Striant is a testosterone replacement product that has become controversial. The FDA is investigating several studies linking testosterone replacement therapy and life-threatening side effects, including pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs).
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Striant and Pulmonary Embolism
Striant is a buccal system for delivering testosterone through mucous membranes in the mouth. It is intended for men with hypogonadism (low testosterone). One side effect of testosterone replacement therapy is an increased number of red blood cells, which thickens the blood, elevates blood pressure, and increases your risk of blood clots in the legs. If these blood clots break loose, they can get stuck in the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
Studies Linking Striant and Pulmonary Embolism
In a study published in 2011, Dr. Charles Glueck demonstrated that men with previously undiagnosed genetic risk-factors for blood-clotting, such as factor V Leiden mutation or elevated homocysteine levels, may be at greater risk of developing DVT or pulmonary embolism within 3 months of starting testosterone. However, the study was limited by a small sample size. Even so, experts recommend screening patients for genetic risk-factors before starting testosterone replacement therapy.
Pulmonary Embolism Information
Pulmonary embolisms usually arise from blood clots that originate in deep veins in the legs (also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT). In rare cases, blood clots grow in the pelvis, kidney, arms, or heart. After traveling through the bloodstream, large blood clots can get stuck in the main pulmonary artery or the smaller branches inside the lungs.
- Coughing up blood
- Heart failure or shock
- Heart palpitations
- Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in lungs)
- Severe breathing difficulty
- Severe bleeding (usually a complication of treatment)
- Sudden Death
A pulmonary embolism requires emergency treatment. You may need to be hospitalized. The first step is usually administering supplemental oxygen and an intravenous (IV) blood-thinning medication, such as heparin. This will help prevent new blood clots from forming and dissolve existing clots in your lungs. Patients who cannot take blood-thinners may need surgery or an implanted device called an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter.
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