Low testosterone is a major concern for many men, and one of the most popular products for its treatment is AndroGel®.
It is commonly prescribed for men who are unable to produce sufficient amounts of the male hormone. Unfortunately, there are some side effects connected to the use of AndroGel.
Introduction to AndroGel
AndroGel was developed by Solvay Pharmaceuticals of Brussels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for use by men with Low T (low testosterone) in 2011.
Abbott Laboratories, the parent company of AbbVie, purchased the medicine in 2010 and began marketing it heavily. Within two years it became obvious that the drug had some dangerous side effects for older users who were getting prescriptions in an effort to either regain their youth or boost energy and libido.
AndroGel is a synthetic testosterone that is manufactured by mixing it into a gel with alcohol and then applying it to the skin daily. The skin absorbs the testosterone and provides 24-hour continuous delivery into the body.
The aim of AndroGel is to increase the amount of testosterone that circulates in the body to a “normal” range that is found in healthy men.
One of the highest risk factors with AndroGel and other products used to treat testosterone problems is the increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.
The makers of AndroGel are currently facing an increased number of lawsuits by men who suffered blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks after using the topical testosterone. According to the lawsuits, the manufacturer did not adequately notify consumers about the risks.
In addition to the risks for the patient, AndroGel also has a warning concerning secondary exposure by women and children. Men who are using the medication should be careful to follow all application instructions in order to avoid exposing others accidentally. Women and children need to avoid any contact with application sites and clothing that have not been washed after using the drug. All men using the medication need to use clothing to cover all application sites and need to wash any application sites before any contact with the skin of others.
Signs of secondary exposure may appear in women and children in the following manner:
- Increase in libido
- Aggressive behavior
- More acne and body hair for women
- Genital enlargement
- Early appearance of pubic hair
- Presence of advanced bone age in children
As previously mentioned, one of the most dangerous side effects of AndroGel to the patient is the link between its use and various cardiovascular problems like strokes and heart attacks. Other side effects of AndroGel include:
- Prostate cancer
- Increase in the size of red blood cells
- Reduction in sperm count
- Sleep apnea
- High cholesterol
There have been far too many lawsuits against the makers of AndroGel to list them all on one page, but we would like to share details of at least one recently-filed case.
Five men sued the manufacturer and the parent company in February 2014 because of injuries they suffered while using AndroGel. The ages of the plaintiffs ranged between 50 and 63. Three suffered heart attacks and two suffered strokes. One of the plaintiffs, a 54-year old Virginia man, suffered myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and other injuries after using the gel. He had no previous history of heart problems and began the therapy following advertising that led him to believe he had symptoms of low testosterone.
The complainants stated that both Abbott and AbbVie provided users with only positive information that suggested there was a substantial need for the drugs, but failed to sufficiently warn of serious health risks.
Anyone who has suffered heart issues, stroke, or other major health concerns while or after using AndroGel should contact a personal injury lawyer. Through a product liability claim, you may be able to recover money damages to compensate you for your losses.