Delatestryl (testosterone) has become controversial. Several studies have found that testosterone replacement therapy increases the risk of developing blood clots. This condition, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can lead to life-threatening complications like pulmonary embolism.
What is the problem with Delatestryl?
Delatestryl is an injection medication for men with hypogonadism (low testosterone). The intramuscular injection of Delatestryl delivers testosterone directly into the bloodstream. One well-known side effect of testosterone replacement therapy is an increase in the number of blood platelets, which may also lead to elevated blood pressure and thickening of the blood. These risk-factors may increase your chances of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) — blood clots in the legs.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Overview
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot (or “thrombus”) in a vein deep inside the body — usually the calf or thigh, but also sometimes the pelvis or other area. DVT does not involve surface veins, which are associated with varicose veins. It is a very serious condition that can permanently damage veins in the legs or lead to life-threatening complications like pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs).
- Red discoloration of the leg
- Pain or tenderness in the calf or thigh
- Swelling of the leg
- Skin warmth
- Surface veins are more visible
- Leg weakness
Early treatment with blood-thinning medications (anti-coagulants) is important to prevent serious complications. Most people will take an oral blood-thinner, such as warfarin. In serious cases, patients may need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous blood-thinners, such as heparin. Over time, the body will usually dissolve the clot.
If medications do not work, patients may need catheter-directed thrombolysis. This treatment involves a catheter (long, flexible tube) that is inserted into the leg vein. The catheter tip is placed into the clot and a “clot-busting” drug is infused. Most blood clots will dissolve in 1-2 days.