By Ryan Woldoff
Special to THELAW.TV
Television is littered with advertisements for endless amounts of products. Cars, alcohol, perfume, useless kitchen products, and maintaining an erection. Yes, the low blood flow to the male sexual organ has taken over huge amounts of ad space in recent years, with the increased availability of pills, gels, and other treatments to combat the sudden and widespread decline in manhood.
Or is that just what they want you to believe?
You've seen the commercials on television. A middle-aged man with chiseled features and his way-too-hot-to-be-the-same-age wife (or girlfriend) driving around in a classic convertible, genuinely enjoying each other's company. Why? Because he uses testosterone replacement therapy.
"Hey," the man says. "I was tired and couldn't perform … but my doctor prescribed WonderGel and now my sex life is great again. I feel like I'm a teenager!"
It's the genius of marketing; tell people what they want to hear. It's only during the montage of sightseeing and laughter do we hear a low, monotone voice telling us all the side effects and serious health risks associated with using these products. The drug manufacturers portray these testosterone replacement medicines like they're a wonder drug. But they bury the details.
As with any controversial drug, lawyers are taking aim.
"Although designed for men with low levels of the male hormone, the manufacturer downplayed the risks and actively marketed directly to men expressing that their symptoms could be related to low-testosterone and to talk with their doctors for prescriptions," says Houston, Texas personal injury attorney Candice McNabb.
McNabb is one of a growing number of lawyers nationwide who are helping testosterone patients take on the large pharmaceutical companies for over-selling the promise, while downplaying the risk.
"Researchers found men who used testosterone therapy were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die after three years of use," McNabb says. "Additionally, there have been reports of family members coming in contact with male testosterone gel/cream users and experiencing early puberty and/or androgen-related side effects, such as facial hair."
Testosterone is the hormone required for the development of masculine traits and growth, and androgen replacement therapy is intended to help those with low serum testosterone levels battle the unpleasant effects of that condition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted testosterone replacement products approval only for use in male patients who have been diagnosed with "low-t" in conjunction with an underlying medical condition, such as hypogonadism.
While there are numerous types of treatments, none of these applications have been approved by the FDA for use in men who have not been diagnosed with an associated condition known to cause it. Yet many men are prescribed testosterone for seemingly innocuous issues. And some of those men are facing health risks that weren't included on the warning label.
Recent studies have shown that men using testosterone replacement drugs are more at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Millions of men have been using these drugs for years, completely unaware that they may be putting themselves at such a high risk of suffering a heart attack.
Now, the FDA is investigating the risk of of stroke, heart attack, and death associated with "low-t" therapy. This investigation may impact whether and how men can use testosterone in the future. But, for now, we'll still see those "low-t" commercials, and many more men may continue to subject themselves to major health risks, all to feel young again.
"The ads worked and sales soared," says McNabb.
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