Thousands of testosterone booster lawsuits have been consolidated in a Chicago courtroom, where pharmaceutical giants such as AbbVie Inc. will face patients who say testosterone therapy products caused them harm. More than 2,000 men suffered heart attacks and strokes after using testosterone products made by AbbVie Inc. and other companies.
One patient, Steve Schabel of Indiana, says that he suffered a near-fatal double pulmonary embolism of the lungs after using low testosterone drugs in the form of gels and then an injection. Schabel was in his mid-30s when he began using Low T drugs for depression and fatigue, but had no previous heart conditions. He now must take blood-thinning drugs for the rest of his life.
Sales of testosterone boosters have steadily risen since 2000, turning testosterone into a $2 billion industry annually. Prior to 2000, testosterone was only administered to patients with clinically proven cases of hypogonadism, the term for clinically low testosterone. As many as 25% of men receiving testosterone have not even been checked for hypogonadism.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved self-applied use of testosterone gels, it stressed that it was not endorsing the use of boosters for age-related testosterone issues. The FDA issued a warning letter to one of the primary manufacturers at the time, Unimed Pharmaceuticals, which was marketing the products for that purpose.
After several unreliable studies produced mixed results on the dangers associated with testosterone boosters, the FDA has ordered manufacturers to conduct controlled trials to more accurately determine potential risks. Doctors and researchers have previously called the lack of good information and the presence of potential testosterone booster side effects an important public health concern.