Article Abstract

Testosterone therapy in the new era of Food and Drug Administration oversight

Authors: Bethany Desroches, Taylor P. Kohn, Charles Welliver, Alexander W. Pastuszak


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced changes in labeling and indications for use to testosterone products in 2015 due to a possible increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) events. This decision was made based on six clinical studies—some that supported an increased CV risk, and some that did not. Since this decision, additional studies have been published examining the interplay between hypogonadism, CV risk, and testosterone, demonstrating that the risk may be lower than originally estimated. Clinicians are placed in a difficult position, as studies support an increased mortality risk in hypogonadal men, but also an increased risk of CV events in men on testosterone therapy. As a result, many clinicians will be more selective in their prescribing of testosterone. In this review, we examine how these new guidelines arose and how they may affect prescribing habits.