Lawsuits Alleging Injuries from Testosterone Therapy May Settle
Bloomberg is reporting that GlaxoSmithKline, LLC and Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. have agreed to a settlement regarding allegations against the drug manufacturers related to their testosterone-boosting drug. Allegations by patients accuse the drug makers of concealing health risks associated with testosterone therapy. The potential settlement does not include claims and cases filed against AbbVie. AbbVie is one of the largest producers of testosterone-replacement medications.
Although the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, it is assumed the settlement would resolve 1,300 or more lawsuits filed by men who claim the testosterone-boosting drug can cause fatal blood clots. A representative for Auxilium and Endo said in an emailed statement that the settlement would not involve any admission of liability or wrongdoing.
Marketing Testosterone-Replacement Treatment Plans
According to an article published in the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, men who are considering testosterone therapy need to be more aware and consider all of the potential long-term complications from using the medication before beginning a testosterone replacement therapy.
The article states that because of direct-to-consumer marketing, drug manufacturers can encourage men to talk to their doctors if they have “possible signs” of a deficiency in testosterone. Men who may have never considered a replacement therapy see ads and begin to question whether they need testosterone replacement. While some symptoms might justify using the replacement therapy, other symptoms may not. Men should have blood tests to determine the exact testosterone level before beginning any treatment plan.
Dangers Associated with Testosterone-Boosting Drugs
The long-term risks of low-T therapy are not completely known. According to the Harvard article, some men experience side-effects almost immediately upon beginning the medication including:
- Breast swelling or tenderness
- Disturbed breathing while asleep
- Ankle swelling
- High red blood cell counts
- Increased risk of clotting
However, men who are on long-term testosterone treatment may also have a higher risk of stroke, heart attacks, heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems. Some doctors are also concerned that testosterone therapy could potentially stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells. Even though the evidence of these long-term risks may be mixed, patients have the right to be informed of all potential risks and benefits of a drug before taking the drug.
The Harvard article suggests that men who are considering testosterone therapy need to take a “cautious approach.” Men should consider other reasons why they are experiencing symptoms and if another solution other than testosterone therapy might resolve the issue. In addition, men should always have an accurate assessment by a medical professional to determine testosterone levels.
After beginning testosterone treatment, men should follow-up with their doctor. Periodic testosterone checks and other lab tests to check for potential problems should be performed. Men who are at a higher risk for prostate cancer or cardiovascular problems should use even more cautious when contemplating a testosterone therapy.
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“Endo, Glaxo to Settle Suits Over Testosterone Drug.” Jef Feeley and Janan Hanna. Bloomberg. 26 February 2018.
“Is testosterone therapy safe? Take a breath before you take the plunge.” Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Harvard Health Publishing. 31 December 2017.