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Many men prescribed testosterone don't need it

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To begin with, andropause does not, strictly speaking, exist. The idea that men go through something equivalent to menopause is simply untrue. It is true that testosterone levels decrease over time, usually as part of normal aging. For the majority of men, this decrease in testosterone levels requires no treatment. And yet, despite FDA warnings, the rate of testosterone prescriptions has grown rapidly, largely due to some very successful marketing.

In the early 2000s, prescriptions for testosterone for men over 40 were fairly rare. But over the course of the next decade, the number of prescriptions rose sharply and the reason is troubling. A 2017 JAMA paper showed that rising testosterone use was linked to direct-to-consumer advertising.

It may surprise people to know that such advertising is illegal in Canada, and with good reason. Research suggests that it promotes the prescription of brand name drugs and potentially the over-prescription of costly medications. Concerns about direct-to-consumer advertising recently led the American........

© Montreal Gazette