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Testosterone Chases Viagra in Libido Race as MDs Fret: Health

(Bloomberg) In what may become one of the most sought-after sex enhancement treatments since the introduction of Viagra 14 years ago, new testosterone drugs from Abbott, Lilly and other drugmakers are in hot demand. Prescriptions for testosterone replacement therapies have more than doubled since 2006 to 5.6 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales are expected to triple to $5 billion by 2017, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc....
As many as 13.8 million men older than 45 in the U.S. have low levels of testosterone, according to a 2006 study… The male sex hormone begins to decline after age 30, and tends to drop about 1 percent each year, though the level of decline varies. Lower-than-normal levels can lead to a loss of libido, a decrease in bone and muscle mass, and depression, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Problems may occur when the drug is taken by those who don’t need it, according to health experts. Testosterone can increase the growth of prostate tumors and cause blood clots, infertility and liver damage, said Edmund Sabanegh, chairman of urology at the Cleveland Clinic. He said he is careful to prescribe the drugs only to patients with a medical need and has seen a rise in patients coming to him seeking a prescription for testosterone who don’t need it.
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