Evidence linking testosterone replacement therapy and heart attacks has been growing since 2010. However, many lawsuits accuse drug-makers of downplaying this risk information. If you had a heart attack after using Fortesta, you are not alone.
What is the problem?
One of the first studies linking testosterone and heart attacks was published in 2010 by the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers wanted to know whether testosterone would improve the health of older men with limited mobility. Instead, the study was halted prematurely after 23 men on testosterone had heart attacks, vs. 5 men on a placebo.
Fortesta and Heart Attack
Fortesta (testosterone gel) can increase the number of red blood cells in your body. This may also thicken the blood, elevate blood pressure, and increase the risk of blood clots. If a blood clot gets stuck in a coronary artery, it can potentially cause a heart attack.
FDA Requires Warnings About Testosterone Heart Attack Risk
March 3, 2015 — In a Safety Communication, the FDA has required warning about the possible increased risk of heart attacks on the label for Fortesta and all testosterone replacement products. The FDA cautions that Fortesta is not approved or recommended for the treatment of “Low T” associated with aging. They are also requiring new clinical trials to assess the risk of heart attacks from Fortesta. Click here to read more.
Patients using Fortesta should seek medical attention immediately if symptoms of a heart attack or 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
What is a Heart Attack?
Like all muscles in the body, the heart muscle needs a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. Heart attacks occur when something blocks at least one coronary artery, which is the blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Within a few minutes, tissues are “starved” of oxygen and begin to die. The amount of damage depends on the size of the area that did not receive oxygen and the amount of time until treatment.
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Not all heart attacks produce symptoms (“silent” heart attacks). When symptoms appear, they usually include:
- Chest pain or upper-body discomfort: Usually occurs gradually, but may be sudden. Often described as a sense of tightness, crushing, or squeezing pain, sometimes feels more like back pain, indigestion, or heartburn.
- Shortness of breath: Occurs when a heart attack limits the amount of oxygen-rich blood that is supplied to the body.
- Sweating excessively
- Feeling tired
- Nausea, vomiting
- Light-headedness, dizziness, or losing consciousness
- Anxiety; feeling like something is wrong
Call 9-1-1 right away — within 5 minutes — if you or someone else is having a heart attack. Paramedics can begin life-saving treatment with supplemental oxygen, aspirin to prevent further clotting, heart medications (nitroglycerin), pain medications, and defibrillators if the heart stops working.