Testosterone therapy is often prescribed to counteract the age-related decline in hormone levels, sex drive, muscle mass, and bone density. Unfortunately, products like Fortesta became controversial after studies found that it could increase a man’s risk of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and other life-threatening side effects.
Need a Texas Fortesta Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by Fortesta, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
What is the problem?
Blood clots in the legs are a known side effect of Fortesta, according to the Prescribing Information. This condition, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), occurs when blood thickens and sticks together. Most cases occur in the lower leg or thigh.
A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream (called an “embolism”). Once it reaches a smaller vessel, the blood clot may get stuck. This can cause severe swelling, pain, and discoloration of the leg. If the blood clot gets stuck in a vital organ, it can cause a deadly pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or stroke.
How Can Fortesta Cause a Blood Clot?
One of the most common side effects of Fortesta is an increase in the number of red blood cells (“erythropoiesis”). This increases the total volume of blood and makes it thicker, forcing the heart to work harder and elevate blood pressure to force it into the body. Testosterone may also increase circulating estrogen, which is associated with heart disease in both men and women. These factors all contribute to the risk of blood clots — especially in older men who have narrower blood vessels.
Signs & Symptoms
- Leg swelling, pain, or discoloration (symptom of DVT)
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Problems breathing or shortness of breath
- Dizziness or loss of consciousness
- And more
Treatment for a blood clot varies depending on the location and your underlying health. If you are able to take a blood-thinning medication, doctors will likely prescribe warfarin or a similar drug, which provides long-term protection against new blood clots. To dissolve the existing clot, you may be given an intravenous “clot-busting” drug like heparin.
Treatment for severe clots may involve catheter-directed thrombolysis, a procedure in which a long tube (catheter) is surgically inserted and direct toward the blood clot, where it delivers clot-busting medications. In rare cases, open surgery may be used to remove the clot.
Resources & Additional Info
- What is Deep Vein Thrombosis? — National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Preventing and Treating Blood Clots — Cancer.net.
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