AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into two pharmaceutical companies he says promoted hormone blockers for children experiencing gender dysphoria.

Paxton says Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and AbbVie Inc. are now being investigated under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The AG’s Office says the companies reportedly advertised and promoted Supprelin LA and Lupron Depot — medications used to treat central precocious puberty (CPP), a condition that causes puberty to begin too soon in a child — for gender dysphoria treatment without disclosing potential risks and without approval from the FDA.

In the announcement, the AG’s Office says, “Gender dysphoria is a diagnosed mental disorder in which a person experiences significant distress related to a strong desire to be of another biological sex.”

The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as “A concept designated in the DSM-5 as clinically significant distress or impairment related to a strong desire to be of another gender, which may include desire to change primary and/or secondary sex characteristics.”

This dysphoria is the stress someone who is transgender or gender non-conforming people might feel as a result of their gender identity differing from the sex assigned to them at birth. While gender dysphoria is considered a mental disorder by the APA, it’s considered among anxiety or depression — just specific to a certain population.

Not all transgender or non-binary people experience dysphoria.

AG Paxton is also investigating the prescribing of Vantas, which is prescribed for treatment of prostate cancer, and which he says is also being used for dysphoria treatment.

“The manufacture, sale, prescription, and use of puberty blockers on young teens and minors is dangerous and reckless,” AG Paxton said. “These drugs were approved for very different purposes and can have detrimental and even irreversible side effects. I will not allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Texas children.” 

In recent months, Texas lawmakers have honed in on legislation related to transgender people. Back in October, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a ban on transgender student-athletes from joining sports teams that correspond to their gender identity.