Testosterone is a hormone produced naturally in the testicles beginning at puberty and gradually decreases after age 30. By the time a male reaches age 65 his testosterone levels are significantly lower, leaving some men feeling tired, lethargic, and with a reduced libido. As a treatment for this condition, doctors have been prescribing testosterone therapy, low-t for short, usually in the form of rubbing a gel on the body. The objective of the therapy is to restore a percentage of the testosterone lost due to aging. Men by the millions have been lured by slick advertising and have started taking the therapy. It has been said that given the frenzy over this new anti-aging treatment, some doctors prescribe the treatments without measuring a man’s testosterone to see if it was low in the first place.
Up until recently there was no official clinical study to review to see if testosterone therapy was indeed effective. A clinical study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that using testosterone therapy achieved only moderate results. The benefits were not in energy levels, improved physique or physical fitness as is often advertised, but instead limited to modestly increased sexual performance, less than that of taking one Viagra or Cialis pill. Moreover, the study was too small to address the most important issue of whether using testosterone increases one’s risk of heart disease and prostate cancer.
Of the 790 men over age 65 that received testosterone and not the placebo, the risks for prostate cancer may have significantly increased. One of the more dangerous factors of taking testosterone is that it increases one’s PSA levels, the same markers that are recorded in a standard screening for prostate cancer. It is difficult now for testing to distinguish between PSA levels elevated by testosterone therapy or those increased due to the onset of prostate cancer. This is true not only in the study’s participants but also in the testosterone therapy taking population in general.
Men of all ages should be aware that the FDA has warned of the potential health risks of taking low-t therapy and will be conducting further research. Testosterone therapy may pose a potential increased risk of heart attack for men of any age. According to unofficial studies, men under 65 with a history of heart disease had a two-threefold increase in the risk of Myocardial Infarction over men who received no treatments. For men over age 65, the risk increase was also two-fold for those without a history of heart disease.
Given the modest benefits of engaging in testosterone therapy and the potential health problems that it may cause, it might be wise to wait until more data is forthcoming before considering testosterone therapy as a treatment for a decrease in libido or other age-related conditions.
if you or a loved one suffered severe complications after Testosterone therapy, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm by completing the short case review form on this page, or call us at 214-526-7900 to receive a free and confidential testosterone lawsuit consultation.
Thanks to: NY Times