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Twin Heart Attacks Give Rise to His Testosterone Ire

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Philadelphia, PAAn oft-heard refrain associated with many a testosterone lawsuit is testosterone heart attack caused, allegedly, through the use of testosterone supplements. In this case, a plaintiff having recently filed an action against AbbVie and Endo alleges he had not one heart attack, but two.

All because of testosterone side effects - or so it is alleged. The complaint, filed by plaintiffs Michael and Beatriz Seaburn in late November, accuses the manufacturers of failing to warn consumers that use of testosterone supplements carried the risk for cardiovascular events, such as testosterone heart attack or testosterone stroke.

Testosterone supplements have been around for decades and approved to treat men with hypogonadism - in other words, levels of testosterone that are dangerously low or even non-existent. For these patients, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decreed that any risks associated with testosterone supplements were outweighed by the benefits for such patients.

Then along came the “Low-T” phenomenon - essentially a marketing ploy by manufacturers of testosterone gels and other related supplements that appealed to the aging baby boomer experiencing ebbing energy levels. Low-T, and the products advertised to treat it, has become a pathway of sorts to the fountain of youth - and consumers, together with their doctors, appear to have bought into it.

Flagging energy, libido and testosterone levels that ebb and flow is a normal process of aging. However, manufacturers of testosterone supplements would have consumers believe that such symptoms are appropriately treatable with a product approved only for a serious medical condition: hypogonadism.

Use of testosterone supplements can result in an over-production of red blood cells, which can thicken the blood and lead to stroke or heart attack - even testosterone death.

“Defendant provided millions of men with a scripted and contrived ‘Doctor Discussion Guide’ for the purpose of encouraging men to actively view their symptoms of aging as a ‘syndrome’ or ‘disease’ or ‘condition’ related to or caused by their diminished testosterone levels, and to seek treatment for the normal aging process with Testim, a prescription testosterone-containing medication of unproven safety or effectiveness,” Seaburn wrote in his complaint. Testim is a product originally manufactured and marketed by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc., before the latter was acquired by Endo Pharmaceuticals this past January. Seaburn used both Testim and AndroGel manufactured by AbbVie Inc.

The testosterone side effects lawsuit notes that AndroGel was approved by the FDA in 2000 for the treatment of hypogonadism, a condition that was described as affecting some one million men the year AndroGel was approved. Just four years later, by 2004, the number of “affected” men had mushroomed to 20 million. The testosterone lawsuit alleges this was due to off-label marketing toward men looking for the proverbial fountain of youth.

According to the testosterone lawsuit, Seaburn commenced use of both Testim and AndroGel topical in mid-2005 and suffered two heart attacks within the next two years. He claims pain, emotional anguish, loss of consortium and economic loss. Included in his testosterone lawsuit are claims of strict liability, negligence, breach of implied and express warranty, fraud and recklessness, and negligent misrepresentation.

The testosterone lawsuit is Michael Seaburn v. Endo Pharmaceuticals et al., Case Number 151103699, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

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READER COMMENTS

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My husband endured at least 4 heart attacks with seious damage to the lower left/right portions of his heart. As with many others he had no history of heart disease in his family, no risk factors which would have alerted us to his condition. This permitted harm to occur as no one suspected advanced heart disease. In my husband's situation there is a logged comment from me in his medicl records demanding to know how this got past his doctors, how his condition became so serious so rapidly. When the news about testosterone complications made the evening news we knew we had our answer. My husband is among the lucky ones if that is what one calls luck - he survived. We've been told he was fortunate as his young age, good health made his heart strong enough to create its own by-pass around the damaged heart area. He was just 58 when it hit him. His Dad lived well into his 80's.

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