March 12, 2014 — AbbVie Inc. and Abbott Laboratories have been hit with yet another lawsuit involving AndroGel (testosterone gel). The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Illinois on March 10 by a man who used AndroGel for five months before suffering a stroke (cerebrovascular accident).
The 56 year-old plaintiff used AndroGel from January to May 2011. He used it to treat symptoms that he blamed on “low testosterone” after viewing advertisements on TV. Before starting testosterone replacement therapy, White had no history of heart disease and was very healthy.
On May 30, White had a stroke (blood clot in the brain). Though he survived, it has changed his life — he must restrict his diet, take medications, and have routine medical care. In addition, he is at risk of long-term complications like heart disease, more strokes, and even death.
White alleges that if he had known about the link between AndroGel and stroke, he never would have used the product, monitored his health more closely, or he would have limited his dose.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in the same state where AbbVie and Abbott Laboratories are headquartered. The companies have been hit with several lawsuits accusing them of engaging in an aggressive “disease awareness” campaign aimed at convincing millions of men that they might have “low T,” and convincing doctors that the condition is widespread.
In reality, AndroGel is only FDA-approved for hypogonadism, a serious medical condition in which the testicles do not produce testosterone. The condition is generally only seen in men who have missing testicles, cancer, or disorders of the brain or pituitary gland. AndroGel is not approved to treat low testosterone that occurs as a natural part of the aging process.