More specialists question safety of testosterone therapy for older men

February 17, 2014
More specialists question safety of testosterone therapy for older men
Endocrine Society echoes recent FDA concerns about the popular supplements.

(HealthDay)—Following the recent announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the potential hazards of using testosterone supplements in older men, another group of experts is raising concerns about the popular treatments.

In a statement, specialists in hormonal therapy at the Endocrine Society said the risks and benefits of supplements for with age-related declines in must be investigated more carefully.

Older men considering such regimens should be warned about the possible risks, particularly heart-related events such as and stroke, the group said.

The Endocrine Society issued the warning after three recent studies revealed testosterone may not be safe for older men with a history of heart disease. The studies found these men had more heart-related events than men not on .

For example, in one study published recently in the journal PLoS One, an increased risk of heart attack was found in men younger than 65 with a history of , and in older men even if they didn't have a history of the disease.

Testosterone therapy has been widely advertised as a way to help aging men improve low sex drive and reclaim diminished energy, and use of the supplements is on the increase. Although the FDA approved testosterone therapy for the treatment of diseases involving the testes, pituitary and hypothalamus, it has not been approved for treating age-related declines in testosterone levels.

Earlier this month, the FDA announced it is "investigating the risk of stroke, heart attack and death in men taking FDA-approved testosterone products," based on the recent studies.

The U.S. National Institute on Aging is also expected to release the results of research on the safety of testosterone. The study involved roughly 800 older men with low testosterone and symptoms associated with this condition, such as sexual and physical dysfunction. Since the men's heart health was carefully monitored, the research is expected to shed more light on the safety of testosterone therapy.

The Endocrine Society added that more large, randomized controlled studies are needed to investigate the risks and benefits of the treatment for older men. Meanwhile, the group advised that middle-aged and older men who are thinking about using testosterone therapy to treat age-related declines in this hormone should be warned about the possibility of heart-related side effects.

The group said it is especially important for men who've had a heart attack, stroke or other heart-related event in the past six months to avoid testosterone therapy.

On the other hand, testosterone therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of young men with hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency) that resulted from a disease of the testes, pituitary or hypothalamus. These patients should talk to their doctor before making any changes to their treatment plan.

Explore further: Endocrine Society calls for large-scale studies to evaluate testosterone therapy risks

More information: The American Academy of Family Physicians provides more information on testosterone therapy.

Related Stories

Endocrine Society calls for large-scale studies to evaluate testosterone therapy risks

February 7, 2014
According to a statement issued today by the Endocrine Society, the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy for older men with declining levels of the hormone need to be fully evaluated.

US regulators probing cardio risks in testosterone products

February 1, 2014
US federal regulators said Friday they were investigating products containing testosterone after recent studies suggested a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks in men being treated with the hormone.

FDA will review safety of testosterone therapy

February 3, 2014
(HealthDay)—Spurred by a recent report that popular testosterone treatments might raise men's heart risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it now plans a review of the therapies' safety.

Testosterone therapy might increase heart attack risk

January 29, 2014
(HealthDay)—Testosterone therapy—widely advertised as a way to help men improve a low sex drive and reclaim diminished energy—might raise the risk of heart attack, according to new research.

Many men start testosterone therapy without clear medical need

January 9, 2014
Although testosterone use has sharply increased among older men in the past decade, many patients appear to have normal testosterone levels and do not meet the clinical guidelines for treatment, according to new research ...

Testosterone therapy following angiography associated with increased risk of adverse outcome

November 5, 2013
Among a group of men who underwent coronary angiography and had a low serum testosterone level, the use of testosterone therapy was associated with increased risk of death, heart attack, or ischemic stroke, according to a ...

Recommended for you

Long-lasting blood vessel repair in animals via stem cells

October 23, 2017
Stem cell researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have made an advance toward having a long-lasting "repair caulk" for blood vessels. The research could form the basis of a treatment for peripheral artery disease, ...

Study reveals connection between microbiome and autoimmune disorders

October 23, 2017
Many people associate the word "bacteria" with something dirty and disgusting. Dr. Pere Santamaria disagrees. Called the microbiome, the bacteria in our bodies have all kinds of positive effects on our health, Santamaria ...

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

Cancer drug found to offer promising results in treating sepsis in test mice

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A combined team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found that a drug commonly used to treat lung cancer in humans offers a degree of protection against sepsis in test mice. In their paper published ...

Tracing cell death pathway points to drug targets for brain damage, kidney injury, asthma

October 19, 2017
University of Pittsburgh scientists are unlocking the complexities of a recently discovered cell death process that plays a key role in health and disease, and new findings link their discovery to asthma, kidney injury and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.