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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Doctors call for better male HRT
Testosterone can be taken in pill form
Improving male hormone replacement therapy could improve the health of thousands of men, according to experts.

Doctors have called for better methods of delivering HRT to men, claiming it is lagging a long way behind treatment for women.

Dr Paul Gard, a senior lecturer at the school of pharmacy at the University of Brighton, said many conditions which affect men in older age could be alleviated if testosterone replacement therapy was more widely available.

"There is good evidence that testosterone secretion decreases with age and that many men over the age of 60 have lower levels than normal.

Testosterone replacement therapy may be of value in the alleviation of some of the symptoms associated with aging males

Dr Paul Gard, University of Brighton

"This can lead to a number of symptoms including osteoporosis, loss of weight and strength, plus mood disorders, loss of memory and cognitive ability.

"It is generally recognised that testosterone replacement therapy may be of value in the alleviation of some of the symptoms associated with aging males."

However, the delivery of HRT for men is not as advanced as the treatments available to women.

Whereas women can obtain HRT in a wide range of ways, including injections, tablets, creams and implants, the options for men are limited.

Testosterone replacement therapy can be carried out orally, by injection or by using skin patches.

However, there are health concerns about some of these methods with fears that they may increase the risk of liver damage or prostate cancer.

"There are problems associated with most of the currently available androgen delivery methods," said Dr Gard.

He warned that uptake of HRT in men can only be improved if the methods for delivering it are improved.

"If the use of testosterone replacement is to become more common in an aging population, there is a need to improve upon the methods of drug delivery that are currently available."

Dr Gard made his comments in the latest issue of Oncologic, Endocrine & Metabolic Investigational Drugs.

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25 Mar 00 | Health
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