More men are turning to testosterone to give them a boost.
Whether it be to jump-start their pep or revive their sex drive, annual sales of the prescription hormone have more than doubled since 2008, according to recent studies.
But doctors warn it comes with risks.
“There’s no question for many men it makes a difference in how they feels, their muscular development and libido,” said Dr. Sam Benjamin, host of Primary Care on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR. “But this stuff needs to be monitored — it’s not that simple.”
With sales at $1.6 billion last year, some project testosterone sales will top $5 billion by 2017. Pills, powders and gels have made testosterone more accessible.
Some of those over-the-counter versions of testosterone are produced in or have ties to China or India and could contain harmful byproducts, Dr. Benjamin warned.
But it’s the 20- and 30-somethings taking testosterone who most concern him.
“If you prescribe this stuff, you have to watch out for blood clots and liver failure,” Benjamin said. “But I think there’s a big market of young men who want (testosterone) to help with their muscle-building and libido. And they turn to over-the-counter options because they know if they go to a doctor, they won’t get a prescription.”