If you saw our Did You Know? with Andrew Smiley episode highlighting the serious health risks associated with testosterone therapy, you might be looking for more information on the subject - especially if you or a loved one have experienced negative side effects while undergoing testosterone therapy.

What is testosterone therapy?

Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles that plays an important role in many aspects of the body and mind. It is primarily known for fueling sex drive and sperm production, but it also affects muscle mass, fat storage, blood cell production and even mood.

Around the age of 30, men's bodies begin to slow down the production of testosterone. This decline, which occurs at a rate of about 1 percent per year, is a normal part of the aging process. In recent years, however, testosterone replacement therapy has been aggressively marketed to older and middle-aged men as a way to combat a wide range of conditions such as low libido, depression and lack of energy.

Between the years 2001 and 2011, according to a New York Times report, the number of men age 40 and older who were taking testosterone increased by a factor of four. By the end of that period, about one in every 25 men between the ages of 60 and 69 was using testosterone. Unfortunately, in many cases the hormone treatments are not only medically unnecessary, but also expose men to an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks and other serious side effects. Meanwhile, the purported health benefits remain largely unproven.

What are the risks of testosterone therapy?

Recent studies suggest that testosterone replacement therapy is linked to a number of potentially serious medical conditions, including heart attack and stroke. The Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating the risk of heart attack and stroke among men using testosterone products approved by the FDA.

One study undertaken in 2010 to evaluate the effects of testosterone therapy in hundreds of older men was called off mid-way through because participants receiving testosterone were developing heart problems at nearly five times the rate of those who were given a placebo. Other recent studies have also documented higher risks of heart attack and cardiovascular disease in older men and those with a history of heart problems.

Other risks of testosterone therapy

Along with adding to the potential risk of heart disease, stroke and related complications, testosterone replacement therapy has been linked to a number of other side effects including:

  • Blood clots
  • Sleep apnea
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Aggravation of existing prostate cancer
  • Reduced sperm production

If you or someone in your family has suffered a heart attack, stroke or other serious complications while undergoing testosterone therapy, contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Smiley & Smiley, LLP to discuss the possibility of pursuing legal action. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to recover financial compensation for the harm that you or your loved one has sustained as a result of the testosterone therapy, including lost wages, medical bills and other damages.