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Testosterone Gel Fails to Boost Viagra's Effects
Date:11/20/2012

if a man still sees no erectile dysfunction improvement, and his testosterone level remains low, "my sense is that he should consider trying testosterone."

It's controversial whether low testosterone is a medical condition that needs treatment. Companies that make testosterone products -- which can cost a few hundred dollars a month -- have been criticized for trying to promote normal male aging as a disease. And testosterone gels can have side effects: acne, prostate enlargement (which can cause urinary problems) and an increased prostate cancer risk are a few, according to the Endocrine Society.

But clinical hypogonadism is real, doctors say, and testosterone replacement is an approved treatment.

"If you're already on testosterone and have found benefit, it's reasonable to continue," Spitzer said. Men who have concerns, he added, should talk to their doctor -- and not just abandon the therapy because of these findings.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals provided the testosterone gel, and Pfizer supplied the Viagra.

More information

Learn more about erectile dysfunction from the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

SOURCES: Matthew Spitzer, M.D., endocrinology fellow, Boston University School of Medicine; Alvin Matsumoto, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; Nov. 20, 2012, Annals of Internal Medicine


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