Researchers from Georgetown University have reported that testosterone replacement therapy for men with low testosterone levels (“Low T”) has no beneficial effect and may have increased risks for heart attacks and other serious medical conditions.
The 2016 study looked at 156 randomized control trials that were conducted between 1950 and 2016, comparing testosterone to a placebo for sexual function, cardiovascular health and cognitive function. The study showed that the testosterone therapy did not provide any consistent benefits and was just as effective as the placebo.
“Testosterone products are marketed for non-specific symptoms associated with normal aging, but testosterone is not a reasonable treatment for aging,” said study co-author Adriane Fugh-Berman, a pharmaceutical marketing researcher at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Testosterone has known risks and no clear benefits, and shouldn’t be used by men with intact testicles.”
The risks associated with these supplements include heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. In March 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that taking these products might put men at a greater risk for these adverse medical events.
More than 6,500 lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of testosterone supplements, including AndroGel and Testim, alleging that the companies failed to warn of the risks. The suits have been consolidated in multi-district litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
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