Testosterone levels in men typically drop as a man ages, but when it drops too low it signals a possible problem. In many cases the drop can be associated with obesity, diabetes and circulatory disease.
Low testosterone levels can result in symptoms such as low libido, loss of muscle mass, increased body fat, and depression. Regardless the cause, many doctors prescribe testosterone replacement therapies, such as AndroGel, Axiron and Testim, to treat the condition.
However, recent studies have shown that testosterone therapy can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or death. The drugs can also be expensive, and after discontinuing treatment, men’s testosterone levels generally plummet.
Balancing the risks and benefits of the so-called “fountain of youth” testosterone supplements potentially offer is not an easy decision to make for some men. But a non-testosterone drug currently being studied may help boost natural testosterone levels in men without the increased heart risks.
The drug, called enclomiphene citrate, is the same drug as the brand name Clomid, which is currently approved to help women who want to become pregnant ovulate. The medication helps the body produce its own testosterone. Unlike testosterone supplements, enclomiphene doesn’t shrink the testes, a result of lower sperm production. This can be a deterrent for men who are trying to start a family.
Clomid is sometimes prescribed off-label for men, but it appears to work inconsistently. Researchers with Repros Therapeutics tweaked the active ingredient in order to make its drug more effective than Clomid at raising testosterone levels.
Repros is currently in clinical trials with the drug, which would be known as Androxal, and drug makers say if all continues to go well, the new low testosterone treatment could be available by the end of the year.
Source: Fox News