Testosterone injections like Delatestryl are a popular way to treat “Low T.” Delatestryl is known to increase the risk of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis). Unfortunately, recent studies indicate that it may also increase the risk of blood clot complications like heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism.
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Delatestryl and Blood Clots
Delatestryl is a prescription injection of testosterone. It is approved to treat men with hypogonadism, a medical condition in which the testicles produce little or no hormones. Like all testosterone replacement products, Delatestryl can potentially cause blood clots in the legs (also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT). This side effect is listed in the Prescribing Information.
How Can Delatestryl Cause Blood Clots?
The testosterone in Delatestryl is a Schedule III controlled substance because athletes use it to “pump up” their blood. Testosterone increases the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which boosts athletic performance. Unfortunately, this also thickens the blood and elevates blood pressure, which increases the risk of blood clots — especially for older men and those with narrow arteries due to heart disease.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot grows deep inside the body, usually in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, but sometimes other areas of the body. The blood clot can grow very large and cause circulatory problems or venous damage in the legs. Small pieces of the blood clot can also break off, travel in the bloodstream, block an artery, or get trapped in the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms of a Blood Clot
Symptoms of a blood clot in the legs:
Symptoms of a blood clot in the lungs or heart (pulmonary embolism or heart attack):
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Upper body discomfort (arms, back, neck, jaw)
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Symptoms of a blood clot in the brain (stroke):
- Sudden, severe headache
- Loss of muscle coordination, falling, trouble walking, paralysis
- Trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Drooping side of the face
- Arms drift downward when raised above the head
Resources & Additional Information
- Blood Clots — American Society of Hematology
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