LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) Researchers at UCLA say testosterone supplements may double the risk of a man having a heart attack.
Doctors have been increasingly prescribing testosterone for men — to increase their sex drive, to give them more energy, to improve their moods.
KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii reports that from 2008 to 2012 prescriptions more than doubled, to 430 million.
A study led by UCLA now says the supplements might not be safe.
The study followed nearly 56,000 men who used the therapy for just three months.
The analysis? Men under 65 with a history of heart disease doubled their risk for heart attack.
Same thing for men over 65 — doubled risk.
“Testosterone increases red blood cell production and red blood production can lead to cells that coagulate,” said Dr. William Finkle, the study’s co-author.
Dr. Finkle said the drug lists the possible side effects but does not mention the increased risk of heart attack.
“The package insert, the package warning, does not include a mention about the risk, I would day that is an unexpected result,” said Dr. Finkle.
Fujii tried to get a comment from the makers of AndroGel but did not hear back.
Dr. Finkle hopes the study will lead to more research.
He says for some users, the benefits of using testosterone may outweigh the risks. But patients should talk with their doctors about their heart history before its use.
The study also compared testosterone therapy to Viagra and found no increased heart attack risk with Viagra.