Axiron is a testosterone replacement product manufactured by Lilly USA. The product is marketed to help men with low testosterone, or “Low T.” Unfortunately, it may also increase the risk of blood clots and complications like heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and death.
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Can Axiron Cause Blood Clots?
Yes. The Prescribing Information for Axiron includes warnings about blood clots in the legs (also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT) which may cause pain, swelling, and redness in the legs.
Testosterone and Blood Clots
Testosterone is a Schedule III controlled substance because it makes changes to the bloodstream — boosting the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This increases the total volume and thickness of blood, forcing the heart to work harder and elevating blood pressure. Testosterone also reduces HDL (“good”) cholesterol and increases free-circulating estrogens. Not surprisingly, these effects can also increase the risk of blood clots — especially for older men and those with heart disease.
Complications of a Blood Clot
Recent studies have linked Axiron and other testosterone replacement therapy products to an increased risk of blood clot complications, including:
- Heart attack: This occurs when blood clots obstruct coronary arteries (vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle). A study published in PLOS One found that men over 65 on testosterone were twice as likely to have a heart attack, and men under 65 with heart disease were three times as likely compared to men who did not use testosterone.
- Stroke: This occurs when blood clots are trapped in the brain, which cuts off the supply of oxygen to brain cells. JAMA published a study linking testosterone to a 30% increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, and death compared to men who did not use testosterone.
- Pulmonary embolism: Axiron is associated with blood clots that form in the legs. If these blood clots break loose, they can travel through the bloodstream and get pumped into the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
Studies of Testosterone and Blood Clots
Blood clots can cause a wide variety of complications in other organ systems. In October 2011, Dr. Charles Glueck published a study in which 1.2% of nearly 600 men who had DVT and pulmonary embolism also reported using testosterone. Several patients developed rare but serious complications, including one man who went blind in one eye, and another man who developed osteonecrosis (bone death) in his hip.
Need an Axiron Lawyer in Texas?
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