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UM doctors test new medication for treating men with low testosterone

Nasal testosterone gel doesn't appear to have negative side effects, doctors say

MIAMI – If you're a man having trouble losing weight, feeling tired or maybe your love life isn't what it used to be, you may be experiencing low testosterone levels. But South Florida doctors are studying a new treatment that may help without the usual side effects.

Among the men affected by low testosterone levels is 27-year-old Tomas Kenny, who learned he has a low deficiency after experiencing some of the telltale symptoms.

"The most notable one for me was a lowered libido," he said. "For a man in my mid-20s, it didn't make sense. And then there was fatigue. Those were the two symptoms for me."

Since Kenny is a young man and newly married, traditional testosterone replacement therapy isn't recommended.   

Doctors say there are two major side effects.

"One, it blocks the sperm production, especially for young men or men who wish to conceive in the future and are still interested in fertility and family building," said Dr.Ranjith Ramasamy, director of reproductive urology at the University of Miami Health System.

Ramasamy said testosterone therapy also blocks any natural testosterone production.

Those were deal breakers for Kenny.

"As a young married man, you want to keep your options open (and) don't want to close off any avenues with your wife and our ability to have kids or not," he said. 

But doctors are now studying a medication called Natesto, a nasal testosterone gel that does not appear to have the negative side effects.

Kenny uses it three times a day.

The University of Miami Health System is the only location in the country studying Natesto. So far, 12 men have participated in the study and doctors say all of them have had promising results.

"We have so far found all the men on the nasal gel therapy for at least three months, they are very happy, testosterone levels have improved and their sperm production is maintained," Ramasamy said.

Kenny said he felt a difference almost right away.

"What it comes down to is, are you happy with your quality of life? And for me, there's been a marked improvement," he said.

To learn how to participate in the study contact Ramasamy at 305-243-6090, or email him at Ramasamy@miami.edu.