As Seen On TV: Media Ads Increase Supplement Sales

As Seen On TV: Media Ads Increase Supplement Sales

Even though there may be more evidence to support serious side effects than product efficacy, the “low-T” ads prominently featured on television have caused a surge in testosterone supplement sales, according to a recent study.

Most of the ads ran in the southeast and Great Lakes region, where some men saw up to fourteen commercials a month, or 200 such commercials during the study period. The study concluded that every commercial triggered an increase in testosterone testing, new prescriptions, and especially in prescriptions without testing. Dr. Richard Kravitz, who sits on the faculty at the University of California-Davis, said that this latest testosterone study underscored the sometimes harmful effects of patient advertising.

Since such commercials are “designed primarily to increase sales, not inform and educate the public,” potential testosterone supplement patients should “present their symptoms and concerns as objectively as possible to their physician,” he advised.

Why Men Take Testosterone Supplements

Ponce de Leon first started looking for the Fountain of Youth in the 1500s. Now, according to drug makers, this mythical source of endless virility is available in convenient gel, injection, patch, and implant formats.

Medically, some men do suffer from hypogonadism, and a testosterone supplement is the most effective treatment for this condition. But most men take these supplements to deal with things like memory loss, fatigue, irritability, and other “male menopause” symptoms. Yet despite the seeming connection between low testosterone levels and these various maladies, there is almost no evidence that testosterone therapy reverses these symptoms or even counters them in a meaningful way.

Possible Serious Side Effects

In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration first sounded the alarm about the connection between testosterone therapy and serious side effects. These efforts culminated in 2015, when the agency began requiring Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, and other manufacturers to add warning labels about the “increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.” This same warning also advised doctors to prescribe testosterone therapy in only a few limited situations.

Researchers believe that, especially among older men, testosterone increases the amount of coronary artery plaque, a thick, waxy substance that builds up and effectively clogs arteries to the heart. The same study found that, among younger men with a preexisting condition, one in every 100 patients who take a testosterone supplement could have a heart attack.

Several earlier studies yielded similar findings. In one, a patient died from a testosterone-induced heart attack during the study period; in another, researchers cancelled the study early because the potential cardiovascular health risk was too high.

Testosterone supplements have few beneficial effects and carry a high risk of serious side effects. If you or a loved one was harmed while taking testosterone, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Bowling Green for a free consultation. At the Law Office of Gary S. Logsdon & Associates, we do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.