Introduction: The efficacy of oral clomiphene citrate (CC) in the treatment of male hypogonadism and male infertility (MI) with low serum testosterone and normal gonadotropin levels has been reported.
Aim: The aim of this article is to evaluate CC and testosterone gel replacement therapy (TGRT) with regard to biochemical and clinical efficacy and cost.
Main outcome measures: The main outcome measures were change in serum testosterone with CC and TGRT therapy, and change in the androgen deficiency in aging male (ADAM) questionnaire scores with CC therapy.
Methods: Men receiving CC or TGRT with either Androgel 1% or Testim 1% for hypogonadism (defined as testosterone < 300 ng/mL) or MI were included. Serum values were collected 1-2 months after treatment initiation and semi-annually thereafter. Retrospective data collection was performed via chart review. Subjective follow up of patients receiving CC was performed via telephone interview using the ADAM questionnaire.
Results: A hundred and four men (65 CC and 39 TGRT) were identified who began CC (50 mg every other day) or TGRT (5 g). Average age (years) was 42(CC) vs. 57 (TGRT). Average follow up was 23 months (CC, range 8-40 months) vs. 46 months (TGRT, range 6-149 months). Average posttreatment testosterone was 573 ng/dL in the CC group and 553 ng/dL in the TGRT group (P value < 0.001). The monthly cost of Testim 1% (5 gm daily) is $270, Androgel 1% (5 gm daily) is $265, and CC (50 mg every other day) is $83. Among CC patients, the average pretreatment ADAM score was 4.9 vs. 2.1 at follow up (P < 0.05). Average pretreatment ADAM sexual function domain score was 0.76 vs. 0.23 at follow up (P < 0.05). There were no adverse events reported.
Conclusion: CC represents a treatment option for men with hypogonadism, demonstrating biochemical and clinical efficacy with few side effects and lower cost as compared with TGRT.