Introduction: Despite increasing medical interest in testosterone therapy (TTh) for men with testosterone deficiency (TD) there is limited information regarding subjective response rates and acceptability of medium- to long-term TTh in routine clinical practice.
Aim: To evaluate results in a consecutive series of men in clinical practice treated with TTh.
Material and methods: A chart review was performed for a consecutive series of men for whom TTh was initiated over 1 year for a clinical diagnosis of TD. A diagnosis of TD was based on the presence of symptoms and on laboratory evaluation indicating total testosterone (<300 ng/dL) or free testosterone (FT) (<1.5 ng/dL). Presenting symptoms were noted at baseline, and improvement was documented in domains of erectile function, libido, energy,and mood.
Main outcome measures: Percentage of men who completed 12 months of TTh, and symptomatic response rates.
Results: There were 127 men included in the evaluation. The most common presenting symptoms were the combination of erectile dysfunction (ED) and reduced libido in 82 (64.6%), ED alone in 29 (22.8%), and reduced libido alone in 13 (10.2%). Initial mode of TTh was injections (testosterone enanthate or cypionate) in 70 (55.1%)and transdermal gel (Androgel, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Marietta, GA, USA) in the remainder. Improvements in erections, libido, energy, and/or mood were reported by 70% of men by 3 months. Eighty men (63%) completed 12 months of TTh with subjective benefit (responders). Treatment was discontinued in 34 (26.8%) who reported no major benefit (non-responders), and 13 (10.2%) were lost to follow-up. Among men who discontinued TTh, 64.7%failed to report benefits by 3 months. Baseline FT was lower among responders than non-responders. One case(1.25%) of prostate cancer was identified after one year of TTh.
Conclusion: Approximately two-thirds of men with TD who begin TTh will experience symptomatic benefit and will complete at least 12 months of treatment. Benefit was noted in a majority by 3 months.