Taking testosterone therapy at home is easier now than ever before, but is that always a good thing?
If you’re a man with low testosterone, or Low-T, the condition can be both frustrating and embarrassing. It can lead to infertility, erectile dysfunction, obesity, and fatigue.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, Low-T is present when a man has blood testosterone levels lower than 300 nanograms per deciliter.
Low-T is easier to treat than ever before
In years past, men would have to make frequent trips to their doctor to receive injection treatments in person. But lately, “over 95 percent of men with Low-T now use the at-home treatments,” says Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, urology expert with the University of Miami Health System.
Typical treatment options include injections, oral medication, gels, and pellets placed under the skin.
The FDA recently approved two therapies that can be administered at-home. One, named Xyosted, is an injection that patients can administer into the fatty tissue below the skin, using a disposable auto-injector. Another more convenient option is an at-home treatment called Jatenzo, which is an oral treatment that comes in tablet form.
The pros and cons of convenient therapy
At-home therapies are “convenient and cheaper for the patient,” says Dr. Ramasamy. “There’s less waiting to get your treatment, and you can avoid the headache of having to travel all the way to a doctor’s office simply to get your testosterone treatment.”
Dr. Ramasamy does have a few concerns. “The main issue is compliance,” he says. “When patients do their treatments at home, they tend to miss doses, miss follow-up appointments and blood tests, and not report side effects or symptoms that may be concerning.”
This last point may be particularly problematic as testosterone treatment can pose a risk of heart attack, stroke or blood clots in patients who take it regularly. It may also pose a very low prostate cancer risk, says Dr. Ramasamy. Other side effects may include infertility, as well as the possibility that the medication may not be effective for the individual who is taking it.
The bottom line
Patients may experience success using the convenient at-home testosterone treatments that are available. But it’s still important that they make it to their recommended follow-up appointments with their doctor.
“I recommend that my patients don’t rely on testosterone alone,” says Dr. Ramasamy. “Anything else they can do to live a healthier life will also provide a boost to their sexual health and energy levels.”
Wyatt Myers is a contributing writer for UMiami Health News.