Testosterone Boosting Medications Causing Health Risks
Artificial testosterones are among the best selling drugs on the market. More than 2 million American men have prescriptions for more than half a dozen products that promise to bolster the sex hormone naturally produced in the body. Sales of artificial testosterone, in injectable or liquid form that's applied to the skin, have shot up 76 percent from 2010 to 2013, thanks in part to heavy advertising.
However, the lawsuits are also piling up. Hundreds of men who allege they've suffered cardiovascular injury, like heart attack or stroke, from using the replacement testosterone are looking for their injuries. "This is a cause that could get into hundreds of millions or maybe a billion bucks" if the plaintiffs prevail or settle, said Myron "Mike" Cherry, a Chicago attorney with 40 years of trial experience who is co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
The safety of these testosterone boosting products is still unclear. Earlier this year, the FDA decided to convene a panel of scientists to make recommendations on testosterone marketing and safety. In September the panel recommended the labeling on testosterone products be changed to clearly say they're not approved to treat symptoms that come with aging, like a weaker sex drive, without documented low-testosterone readings. It also called for companies to re-study the cardiovascular risks.