AndroGel is a product that is used to treat low testosterone levels in men, a condition commonly referred to as “Low-T.” Abnormally low levels of testosterone can cause fatigue, low fertility, and loss of libido. The problem is that treating these conditions with AndroGel can cause blood clots, heart problems, and strokes.
Failure to Warn
Virtually any drug can have side effects. When it comes to AndroGel, attorneys for plaintiffs harmed by the product base their arguments largely on the premise that manufacturers failed to inform consumers of the potential risks. In fact, they’re overly zealous in marketing their products to men.
In 2015 alone, the pharmaceutical company AbbVie spent approximately $80,000.000 on marketing AndroGel. The campaign worked, because the company realized over one billion dollars in sales from AndroGel. At no point did they mention any of the potential side effects.
What Exactly Is AndroGel?
AndroGel is a synthetic testosterone product that is mixed with alcohol and formulated into a gel base. The patient applies it to the skin, where it dries and is then delivered into the body. It’s expensive – about $500 per month – but some insurance companies include it in the drugs that they will cover. It comes in two strengths – 1%, which is applied to the shoulders, upper arms, and abdomen, and 1.62%, which is applied only to the shoulders and upper arms.
How Does it Work?
AndroGel increases the amount of testosterone in the body. The goal is to raise the patient’s testosterone level to that found in a man with a typical, healthy testosterone level. However, if the man uses sunscreen or moisturizing lotion, he will absorb more than is necessary. This isn’t information that is commonly presented by the manufacturer of AndroGel, and an attorney may well have a cause of action for a client who has been harmed by this failure to inform.
Since AndroGel contains alcohol, patients are advised not to smoke or be near open flame when applying the gel.
Because AndroGel sits on the skin before being absorbed, people who are in contact with the patient are advised to avoid touching the patient until the medication has been absorbed. Men using AndroGel are advised to cover themselves with clothing before coming into contact with other people, and to wash the site where the AndroGel was applied before contacting another person skin-to-skin.
Secondary exposure can result in:
- Early puberty in children
- Genital enlargement
- Increased libido
- Increased body hair and acne in women
- Advanced bone age in children
- Aggressive behavior
If you have had secondary exposure to AndroGel, see an attorney. And of course, a doctor.
AndroGel has been linked to strokes and heart attacks. It has also been linked to:
- High cholesterol
- Prostate cancer
- Reduced sperm count (sometimes irreversible)
- Larger red blood cells, which can lead to clotting and stroke
- Gynecomastia (more commonly referred to as “man boobs”)
- Sleep apnea
In February of 2014, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie were sued by five men, ranging in age from 50-63, who alleged that they had suffered strokes and/or heart attacks as a result of using AndroGel. One plaintiff claims that he began using AndroGel because company advertising led him to believe erroneously that he had low testosterone, while also minimizing health risks that they knew, or ought to have known, about.
If you, or someone you care about, took AndroGel or another testosterone supplement, and suffered a blood clot, heart attack or stroke, you are strongly advised to contact an AndroGel attorney for advice, in order to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.