FDA: "Low-T" Hormone Overprescribed,Tailgating Menus & Other News

Testosterone-boosting drugs for men with “low T” have been heavily advertised in recent years, resulting in a surge in hormone replacement therapy. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week that millions of men are being prescribed testosterone who may not need it.

About 2.3 million U.S. patients received a prescription for testosterone in 2013, up 77 percent from 2010, according to FDA figures. The agency also said that more than 20 percent of patients who received a prescription did not even have their testosterone levels measured.

“This is particularly concerning because the diagnosis of hypogonadism (low testosterone) requires documented evidence of low or absent serum testosterone concentrations and the appropriate TRT (testosterone replacement therapy ) dose cannot be determined …” reads the FDA research finding, which will  be discussed  at a Sept. 17 meeting of advisory committees.

The FDA approved testosterone injections in the 1950s for men diagnosed with hypogonadism, which refers to abnormally low testosterone levels usually caused by injury or medical illness.

But the ads on TV for men with “low T” are focused on otherwise healthy men who simply have lower-than-normal levels of testosterone, the FDA says.

It’s natural for testosterone levels to decline as men age, starting after age 30. Testosterone is important for maintaining muscle mass, adequate levels of red blood cells, bone growth, sexual function and an overall sense of well-being.

The FDA is preparing to seek the advice of a panel of outside experts to determine if requirements for testosterone drugs should be revised to target a narrower group of patients. The controversy was recently covered by the Wall Street Journal.

In a recent post, we examined how recent studies have linked prescription of the male hormone testosterone with a higher risk of heart attacks in older men – and in middle-aged men with a history of heart disease: Men with ‘Low T’: Know Your Heart Risks. — John Fernandez

Time to Tailgate; Time for Kickoff

Kickoff time is here for the National Football League, and the Miami Dolphins are set to play the New England Patriots during the home opener of the 2014-2015 season.

Ticket sales are promising, according to Miami Herald news report.

 “The Dolphins are on the verge of a true sellout for their season opener, and are expecting crowds that top 70,000 for at least the first three home games,” the Herald reported.

Planning a kickoff party? Here are a few tips:

  • Tailgating this Weekend?
  • Hydrate to Beat the Heat

    New Primary Care Offices

    Baptist Health recently opened three new Primary Care offices and is holding Open House events for the community. Come meet the doctors, take a tour and enjoy snacks and refreshments. The free, family-fun events are taking place at the newest Baptist Health Primary Care locations below:

    Saturday, September 13, 12-4 p.m.
    12314 SW 127 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33186

    Saturday, September 20, 12-4 p.m.
    11535 SW 88 Street
    Miami, FL 33176

    Saturday, September 27, 12-4 p.m.
    7400 SW 87 Avenue, Suite 260
    Miami, FL 33173

  • Healthcare that Cares

    With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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