Androderm is a testosterone patch manufactured by Actavis Inc. Unfortunately, recent studies have raised concern that Androderm could increase the risk of blood clots. Men who develop blood clots from Androderm are also at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), heart attack, stroke, and death.
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Can Androderm Cause Blood Clots?
The testosterone in Androderm increases the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which enhances performance. This also increases the total volume and thickness of the blood. The heart must work harder to force blood through veins, which increases blood pressure. Not surprisingly, this can potentially increase the risk of blood clots, especially in the legs.
Research Linking Testosterone and Blood Clots
In August 2013, Dr. Charles Glueck published a study in Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis involving nearly 600 men who had blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). Several patients developed devastating complications, including one who had bone death in the hip (osteonecrosis) and another who went blind in one eye.
Dr. Glueck warned:
“Our research found that 1.2% of men who landed in the hospital with dangerous and potentially lethal blood clots in the deep veins of the legs or in the lungs developed these clots within three months of starting testosterone therapy.”
Androderm Blood Clots in the Legs
Androderm blood clots tend to form in the legs, in a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Symptoms of DVT can include pain, swelling, and redness in your legs. If a blood clot grows very large, it can damage veins in the legs and obstruct circulation.
Small pieces of the blood clot can also break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism may include chest pain, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, and more.
Treatment for Blood Clots
Treatment depends on the location of the blood clot and the patient’s overall health. There are several options available, including:
- Blood-thinning drugs (anticoagulants): Prescription medications that interfere with enzymes that blood platelets use to stick together — i.e, Coumadin (warfarin).
- Clot-busting drugs: These are usually intravenous (IV) medications administered in a hospital to dissolve blood clots — i.e, heparin.
- Catheter-directed thrombolysis: Catheter is inserted into a vein in the leg until it reaches the clot, and clot-busting drugs are infused.
- Surgery: Emergency surgical removal of a blood clot, usually as a last resort. Also known as embolectomy or venous thrombectomy.
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