It seems that not a television or radio ad segment goes by today without the marvels of testosterone therapy being touted as the fountain of youth. Be especially cautious because buying the claims can be hazardous to your health! Not only that, but the benefit claims are in doubt.
While prescription testosterone therapy has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of men for a recognized medical condition known as hypogonadism, the ad campaigns run by the makers of testosterone products Androgel and Axiron cleverly promote testosterone usage as the fountain of youth for those who merely have low testosterone levels due to the natural aging process. Low testosterone levels due to the natural aging process is a different condition than hypogonadism, which is a “clinical syndrome that results from the failure of the testis to produce physiological levels of testosterone (androgen deficiency) and a normal number of spermatozoa due to a disruption of one or more levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis.”
Why should this matter? Because testosterone usage has been associated with many harmful side effects, including:
Lawsuits are starting to be brought against manufacturers for those who have suffered injuries as the result of testosterone usage, with the chief allegation against them being that the dangers were known but suppressed for economic gain.
The kicker in all of this is that “[a] systematic review of the medical literature on testosterone therapy, particularly placebo-controlled trials in older men, demonstrated that there is not clear evidence of benefit for any outcomes examined.” In other words, there is simply insufficient evidence to support the claims that testosterone usage improves bone health, energy levels or the ability to perform routine tasks, depressive symptoms or other mood disorders, or performance in the bedroom.
The beat goes on. The testosterone campaign is just another in many examples of the pharmaceutical industry playing fast and loose with the facts, at great risk to human beings, for the sake of the almighty dollar.
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