A new report from the Food and Drug Administration questions the supposed benefits of taking testosterone-boosting drugs. However, the report also notes that these drugs may not be as dangerous as previously suggested.
Testosterone therapy drugs have been on the market since the 1950s, though most patients receiving the treatment at that time were diagnosed with hypogonadism, a low testosterone condition typically associated with injury or medical illness.
These days there are many new drugs that claim to boost energy, limit weight gain, and enhance libido by increasing a man’s testosterone levels. Two products in particular, prescription gels Fortesta and Androgel, make these claims in advertising that takes aim at older men. And the companies behind these drugs aren’t just targeting men with hypogonadism — instead, they’re suggesting it could improve the lives of all men who suspect their testosterone levels may be low.
Now, the Food and Drug Administration is offering its own opinion. In a report released earlier this week, the FDA says that “the need to replace testosterone in these older men remains debatable.” The FDA goes on to suggest that claims about these drugs boosting energy and libido should be considered “controversial” and adds that “there are no reliable data on the benefit” of testosterone-boosting pills.
At the same time, however, the FDA has called into question claims that these kinds of drugs can hurt the people taking them. In its report, the FDA says that existing studies “do not provide convincing evidence that testosterone replacement therapy is associated with adverse cardiovascular options.”