August 22, 2014 — A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a man from California who used Depo-Testosterone, a popular testosterone replacement injection, and suffered severe heart problems.
The plaintiff, Gonzalo Menendez, was 39 years old when he was prescribed Depo-Testosterone (200/mg/ml). He used it from May 2011 until August 2012. He used the product to treat symptoms he attributed to low testosterone, but was otherwise healthy.
After taking Depo-Testosterone for just over a year, he suffered multiple acute infarctions in August 2012. He was hospitalized for a prolonged period of time and is now significantly more likely to have additional cerebrovascular accidents and death.
The lawsuit was filed on July 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Pfizer, Inc.
According to the complaint (PDF):
“Depo-Testosterone may produce undesirable side effects to patients who use the drug, including but not limited to, myocardial infarction, stroke, and death. In some patient populations, Depo-Testosterone use may increase the incidence of myocardial infarctions and death by over 500%.”
Depo-Testosterone has been on the market since July 1979. However, it was not until recently that studies found cardiovascular risks. Testosterone therapy was already known to increase the risk of blood clots. In older adults with narrower blood vessels, blood clots are more dangerous.
One recent study found that older men on testosterone were twice as likely to have a heart attack. Another study found a 30% increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. The FDA is currently investigating these studies. In the meantime, they have asked drug-makers to strengthen warnings about the risk of blood clots and venous thromboembolism (VTE).
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