Recent studies have linked testosterone replacement products, such as Depo-Testosterone, with an increased risk of blood clots in the legs — a condition known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT.
Depo-Testosterone DVT Overview
Depo-Testosterone is an injection of the synthetic hormone testosterone cypionate that is FDA-approved to treat male hypogonadism (low testosterone).
The problem with testosterone replacement therapy is that it can elevate the number of blood platelets. This can potentially increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots by thickening the blood and elevating blood pressure. About 5% of American men have genetic mutations that increase the risk of blood clots and DVT. Many doctors recommend getting a blood test before starting Depo-Testosterone.
Overview: What is DVT?
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition that occurs when blood clots grow deep inside the body when there is no injury. These abnormal blood clots usually grow in the calf or thigh, but they may also grow in the arm, pelvis, or other veins.
The most serious complication of DVT is a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). This occurs when blood clots travel in the bloodstream, through the heart, and into the lungs. Although DVT alone rarely causes death, up to one-third of people who have a pulmonary embolism do not survive.
Treatment goals for DVT include stopping new clots from forming and preventing pulmonary embolism. Most people will be given blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants) that decrease the blood’s ability to clot.
In severe cases, doctors may use a technique called catheter-directed thrombolysis, in which a long, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into the vein and a “clot-dissolving” drug is injected directly into the blood clot.
Resources & Additional Info
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) — American College of Chest Physicians
- Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) — Mayo Clinic