WARNING: Testosterone Therapy Could Cause Blood Clots
LATEST alarming research shows that men who are on a prescribed cycle of testosterone therapy could suffer from an increased risk of blood clotting during their first 6 months of therapy.
It seems that these damaging results may have been previously missed due to methodological issues.
These damning results were initially published in the British Medical Journal back in November 2016.
The research illustrates that there is a heightened risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) which can be increased by up to 63% during the first 6 months of treatment.
It is important to understand that although the real risk is still very low across the broad spectrum of people going through treatment the risk is still present and can affect some patients.
As such a warning is valid by the US Food and Drug Administration due to the risk of venous thromboembolism concerned with testosterone products.
As with most drugs, there must be an analysis put in place beforehand which weighs up the risks versus benefits.
This can be assimilated by the physician, the endocrinologist along with the patient.
These risks must be highlighted and publicized to ensure informed decisions can be made to ensure that the patient is receiving the most suitable form of treatment through a quicker and more informed diagnosis of any venous thromboembolism.
It is important for the patients to be fully aware and rigorously informed of the symptoms and any signs of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
These symptoms can consist of leg pain, leg swelling and shortness of breath. If these are experienced the patient should inform a medical professional immediately.
In recent years the diagnosis of low testosterone has increased massively and as such, the prescription of testosterone as followed this trend.
This has been down to much more awareness of the symptoms of low testosterone such as sexual dysfunction and a lack of energy.
Since the 2000’s prescriptions of testosterone have increased 10 fold per capita in the USA alone and a staggering 40 fold increase in Canada!
The initial studies investigating the relationship between testosterone use and associated risks of VTE contradict the new research results.
Researchers believe this is due to none of the previous studies had actually investigated the timing and duration of testosterone use, which could have masked a risk of venous thromboembolism soon after the initial stages of treatment as seen with oral contraceptives.
It was necessary to investigate the correlation further, as such a selection of 19215 male participants with confirmed VTE and nearly 1 million age-matched controls from a source population of 2.92 million individuals registered at 370 general practices in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
All of the records were linked back to hospital discharge diagnosis and in-hospital procedures, plus information on all -cause mortality.
The information showed that current testosterone use was identified in 0.36% of VTE patients and 0.14% of controls.
The results showed that the most common form of testosterone treatment was intramuscular preparations (54.2%), transdermal preparations (36.2%) and finally oral administration which accounted for 7.8%.
The current research team make a point of noting that due to the previous studies failing to examine the timing and duration of testosterone use that the researchers may have missed the transient peak in VTE risk in the initial stages of treatment because of a phenomenon which is known as a depletion of susceptibles.
The real reasons behind the transient increased risk is still shadowed in mystery, however, there are theories from the research team.
This could be that it may involve an initial decrease in fibrinolysis which is associated with previously undiagnosed thrombophilia-hypofibrinolysis as well as or increased cardiovascular risk due to impotency which could be followed by a secondary response to increase fibrinolysis, this then neutralizes the increased risk.
The advice stresses the importance of measuring the timing and duration of treatment. This is a crucial element in all drug safety and especially for hormonal treatment and venous thromboembolism.