Injectable testosterone undecanoate for the treatment of hypogonadism.
INTRODUCTION: Injectable testosterone undecanoate (TU) is a long-acting testosterone (T) formulation available for the treatment of male hypogonadism (HG) since 2003.
AREAS COVERED: The efficacy and safety of injectable TU are assessed, as obtained by meta-analyzing available evidence. An extensive Medline, Embase and Cochrane search was performed. All uncontrolled and placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs), evaluating the effect of injectable TU on different outcomes, were included. Of the 98 retrieved articles, 33 were included in the study. Among those, 11 were placebo-controlled RCTs. Injectable TU was significantly associated with a reduction of fat mass and HbA1c in both controlled and uncontrolled trials, in particular when hypogonadal subjects were enrolled. Similar results were observed for the improvement of erectile function. In addition, TU ameliorated several other outcomes, including blood pressure, lipid profile, waist circumference and body mass index in uncontrolled studies, but these data were not confirmed in placebo-controlled trials. The treatment was well tolerated and no risk of prostate cancer or cardiovascular disease was observed.
EXPERT OPINION: Injectable TU is a safe and effective treatment for male HG. The possibility of a therapeutic intervention just four to five times per year frees the patient, at least partially, from having a chronic condition, thus maintaining a positive, active role in self-caring.