Low Testosterone Prescriptions Triple Over Past Decade; Doctors Question Safety of Low T Clinics

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Urologist warns that some Low T clinics may overlook underlying health conditions when prescribing testosterone replacement drugs

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“Doctors must take care of a patient’s whole health,” says Dr. Singh of Urology Austin. "Low T clinics may simply offer testosterone injections when a patient’s health issue could be much more complex."

As football season comes to an end in the next month, fans are bound to see a barrage of Low Testosterone commercials. That’s because the number of low testosterone (Low T) clinics is growing across the country, but some doctors question whether the clinics are helping or harming the health of aging men. The often chain clinics lure patients promising weight loss, increased sex drive and better sleep. The use of testosterone may seem to solve all of a patient’s problems temporarily, but an Austin urologist wants patients to know long-term use carries risks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating research showing the misuse of testosterone replacement therapy could increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.

“Doctors must take care of a patient’s whole health,” says Dr. Herb Singh of Urology Austin. Singh warns Low T clinics may simply offer testosterone injections when a patient’s health issue could be much more complex. The same symptoms of low energy and decreased sex drive could point to sleep apnea, depression and even heart disease. Testosterone treatment could be downright dangerous to patients with these conditions. Singh also has concerns about the lack of medical doctors on site at many of the Low T clinics.

Singh says caring for a patient’s whole health should always include a prostate exam. “Many of the patients I have seen at Urology Austin don’t get prostate exams at the Low T clinics. That exam could give us an indication of prostate cancer.” These clinics could be missing something potentially fatal. Singh says taking testosterone can actually aggravate existing prostate cancer and potentially increase cardiovascular risks.

In addition to the safety questions, Singh questions the Low T clinics’ business practices. Patients are often required to make weekly visits and are not offered a variety of treatments. “The Low T clinics mostly offer injectable testosterone only, not the testosterone gels or creams. The patients have to go to the clinic once a week for shots. I teach my patients to do the injections themselves or offer them the option of using another form of treatment,” said Singh.

For more information on Low Testosterone visit –
http://urologyaustin.com/urologic-conditions/low-testosterone/
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm383904.htm

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Emily Schmitz
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