For men with low testosterone, injection drugs like Delatestryl have become controversial. The FDA is investigating several studies linking testosterone replacement therapy and cardiovascular events, including one study that found a 30% increased risk of stroke among older men on testosterone.
Delatestryl and Stroke
Delatestryl (testosterone enanthate injection) is approved for men with low testosterone due to a medical condition called hypogonadism. One of the most common side effects is increased production of red blood cells, which may also increase blood pressure and the risk of developing a blood clot. If these blood clots travel to the brain, they could potentially cause a deadly stroke.
FDA Warns About Delatestryl Stroke Risk
March 3, 2015 — The FDA has published a Safety Communication to announce that the makers of Delatestryl and other testosterone replacement products must add warnings about the possible increased risk of stroke. They also must conduct clinical trials to study the risk of stroke. The FDA has emphasized that Delatestryl is not approved for treating “Low T” due to aging. Click here to read more.
If you use Delatestryl, seek emergency medical attention if symptoms of a stroke are present, such as:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Weakness in one part or one side of the body
- Slurred speech
FDA Investigates Testosterone Stroke Risk
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study in November 2013 linking the use of testosterone to a 30% increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and death. Two months later, the FDA opened an investigation.
The JAMA study also found that just 50% of men on testosterone actually had hypogonadism. Furthermore, 25% of patients received a prescription without ever having a blood test. These statistics are alarming because testosterone is not a “cure-all” for male aging — it is a lifetime commitment with life-threatening side effects.
What is a Stroke?
Strokes, also known as “brain attacks,” occur when the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain is cut off. Strokes caused by blood clots are called ischemic strokes or a transient ischemic attack (“mini-stroke” for less than 5 minutes).
During a stroke, brain cells (neurons) do not receive oxygen. If blood-flow is not restored in a few minutes, permanent brain damage occurs. The complications vary depending on what part of the brain is damaged. Over two-thirds of strokes result in some disability — paralysis, memory loss, muscle weakness, drooping side of the face, speech problems, etc.
Stroke symptoms usually appear suddenly. According to MedLine Plus, the symptoms of a stroke may include:
- Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
- Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause