Uses of Testosterone / Androgen / Male Sex Hormones

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Androgens and Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction

Testicular Failure : It may be primary—in children, resulting in delayed puberty. Treatment with parenteral testosterone esters or transdermal testosterone/dihydrotestosterone in courses of 4–6 months at a time is highly satisfactory.


USES

 

1. Testicular Failure

 

It may be primary—in children, resulting in delayed puberty. Treatment with parenteral testosterone esters or transdermal testosterone/dihydrotestosterone in courses of 4–6 months at a time is highly satisfactory. Secondary testicular failure occurring later in life manifests mainly as loss of libido and impotence. These are corrected by androgen treatment. However, impotence due to psychological and other factors, and not testosterone deficiency, does not respond.

 

2. Hypopituitarism

 

 Hypogonadism is one of the features of hypopituitarism. Androgens are added at the time of puberty to other hormonal replacement.

 

3. AIDS Related Muscle Wasting

 

Testosterone therapy has been shown to improve weakness and muscle wasting in AIDS patients with low testosterone levels.

 

4. Hereditary Angioneurotic Edema

 

This is a genetic disorder; attacks can be prevented by 17αalkylated androgens (methyltestosterone, stanozolol, danazol) but not by testosterone. They act by increasing synthesis of complement (C1) esterase inhibitor.

 

5. Ageing

 

Because testosterone levels decline in old age, it has been administered to elderly males and found to improve bone mineralization and muscle mass. However, safety of such therapy in terms of metabolic, cardiovascular and prostatic complications is not known.

 

The use of androgens in cancer breast is rare as is their addition to postmenopausal hormone replacement.

 

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