Testosterone Patch, Not So Hot?
One or 2 posts back, we discussed the new testosterone patch for ladies which is designed to pep up a woman's libido after full hysterectomy but now (so quickly!) research is showing it may not work after all and what’s more, its long term safety has not been proven. According to Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB), the testosterone patch, called Intrinsa, was recently licensed in the UK for the treatment of women who have gone through surgery-induced menopause and consequently experiencinglowered sex drive, a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) to be given along with estrogen replacement therapy.
But it turns out there were some problems with the main trials on the patches. They involved highly selective groups of women (i.e. excluding those with mental or physical conditions that could affectsex drive ) and in some trials a diagnosis of HSDD was made on the basis of short, unvalidated questionnaires. There was also a large placebo response in the studies, with significant numbers of women not treated with the patch reporting improvedsex drive, which indicates that low hormone levels might not have been the problem. And the improvements that the ladies experienced were quite small.
In addition, it turns out that some of the women were already having sex twice or three times a month before they entered the trials, which raises questions about whether they really had a poor sex drive in the first place! The patch also has unwanted side effects, in up to one in 10 women, like acne, excess hair, hair loss (alopecia), breast pain, weight gain, insomnia, voice deepening, and migraine headaches. Since the trials for Intrinsa lasted a maximum of six months, the long term safety of the patch is also unclear and the published evidence so far is based on highly selected women and only shows small improvements in sexual parameters and large placebo responses. So ladies, it may be worth exploring the natural alternatives until they come out with a better option for the libido of fairer sex.
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