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Testosterone therapy
Feb 5, 2013

hi doctor, I just turned 42 and been positive for little over 2 years. My energy levels have been horrible so i had my HIV doc do a testosterone test about a year ago and he said the normals were quite normal. My question is what is the downfall of taking a small dose of androgel even-though my numbers are not low. I also heard that the number depends on the type of test. I know that here in Texas there are quite a few Testosterone clinics that seem to have no issues with prescribing this therapy. I just want more energy and feel that it would help me. Any thought would be appreciated.

Response from Dr. Henry

The studies of testosterone therapy that have lead FDA approval and then to the avalanche of use/advertising enrolled patients with low testosterone (can look at total testosterone or free testosterone) so there is very little safety/effifacy data when normal testesterone levels are boosted to high normal or supranormal. There is concern about increased risk for heart disease, prostate problems, and other conditions but credible data is limited. There has been no data that patients actually live longer in the general population when given testosterone supplements-it is a matter of possible improvements in quality of life. There are a number of studies going on that hopefully will provide useful data. In women, estrogen supplements, once widely used for post menopausal symptoms to improve quality of life, were shown in large studies to have some harmful side effects leading to a large drop in use and now many studies trying to identify who can safely take hormone replacement (very complicated situation). Data for men and hormone supplementation is lagging behind women so lots of opinions and claims-little long term data. KH



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