Despite what the many commercials and magazine ads tell us, there is very little known about how testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) affects older men. These ads tell us that taking testosterone will increase sex drive, increase energy, stop weight gain, increase muscle mass and even cure depression. Essentially, the drug companies tell prospective patients that if you take testosterone replacement drugs, you will feel like a much younger man.
The truth is that most doctors do not really know what a normal hormone level is for a man in his 60s. The reason for this is because there haven’t been many studies. They did not have to do many studies, because testosterone hormone was never approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat these signs of normal male aging, as the commercials suggest. In reality, the drug was approved in the 1970s to treat a relatively rare medical condition known as hypogonadism. This is condition where a young patient has an extremely low testosterone level and is having developmental disorders.
The reason they are able to give patients testosterone hormone who do not have this medical condition is because if they treat the symptoms alone and do not do testing to confirm the patient does not have hypogonadism, they are allowed to prescribe the treatment off-label pursuant to what is essentially an FDA loophole.
However, despite the ability to use TRT to treat the symptoms of normal male aging, many doctors are hesitant to do so. This is because while little is known about the benefits of TRT, it is known, as your Boston testosterone injury attorneys have seen, that it can cause an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Since doctors do not always want to use TRT, many of the patients will go to what is known as T clinic that will treat many patients while under minimal supervision from a single doctor in many cases. We have even seen examples of a doctor getting sanctioned for not actually seeing patients at the clinic at all.
There are a variety of forms of testosterone hormone, including injections, pills, creams, gels, a sublingual film, and even different sprays. The reason there are so many different delivery devices for what used to be a rarely used drug developed in the 1970s is because every company wants their own brand name and patented product on the market to share in the billions of dollars in profits being made.
A recent news feature from Medscape discusses how a new testosterone gel you put under your armpit has been shown to increase a patient’s sex drive and energy if taken for more than nine months as compared to a placebo. However, as noted in the article, they are comparing the patient to a normal 40-year-old patient’s testosterone level, as they don’t know what it should be for an older person like the study participant. They do believe that in this dose and with this method of delivery, there is not an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, they they are only relying on short term data at this point.
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2% Testosterone Ups Sex Drive, Energy for Men With Low T, August 28, 2016, By Marcia Frellick, Medscape
More Blog Entries:
FDA Announces Testosterone Meds Must Carry Broader Warning, July 7, 2014, Boston Products Liability Lawyers Blog