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testim-gelTestim is a low testosterone drug made by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. The FDA approved its use in October 2002 for treating men with hypogonadism (both congenital and acquired).

General Information

Testime is a topical gel (hydro alcoholic) that contains 1% testosterone. Patients are instructed to apply 50 milligrams or 100 milligram of testosterone solution to the skin daily. The hormone then permeates across the dermal layer into the blood stream.

Studies on Testim

In one 90 day study on hypogonadal men, Testim therapy seemed to help. Men on the therapy enjoyed more normalized testosterone levels, an increase in libido, reduced body fat and an increase in muscle. However, side effects did occur. Some men saw decreased blood pressure; whereas others had an increase in blood pressure, for instance. This result alone shows clearly how different men can react very differently to testosterone therapy. Some men, such as writer/blogger Andrew Sullivan, report substantial increases in energy, libido, mood and levels of aggression from Low T therapy. Other men, however, report the exact opposite.

Deeper Look at the Testim Trials

Relatively robust clinical trials have been done on Testim in over six countries. Auxilium reports that 644 hypogonadal men have been tested, to some degree. 43 centers throughout the United States recently ran a placebo controlled test of the therapy on 400 subjects. Auxilum reports that, out of 190 hypogonadal men who started the testing, three quarters had normal testosterone levels by day 90 of the study.

Subjects reported diverse side effects as well, including:

  • Disorders of smell and taste;
  • Gynecomastia;
  • Hot flashes;
  • Headaches;
  • Increases and decreases in blood pressure;
  • Mood swings;
  • Insomnia;
  • Spontaneous erections.

One the one hand, researchers studied 644 subjects — a pretty “thorough seeming” and diverse analysis. However, just as two wrongs make a right, multiple poorly controlled or poorly reported studies do not make a drug “safe.”

For the purposes of evaluating the effect of testosterone supplement on cardiovascular risk, it is too bad that researchers did not measure (or report) blood lipid numbers and hormonal panels.

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