Testosterone prescriptions reportedly may increase risk of heart attacks in unsuspecting males. Men going through “manopause” are just as anxious as a woman going through menopause in search of information for help. Low testosterone causes fatigue, low libido, and low energy. Experiencing a low libido is reason enough for most men to seek a prescription that will bring them back to life again. Sales have soared to help men regain energy and a healthy sex life. As important as an active libido is to a man, becoming informed about prescription testosterone and gathering information on all of their options could possibly mean a matter of life or death.
According to NBC News, several studies have been conducted since 2008 to determine if prescription testosterone (the He hormone) was the cause of heart attacks doubling in men over the age of 65, 90 days after taking the prescription and increasing heart attacks three times in men over the age of 75. The report went on to say that a study was also conducted to compare men prescribed erectile dysfunction medication to men prescribed testosterone. The study found that the heart attack risk of men taking such drugs as Viagra and Cialis was slight in comparison to those prescribed testosterone.
Questions and concerns steadily being raised about prescribed testosterone isn’t nearly as alarming as the public being left in the dark of the possible risks to these drugs. Reported in the NY Times, a senior advisor to Washington advocacy group the Public Citizen explained that given that there have been several studies conducted now, he does not understand how the Food and Administration can justify not having warning labels of heart attack risk.
56,000 middle-aged and over the age of 65 were tracked in these findings. Their medical history was taken into consideration a year before taking the prescription and 90 days after receiving the drug. FDA spokesperson Andrea Fischer explained that once all new information is completed on testosterone prescriptions, the safety information will be released.
Many, especially those at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack, are questioning why doctors are allowed to prescribe a drug to the masses before the FDA can slap a safety label on it. Making an appointment to see a physician about a low libido is probably less than pleasant in most men’s minds. Being able to trust the physician with such personal, private information is more than worth the co-pay. The vulnerable patient has essentially turned his life over to the doctor from the time he undresses, takes a deep breath, exhales and coughs to being handed the prescription for a drug to take to the pharmacy he is trusting will cure him. The pharmacist, giving that reassuring smile in that crisp, clean white coat, instructs the vulnerable patient on how to take the medication. Should the pharmacist or doctor be required to inform the patient that studies are being conducted to see if this drug might increase heart attack risk after 90 days of taking the medication?
Maybe it is now time the patient questions the doctor and the pharmacist about medications being prescribed and asking for the results of studies conducted on these drugs before picking up any prescription. This, however, may affect the profits of the pharmaceutical companies and doctors if patients become informed about the drugs that are going into their bodies. If the patient chooses to stay in the dark and possibly suffers a heart attack, has to recover in the hospital, then schedule more doctor appointments, and ultimately pick up more medication for his low libido as well as now his failing heart…some might say the sound of a cash register is ringing some where. Cha-ching?
Editorial by Meleika Gardner