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Lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of certain testosterone products, including Androgel and AbbVie, due to a failure to warn the public about the potential side effects of the medication. Some of the most severe side effects include heart attacks, blood clots, stroke, and sudden death.
If you or a loved one have experienced any of the side effects above after taking a testosterone product, contact Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, for a free consultation of your case.
AndroGel, Axiron, and other similar testosterone replacement products were originally designed to treat hypogonadism, a serious medical issue where the body is unable to produce natural levels of testosterone. However, these medicines have been advertised as testosterone therapy for men experiencing a naturally occurring decline in testosterone as they age.
Androgel (testosterone topical)
Axiron (testosterone topical)
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly and Company
When used as a low testosterone medication, Axiron and AndroGel side effects include a two- to three-fold increase in the risk of a heart attack in older and middle-aged men with a history of heart disease, including:
Drug manufacturers have been accused of advertising the benefits of taking testosterone replacement drugs while under-representing the dangers associated with Axiron and AndroGel side effects, including the risks of heart attack and stroke.
In the late oughts, the makers of several testosterone medications approved by the FDA to treat hypogonadism started advertising them as a treatment for “Low T,” or low testosterone levels. In 2013 alone, Eli Lilly and AbbVie poured $120 million into TV ads for testosterone drugs, often pointing viewers to websites with questionnaires about potential symptoms of “Low T.” Many of these ads asked men if they were feeling tired, suffering from low energy, or gaining weight – typical signs of aging. Unfortunately, there is no clear evidence that testosterone therapy helps with these symptoms in otherwise healthy men who don’t have hypogonadism.
However, there is evidence that testosterone increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, especially in the first few years of use. One Briitish study found that men who used these medications had a 21 percent higher risk of cardiovascular issues than those who didn’t.
But the advertising campaigns effectively convinced men to talk with their doctors about “Low T.” In 2012, Androgel alone earned $1.15 billion in annual sales. In 2013, over 2 million men used testosterone products, although the FDA notes that in about a quarter of these cases, it wasn’t clear that anyone had checked the patients’ testosterone levels first.
By 2014, many patients who suffered heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots after taking testosterone drugs had filed lawsuits against the manufacturers, alleging that the defendants were liable for strict liability, negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, or some combination of the above. A Chicago federal court judge consolidated many of these lawsuits into a multi-district litigation, in which multiple, similar cases against a single defendant are transferred to a single district to simplify pretrial procedures. In 2018, AbbVie settled the majority of these cases for an undisclosed amount.
In 2015, the FDA required label changes for testosterone medications warning of the increased risks of heart attack and stroke with the usage of these drugs. In addition, the FDA does not recommend testosterone therapy for patients whose lower testosterone is not caused by a specific medical condition. They also included a list of symptoms patients should be aware of when taking testosterone medications:
You may still be able to file a lawsuit if you had a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot either while taking testosterone medications or within 90 days of stopping these drugs. If you’ve experienced one of these conditions in conjunction with testosterone therapy, please seek legal advice as soon as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, dependent on when your medical issues happened.
If you or someone you know has suffered from the side effects of testosterone replacement drugs, such as Axiron and AndroGel, don’t wait to get the protection and advice you need. Companies need to be held accountable for the side effects of their medications. Contact an experienced dangerous drugs lawyer to discuss your legal options.
With over 65 years of experience protecting the rights of victims, Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, will aggressively pursue every available option to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, or call for a free consultation.