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Tip sheet for the Annals of Internal Medicine, April 15, 2008, issue
Date:4/14/2008

1. Testosterone Spray Improves Sexual Satisfaction Slightly in Premenopausal Women But So Does Placebo; Editorial Says Treat Women Conventionally

A study that randomized 261 women aged 35 to 46 with self-reported low libido and low serum free testosterone levels to a group that received one of three different doses of a testosterone spray or placebo daily for 16 weeks found that all groups -- including those taking placebo--reported increased frequency of sexually satisfying events (Article, p. 569).

The difference between testosterone spray and placebo was statistically significant only for the middle dose of testosterone.

Overall, 81 percent to 86 percent of women in the active treatment groups and 70 percent of the women in the placebo group reported adverse events. The most common event in the treatment group was hair growth on the abdomen, where the testosterone was sprayed.

An editorial writer says that just because testosterone levels and womens libidos may decline as women age does not mean that lack of testosterone explains sexual dissatisfaction (Editorial, p. 620).

We do not have a fully satisfactory rationale for testosterone therapy, the writer says, and there is also a lack of long-term safety data. Rather than prescribe testosterone, the writer advises primary physicians to address womens mental health and relationship issues, sexual dysfunction in the partner and treat problems by conventional therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, sex therapy, and psychotherapy.


2. Risks and Benefits of Buying Prescription Drugs from Foreign Countries

Buying imported prescription drugs is legal in some cases, but even when the drug is cheaper than a U.S. brand-name drug, it may not be a wise purchase, say authors of a paper on the international pharmaceutical market as a source of low-cost prescription drugs for U.S. patients (Medicine and Public Issues, p
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Contact: Susan Anderson
sanderson@acponline.org
215-351-2653
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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