Choosing Wisely:

Don’t prescribe testosterone therapy unless there is biochemical evidence of testosterone deficiency.

Rationale and Comments: Many of the symptoms attributed to male hypogonadism are commonly seen in normal male aging or in the presence of comorbid conditions. Testosterone therapy has the potential for serious side effects and represents a significant expense. It is therefore important to confirm the clinical suspicion of hypogonadism with biochemical testing. Current guidelines recommend the use of a total testosterone level obtained in the morning. A low level should be confirmed on a different day, again measuring the total testosterone. In some situations, a free or bioavailable testosterone may be of additional value.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • The Endocrine Society/American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
  • Sources:
  • Endocrine Society guidelines
  • Disciplines:
  • Endocrinologic
  • Urologic
  • References: • Bhasin S, Cunningham GR, Hayes FJ, Matsumoto AM, Snyder PJ, Swerdloff RS, Montori VM. Testosterone therapy in adult men with androgen deficiency syndromes: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jun;91(6):1995-2010.
    • Wu FCW, Tajar A, Beynon JM, Pye SR, Silman AJ, Finn JD, O’Neill TW, Bartfai G, Casanueva FF, Forti G, Giwercman A, Han TS, Kula K, Lean ME, Pendleton N, Punab M, Boonen S, Vanderschueren D, Labrie F, Huhtaniemi IT; EMAS Group. Identification of late-onset hypogonadism in middle-aged and elderly men. N Engl J Med. 2010 Jul 8;363(2):123-35.

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