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Low Testosterone Side Effects

What Are The Dangers Associated With Low Testosterone Therapy?

If you’re an older man, and you’re exhibiting symptoms of low testosterone, you might be tempted to schedule an appointment with a specialist and find out whether you can be prescribed a low testosterone drug. You might want to think again, though.

In early 2014, the FDA made an official safety announcement through their website and the press that made clear that the agency would be investigating the link between heart disease and low T drugs. Prompted by a growing body of anecdotal evidence, scientific studies, and a year-over-year increase in testosterone drug prescriptions, the FDA decided to investigate.


The FDA cited two studies in their press release.


The first study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2013, showed that older men receiving testosterone treatment had about a 30% increased risk of death, heart attack, and stroke, compared to the group that was not receiving testosterone therapy.

The second study showed an increased risk of heart attack in older men, as well as in younger men who had a pre-existing heart condition. The study showed that the risk of heart attack doubled in men over 65 in the first three months after filling the initial prescription. In younger men with a pre-existing heart condition, there was a two- or three-fold increased risk of a heart attack.

Do You Have Low T?


Take a look at the following list of Low T symptoms:

  • Depression, low mood
  • Decreased sense of well-being
  • Difficulties with focus and memory
  • Decrease in bone density, bone strength
  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Increase in body fat
  • Loss of body hair, less of a need to shave
  • Reduced muscle mass


A lot of these symptoms are mirrored by other medical conditions, e.g., high blood pressure, depression, and coronary artery disease. However, a health care professional will order a specific blood test to check your testosterone level. You shouldn’t self-diagnose yourself with “Low T” before you get the appropriate evaluation and test from a health care professional.

The only sure way to detect the condition is to have a health care professional measure how much testosterone you have in your blood. It can sometimes take two to three measurements of testosterone to be certain a patient has a deficiency, because levels of the hormone fluctuate throughout the day. Because the highest levels of testosterone are in the morning, doctors prefer to get measurements taken in the early morning.

Even if you are diagnosed with Low T, you might want to weigh the serious and documented risks of Low T drugs against the potential benefits.


Testosterone Therapy Side Effects & Potential Dangers

The number of men getting testosterone therapy has tripled from 2001 to 2011, and it is more important than ever to spread information about the documented side effects and proven dangers. There has to be some counterbalance to the over-prescription and aggressive marketing of low testosterone drugs.

There are many testosterone drug manufacturers, and there are about a dozen popular drugs used to treat the condition. The side effects profiles are different for each drug, but there are some potential dangers common to them:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Increased risk of prostate cancer
  • Stroke
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Heart attack
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Acne
  • Breast enlargement
  • Anemia

Low T Drugs And The Increased Risk Of Heart Problems

Two compelling studies, each involving several thousand men, showed a clear and conclusive link between low testosterone therapy and increased risk for heart disease, e.g., sudden cardiac death, stroke, blood clotting, and heart attack. Right now, lawsuits are moving forward against pharmaceutical companies that created and marketed these drugs. The side effects associated with testosterone therapy are serious, and careful consideration is warranted.

Low Testosterone Therapy Side Effects

While low testosterone treatment is prescribed to combat the effects of aging such as diminished libido, lowered muscle strength and bone density, erectile dysfunction and depression, it has now been proven by medical studies that testosterone products can have adverse health effects, ranging from minor to more serious, life-threatening ones. Serious side-effects include:

Myocardial infraction (heart attacks)

This is the most common type of side effects that has been seen in patients who undertook low testosterone therapy. Patients with a history of heart disease and complications were more likely to have a heart attack.


The second most common type of side effects. This happens because of a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. Mini-strokes (transient ischemic attack or TIA) are also possible and have been alleged at least in one lawsuit against the makers of AndroGel

Prostate Cancer

While the research is not as conclusive as it is on heart strokes and heart attacks, the risk for prostate cancer has not been entirely ruled out. Those who have undergone or are currently undergoing testosterone therapy are advised to take a PSA test once or twice a year.