Testosterone Replacement Medications Tied to Heart Attacks and Strokes
It’s nearly impossible to watch television for any length of time anymore without seeing an advertisement for a product designed to replace or increase testosterone levels for men. In the wake of increasing rates of heart disease, stroke and death among men using the products, the FDA is looking at alternative medications. The FDA did not recommend that current users of testosterone replacement drugs stop using them—their admonitions thus far have been directed toward healthcare professionals, asking that doctors consider all potential risks of treatment when prescribing testosterone-related products.
The FDA also stressed that it was not looking at such drugs as Viagra or Cialis—the types of products involved in this investigation are typically administered through shots, implants or as gels. FDA officials noted that sales of these products had increased by 65% over the last four years, with more than two million men using testosterone replacement pharmaceutical products. Of greatest concern to the FDA—many men were being prescribed these drugs without any type of testing or screening.
The use of testosterone replacement products has been tied to increased health risks in a number of recent studies. Studies show that the risk of heart attack or stroke increases for men who use the products, regardless of their age, and that the increased risk rises markedly if the patient has a history of heart disease. In fact, one of the tests was canceled because researchers feared the potential risks that the tests would pose for participants.
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