Sunday, June 5, 2011

Testosterone Prescriptions and Side Effects

Testosterone prescriptions are most commonly written by doctors for men with testosterone deficiencies caused by andropause or other conditions. Testosterone is a hormone produced by the body and deficiencies cause symptoms such as decreased sex drive, fatigue and moodiness.
These symptoms can be caused by other conditions and even when testing shows that testosterone levels are lower than normal, testosterone supplementation does not always alleviate the symptoms and may inhibit the body's natural ability to produce testosterone. This is just one known side effect.
Testosterone produced by the body causes muscles to grow and strength to increase.
At one time, testosterone prescriptions were written commonly for many conditions. It was praised as a miracle drug. Weight lifters, body-builders and other professional athletes used testosterone and other anabolic steroids for years to enhance their ability and performance.
When testosterone side effects became known doctors stopped prescribing it except in cases where the body's ability to produce testosterone had been damaged by injury or disease and athletes could only obtain it illegally.

Now, once again, a growing number of testosterone prescriptions are being written. Drug companies seeking FDA approval, use test groups to study the effectiveness and common side effects of drugs. In 19% of the patients in the original group for one of the testosterone gels, a prostrate disorder was reported and one developed prostrate cancer.
Other testosterone side effects reported include acne, hair loss, depression, moodiness, swelling in the arms and legs, gynecomastia (breast growth in males), breast pain, high blood pressure, decreased libido and nervousness. Gynecomastia is said to occur frequently.
The companies who make prescription testosterone warn that prolonged use can cause liver damage and cancer. They advise that some patients may develop sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing during sleep.
They further advise doctors to continuously monitor patient's testosterone levels, prostrate size and perform other follow-up tests. They advise patients to inform their doctors if they experience any of the listed testosterone side effects.
Testosterone prescriptions and testosterone side effects is the subject of some debate among health care professionals and scientists, with the supporters maintaining that the positive effects outweigh the risks and the critics saying that there are other less hazardous options.

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