Don’t prescribe testosterone therapy unless there is biochemical evidence of testosterone deficiency.
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.
These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.
Members of the Endocrine Society (Society) along with representatives of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)* formed a joint task force to identify tests or procedures which should only be used in specific circumstances. The task force identified several items for possible inclusion. Subsequent discussions compared the evidence supporting each item, the value of the recommendation to practitioners and the potential for cost savings. Members of the Society’s Clinical Affairs Core Committee and AACE leadership also reviewed the initial list. Using the above criteria, the task force voted for their top five recommendations from the original list. The Society’s Council and AACE’s Board of Directors approved the final list for submission to the Choosing Wisely® campaign.
The Endocrine Society disclosure and conflict of interest policies can be found at www.endocrine.org.
*The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists withdrew from the Choosing Wisely campaign on May 26, 2015.
Bhasin S, Brito JP, Cunningham GR, Hayes FJ, Hodis HN, Matsumoto AM, Snyder PJ, Swerdloff RS, Wu FC, Yialamas MA. Testosterone Therapy in Men With Hypogonadism: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Volume 103, Issue 5, May 2018, Pages 1715–1744.
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.