AndroDerm (testosterone patch) can increase your risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). This life-threatening disorder occurs when blood clots in the legs travel to the lungs and obstruct circulation.
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AndroDerm and Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) has been associated with all testosterone replacement products, including AndroDerm (testosterone patch). The problem is that testosterone boosts the number of red blood cells, which can thicken the blood (a condition known as “polycythemia”).
In June 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the risk of VTE from AndroDerm and other testosterone products. The agency received reports that were unrelated to polycythemia. However, the new warnings were not related to the agency’s investigation of heart attack, strokes, and deaths linked to testosterone.
What is Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)?
Venous thromboembolism (VTE), or “venous thrombosis,” is a medical condition that begins when a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside the body (deep vein thrombosis or DVT). In most cases, blood clots grow in the legs. Veins in the lower parts of the body lead to the lungs. If a blood clot in the legs breaks loose (called an “embolism”) it can travel through the body into the lungs (called a pulmonary embolism or PE). This chain of events is known as a VTE.
Long-term complications include recurrent VTE, post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). By far the most common complication, PTS, affects nearly 50% of people who experience blood clots in the legs. PTS occurs when blood clots damage valves in leg veins, allowing fluid to pool around the ankle. Symptoms include chronic leg pain, swelling, redness, and ulcers (sores).
- Leg pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or warmth
- Edema (swelling of extremities)
- Veins on legs become more visible
- Chest pain (sharp, stabbing pain when breathing deeply)
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Coughing (may contain blood)
- Fainting or feeling light-headed
- And more
- What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) / Pulmonary Embolism (PE) — National Institute of Health (NIH)
- Treatment for Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS) — Blood Journal (2009)
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