TV Ads Drive High Prescription Rates Despite Safety Concerns

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) using testosterone gel.
Last updated:

Advertisements for low testosterone gels, better known as low T, have plastered the airwaves for years. Now there’s evidence that those ads have prompted a surge in use of the gels – which purport to increase male libido – even though the FDA has warned there might be a link between the prescription products and an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Researchers analyzed health insurance claims of more than 17 million men living in 75 metropolitan television markets between 2009 and 2013. Over that time, nearly 1 million of those men received testing to determine if they had low T. About 283,000 of them started on testosterone treatments, which are generally gels and injections.

Based on Nielsen data on ad viewing, each TV ad for a low T product was associated with 14 new tests for low T, 5 new testosterone prescriptions following those tests, and 2 new scripts without testing per each million men that saw the ad, researchers reported in JAMA.

A 2016 study on low T gels published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that they had only a modest benefit, and an accompanying commentary noted that erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil) actually work better. Both the study and commentary noted that the study size was too small to assess the safety and risks of long-term testosterone treatment.

DISCLAIMER: MedShadow provides information and resources related to medications, their effects, and potential side effects. However, it is important to note that we are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on our site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals dealing with medical conditions or symptoms should seek guidance from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physician or pharmacist, who can provide personalized medical advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented on MedShadow, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for any particular individual's medical needs. Therefore, we strongly encourage users to consult with qualified healthcare professionals regarding any health-related concerns or decisions. By accessing and using MedShadow, you acknowledge and agree that the information provided on the site is not a substitute for professional medical advice and that you should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns.

Recommend More Articles Like This?

Show Comments (0)
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x