Society to docs: Discuss testosterone therapy’s risk with patients

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 - male patient

The Endocrine Society recommended that physicians discuss the potential of cardiovascular risks with middle-age and older patients who are considering testosterone therapy to treat symptoms of declining testosterone levels.

“Physicians and patients should have a conversation about the risks and benefits of using testosterone, especially in patients who have pre-existing heart disease,” the organization wrote in a statement. It instructed physicians to follow clinical practice guidelines on testosterone therapy in men with hypogonadism and to monitor them for possible adverse effects.

The statement follows an announcement by the FDA that the agency planned to re-evaluate its approval of testosterone therapy products after several published studies found higher rates of adverse events in patients with cardiovascular conditions who received testosterone treatment. The FDA’s decision was prompted by several recent studies on the safety of testosterone therapy, particularly in men who had a prior cardiovascular event.

The society advised patients with hypogonadism to discuss concerns with their physicians and to not discontinue treatment without first consulting a physician. It also called for large, prospective randomized clinical trials to ascertain the safety of testosterone therapy.