NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The benefits of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to treat low testosterone in both men and women substantially outweigh any risks, according to a panel of researchers presenting today at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ 24th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress.
Low testosterone – also known as low T – is characterized by lack of sex drive, diminishing energy, and hair, bone and muscle mass loss.
The panel’s comments were in response to the FDA’s March 2015 safety alert cautioning that the benefits and safety of testosterone medications prescribed for age-related low testosterone levels have not been established. In that statement, the FDA also called for manufacturers to include labeling about a possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Endocrinologist Sandeep Dhindsa, MD, asserted that the FDA provided no meaningful definition of aging, leaving it unclear whether or not age restrictions for testosterone therapy also apply to middle-aged individuals. Dr. Dhindsa added that the safety alert does not address the role that testosterone decline itself plays in common co-morbidities such as obesity and type 2 diabetes at all ages, including adolescents and young men.
“Any patient being considered for testosterone replacement therapy should undergo a thorough diagnostic work-up,” Dr. Dhindsa said. “The decision to replace testosterone therapy should be guided by the signs, symptoms and testosterone concentrations rather than the underlying cause,” he said.
Susan Davis, MBBS, FRACP, PhD and Director of the Women’s Health Research Program in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, also touted the safety and efficacy of TRT in women experiencing hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a condition that persistently affects female sexual function, profoundly impairing quality of life.
“Testosterone has been used to treat women with HSDD for decades with no evidence of emergent adverse events and should be seen as an effective and safe management option not just for sexual function, but also for effects on muscle and bone,” Dr. Davis said.
Their comments aligned with the soon-to-be-published AACE Reproductive Endocrinology position statement on the association of testosterone and cardiovascular risks, which notes that there is no compelling evidence that TRT either increases or decreases cardiovascular risks and concludes that testosterone therapy favorably changes many cardiovascular risk factors by decreasing fat mass, increasing muscle mass and decreasing insulin resistance.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists is a professional community of Physicians specializing in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism committed to enhancing the ability of its members to provide the highest quality of patient care.