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Rev Urol. 2004;6 Suppl 6:S9-S15.

Testosterone replacement in men with andropause: an overview.


Serum testosterone levels decline progressively as men age, with resulting pathophysiological changes. Because the onset of andropause is gradual and many of its symptoms mirror those associated with medications or disease states common in the elderly, a clinical diagnosis can be difficult to make. Additionally, because of a lack of established normal testosterone levels for different age groups, as well as confusion regarding what subset of testosterone to measure, simply testing testosterone levels is inadequate. Although clinical studies have shown testosterone supplementation to be safe, no long-term placebo-controlled trials have been performed. Among the possible side effects of testosterone replacement therapy is an increased risk of prostate cancer. While there is no evidence that supplemental testosterone will initiate prostate cancer or cause clinically significant progression of an established occult malignancy, the initial evaluation of patients prior to administration of testosterone requires screening for prostatic carcinoma. A number of formulations of testosterone are currently available; transdermal gels, although expensive, are the preferred modality because of their ease of administration.


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