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Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Risks and Benefits

Anyone who has ever watched a football game or a NASCAR race has probably seen his share of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) advertisements. This is not an accident. Drug makers are spending millions of dollars on advertising testosterone hormone therapy (HRT) supplements to men of all ages.

blood-test652136-m.jpgDrug companies are working to convince men that weight gain, erectile dysfunction (ED), muscle fatigue, mild depression, tiredness and loss of sex drive are not just signs of getting older, as we all once believed. Rather these are all “symptoms” of having a low testosterone (low T) count.

Marketing divisions of drug companies want us to believe the lower your testosterone levels become, the more of these symptoms you will suffer, and, more importantly, taking hormone replacement therapy drugs will not only increase your testosterone level, but will reverse these negative effects, so you can feel and act younger again.

The problem, as our Boston testosterone replacement therapy injury lawyers understand, is most doctors and researchers do not share this belief. In reality, many doctors are concerned this vast over prescription of TRT drugs can to lead other serous medical conditions, such as heart attack or stroke.

Doctors do even known if it matters if a patient has a lower than average testosterone level or one’s t count even has an effect on any of these conditions. Doctors see these symptoms not as symptoms of an illness, but as normal characteristics of male aging processes. Part of the problem for doctors is, while it is legal to proscribe a medication for an off-label use, FDA has never approved testosterone therapy for use to treat low testosterone in cases not involving a rare disease known as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is not only rare but also the only condition for which testosterone therapy was approved during the 1970s, and this has not changed, nor has the number of cases of hypogonadism increased over the past 40 years.

According to a recent news article from High Health 50, 49 T clinics have sprung up across the United States, where men who do not suffer from hypogonadism can get their hands on the TRT medications in hopes of feeling younger again. However, the cost of testosterone replacement drugs is high, not only in terms of risk of heart disease and stroke, but in monetary terms as well. It is estimated low T clinics treat an average of 45,000 patients per month at an average cost of around $4,000.

With TRT drugs bringing in so much profit, it is easy to see why drug companies do not want to do anything to harm sales. One of the major things harming sales is public awareness of serious health risks of TRT drugs, coupled with little medical evidence to support their efficacy.

In case you are wondering what an FDA low testosterone level is in terms of hypogonadism, it’s 150 ng/dl, but most patients seen at low T clinics have somewhere between 150 ng/dl and 300 ng/dl, which does not qualify for the rare disease. Not only must you have lower than 150 ng/dl, but you must also have symptoms of low testosterone.


Call the Boston Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Testosterone supplements: should you take male HRT to get your sex drive and energy back?
, Feb. 28, 2014, High 50 Health

More Blog Entries:

FDA Announces Testosterone Meds Must Carry Broader Warning, July 7, 2014, Boston Products Liability Lawyers Blog