Testosterone Therapy: Over promoted ?

An estimated 50% of men have histologic evidence of BPH by age 50.  However one of the biggest complaints of aging males is both the loss of energy and lower sex drive.  Is testosterone therapy the answer and are the current DTC spots that are running for testosterone therapy making promises that aren’t proven by clinical evidence ?According to Medical Daily: With an increase in advertisement for symptoms of low testosterone, several men are seeking treatment. New treatment options include Abbott Laboratories’ Androgel, which is a topical gel that can be applied to shoulders and arms. Watson Pharmaceuticals is marketing the Androderm patch, which releases testosterone into an individual’s bloodstream. Eli Lilly and Co.’s Axiron is an underarm gel that is applied the same way one would apply deodorant.

However, many physicianss uch as Dr. Sergai Romashkan, speaking to Time, who oversees clinical trials for the National Institute on Aging, believes there is no evidence that supports prescribing testosterone to older men.

Additionally, the government is concerned manufacturers may be making hasty decisions regarding science. According to Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, a male reproductive specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, once testosterone levels decline there is little information that suggest what a “normal number” may be for older men.

There is also no real evidence that supports testosterone therapy boost men’s symptoms. Conversely, there is evidence that demonstrates the severe health risks associated with this particular therapy.

In a study conducted by researchers from Boston University’s School of Medicine, it was discovered patients taking the hormone is five times likely to suffer from a serious heart attack. Other trials suggest that prostate cancer is notably higher in men taking testosterone.

Today patients want the “quick fix”.  Why diet and and exercise if I can increase my sex drive with testosterone treatment and get help with erections with Cialis or Viagra ?    The drug companies know this and thus they are willing to promote these treatments as quick fixes for a public that is time compressed.

I had a chance to talk with a urologist about testosterone replacement treatment and he said he does not recommend or write Rx’s for these products.  “The possibility of side effects is just too great” he told me.  “If patients really want to have better sex lives and more energy than they need to loose the excess weight they cary and get out and exercise”.  Well said but how do you package that and sell it ?