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Jury Still Out on Testosterone for Low Libido in Women

Slight improvement in sexual satisfaction with testosterone supplementation in premenopausal women

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Although intermediate-dose testosterone supplementation modestly improves measures of sexual function in premenopasual women with low libido, more robust evidence of efficacy is needed before the treatment can be recommended, report the authors of an article published in the April 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Susan Davis, M.D., Ph.D., of Monash University in Prahran, Australia, and colleagues studied the effect of transdermal testosterone on 261 women aged 35 to 46 years with low circulating testosterone levels (less than 3.8 pmol/L) who reported diminished sexual satisfaction. The women were randomized to either placebo or one of three different doses of testosterone administered by transdermal metered-dose spray for 16 weeks.

The primary outcome, the mean number of self-reported satisfactory sexual events over 28 days, increased in all treatment groups and placebo, the investigators report. In the intermediate-dose testosterone group, the number of satisfactory sexual events increased by 0.8 per month relative to placebo, but no statistically significant difference was seen in the low- or high-dose groups compared to placebo. Treatment was well tolerated, the study authors note.

The researchers caution against the use of testosterone in premenopausal women, and the author of an associated editorial agrees: "The small improvement in the primary outcome and the lack of an increasing effect with an increasing dose make me question whether testosterone had an effect."

Several of the study authors report financial ties to Acrux Limited, a company involved in the development of drug delivery systems.

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