On July 31, 2014, California resident Gonzalo Menendez filed a new testosterone lawsuit against Pfizer, Inc. The case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
According to court documents, the plaintiff used Depo-Testosterone as prescribed, but suffered serious injuries as a result. He seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages.
Plaintiff Suffers Stroke After Taking Testosterone
Menendez was prescribed Depo-Testosterone when he was about 39 years old. He claims to have used it as directed from about May 25, 2011 to August 29, 2012. He was taking the 200 mg/ml dose.
Around August 6, 2011, he suffered from a stroke and was hospitalized for an extended period of time. He was diagnosed with multiple acute infarctions and classified as being at increased risk for additional cerebrovascular accidents and death.
Menendez didn’t connect his stroke with his prescription at first, but allegedly learned at a later date that the two were linked. He now believes it was the testosterone therapy that caused his stroke, and states in his complaint that had Pfizer properly disclosed the risks associated with the drug, he would not have used it.
Studies Link Testosterone Therapy with Increased Risk of Stroke
Scientific studies have indicated that men taking testosterone replacement therapy may be at an increased risk for stroke. In 2013, for example, researchers looked at data from over 8,700 men who had low testosterone. A total of 1,223 started testosterone therapy after experiencing a coronary angiography. Among these, 67 died, 23 had heart attacks, and 33 suffered from strokes.
An analysis of the data showed that those taking testosterone drugs had a 30 percent increased risk of heart attack, death and stroke.
An earlier 2010 study found similar results. Researchers gave men 65 years and older who were diagnosed with low testosterone either a placebo or a testosterone gel. During the course of the study, those taking the drug had higher rates of cardiac and respiratory events than did the placebo group. The results were so concerning that the researchers halted the study prematurely.
A 2014 study also indicated that testosterone use doubled the risk of heart attacks in men over 65, and tripled the risk of heart attacks in men younger than 65 who already had heart disease.
Pfizer Failed to Provide Adequate Warnings
The FDA has approved the use of Depo-Testosterone as a therapy for men who are diagnosed with hypogonadism (low testosterone caused by a medical condition). It comes in both 100 mg/mL and 200 mg/mL doses that are given as intramuscular injections.
Menendez claims that Pfizer failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks of the drug, and also overpromoted it in advertisements, while downplaying health hazards. “Manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapy drugs have coordinated an aggressive advertising campaign designed to convince men that they suffered from low testosterone,” he states in his complaint.
Menendez brings counts of failure to warn, negligence, breach of warranties, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and violation of consumer protection laws. His wife claims loss of consortium.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.