating cases of patients who were diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis – DVT and pulmonary embolism – PE while taking low testosterone products.

If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis – DVT or pulmonary embolism – PE – conditions that can be debilitating and fatal – call the Farr Law Firm at 1-855-327-7529 today. Our team of experienced lawyers are ready to help assert your legal rights.