Doctors urged to be cautious when treating low testosterone
Doctors have been advised to exercise caution when prescribing testosterone treatment for older men with low testosterone and a history of cardiovascular disease, according to a position statement published today in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Professor Bu Yeap, Head of The University of Western Australia's School of Medicine and Pharmacology Fiona Stanley Hospital Unit, is the lead author of the statement issued by the Endocrine Society of Australia.
Professor Yeap and colleagues from research and endocrinology units around Australia examined key treatment options and addressed concerns about cardiovascular-related effects from testosterone treatment.
The researchers said testosterone replacement could be safely used in men with pathological hypogonadism (low testosterone due to disease of the hypothalamus, pituitary or testes) at any age.
However, until more evidence became available, doctors were advised not to prescribe testosterone for older, frail men without pathological hypogonadism, particularly those with a history of cardiovascular disease.
Professor Yeap said testosterone was the natural hormone that should be replaced in men being treated for pathological hypogonadism.
"Convenient and cost-effective treatment methods include intramuscular injection and application of gel, cream or liquid through the skin," he said.