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FDA Approves Gel to Treat Low Testosterone Levels

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"We were able to put the testosterone into the normal blood range in the majority of the people. It's simply a matter of adjusting the amount of gel that's applied. So everybody could be treated once a proper dosage [is] determined," Swerdloff says. The manufacturer recommends checking the blood two weeks after starting.

"The positive effects were on sexual drive and on mood," Swerdloff says. "People had less depressive symptoms. There was an improvement in the lean body mass and muscle strength. ... It was surprising to us that within six months of treatment, there was a significant increase of bone mineral density."

Swerdloff tells WebMD that there are many potential applications for testosterone. It is being studied in combination with other hormones as a male contraceptive. Many researchers are looking at giving androgen replacement therapy in men over 65. Testosterone may also one day be used in women to improve libido, or added to conventional hormonal therapy to help improve bone mineral density. AndroGel is only approved for men and has not been studied in those over age 65.

Androgens are not recommended for men with breast cancer or known or suspected prostate cancer. Androgens may increase the risk of developing enlarged prostates and prostate cancer.

According to Unimed, AndroGel will be available by midsummer. The price has not yet been determined.-->

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