FDA Panel: Limit Testosterone Drug Use

Joint committee also calls for drug makers to run heart-risk tests on popular 'Low T' products

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is little evidence that testosterone replacement therapy effectively treats normally declining levels of the hormone in aging American males, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel said Wednesday.

The panel, from two key FDA committees, overwhelmingly voted, 20-1, to tighten use of the popular drugs and require drug makers to conduct tests assessing the drugs' risk of heart attack and stroke, according to Bloomberg News. The FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its expert panels, but usually does.

The FDA review pointed out there's no clear scientific evidence showing testosterone replacement can reverse some of the effects of aging. It also noted that there's growing evidence many men who are receiving testosterone replacement therapy do not need it. An FDA analysis found that only about one-half of men now taking testosterone therapy have been diagnosed with hypogonadism, the specific medical diagnosis for testosterone deficiency. Further, 25 percent of men started the therapy without lab testing to confirm that they had low levels of testosterone. More than one in four never received a lab test during the course of their therapy.

In June, the FDA announced that testosterone supplement products must now carry a warning label on the general risk of venous thromboembolism.

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