The Prescribing Information for Testim includes warnings about blood clots in the legs (also known as “deep vein thrombosis”). If these blood clots grow very large, they can cause serious circulation problems. They may also lead to life-threatening complications like pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, and death.
Testim and Blood Clots
Testim (testosterone gel) is FDA-approved for men with low testosterone (hypogonadism). Unfortunately, like all testosterone replacement products, Testim is associated with blood clots in the legs (DVT).
A blood clot (or “thrombus”) is a semi-solid, sticky coagulation of red blood cells, platelets, clotting-factors (proteins), and more. If is travels in the bloodstream, a blood clot is called an “embolism.”
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition in which blood clots grow deep inside the body — usually the calf or thigh, but also sometimes the pelvis, arms, or other areas of the body. These abnormal blood clots grow when there is no injury. They can become very large, cutting off circulation in the legs. They can also migrate in the bloodstream, get trapped in vital organs, and cause a deadly pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), heart attack, or stroke.
Symptoms of Blood Clots in the Legs
- Pain or tenderness
- Discoloration (redness)
Abnormal blood clots and DVT are an emergency medical condition. You may need to be hospitalized for treatment, which may include:
- Oral blood-thinning drugs (i.e, warfarin): Prevents new blood clots and keeps existing blood clots from getting bigger.
- Intravenous “clot-busting” drugs (i.e, heparin): Helps the body dissolve existing blood clots.
- Compression stockings: Tight stockings worn on the lower legs to improve circulation and help prevent new blood clots.
- Catheter-directed thrombolysis: Doctors use a long, flexible tube (catheter), guide it to the blood clot, and deploy clot-busting drugs to dissolve the blood clot.
- Surgery: In emergency situations, doctors may need to use open surgery to remove a blood clot.