Between 3 and 7 percent of the male population in the US develop hypogonadism. One of the symptoms of this condition is a testosterone deficiency. Other symptoms include fatigue and low libido.
Testosterone products were the go-to medication for men with low testosterone. Doctors prescribed these medications for men diagnosed with hypogonadism. However, the products also became popular amongst young men seeking to enhance themselves physically as well as older men seeking to counteract the effects of aging.
Prescriptions for testosterone products soared in 2011 to $1.6 billion as more older men sought assistance for their lowered libido. However, there is growing concern regarding the side effects of using these products as well as the long term risks. Many men who used the products have suffered strokes, cardiac arrest and other cardiac issues.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on the severe and long term effects of using these products in March 2015. The warning cited increased risk of developing cardiac problems and suffering stroke and heart attacks.
Since then, more than 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of popular testosterone products. These lawsuits have been filed by men who have suffered various cardiovascular problems resulting from the use of these products.
The lawsuits against the manufacturers of testosterone products claim that the companies failed to provide adequate warning of the adverse effects of the products and supplements to the medical community and consumers. This has led to further scrutiny into the statements made by the drug makers’ statements on the benefits and risks associated with the products.
The manufactures may also face charges for issuing misleading statements regarding not just the adverse effects but also the benefits of the products. According to critics, there is no actual evidence that the products can be of benefit to healthy men.
Studies amongst older men taking the products have shown various side effects including:
- Enlargement of prostate
- Lower sperm count
- Enlargement of breasts which then become painful
- Swelling of the body, ankles or feet
- Difficulties in breathing while sleeping
- Increased risk of developing blood clots in legs
The lawsuits have so far been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which was moved to the Northern District of Illinois. The defendants in the litigation currently include Abbott, Pfizer, AbbVie, Pharmacia & UpJohn and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.
Discovery for the MDL is currently underway. However, this doesn’t mean that it is too late for anyone else wishing to file a lawsuit. Contact an attorney and learn about your options.