Hypogonadism More Likely With Long-Acting Opioids
ISSM at American Urological Association Annual Meeting
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente have found that men on long-acting opioids are more likely to develop low testosterone (hypogonadism) than those who take short-acting opioids.
The California research team conducted a retrospective study involving 81 men between the ages of 26 and 79 who were being treated for chronic pain. All of the men had been taking an opioid for at least three months. None of them had ever been diagnosed with low testosterone before.
Prescribed to treat pain, opioids are available in two forms. Long-acting opioids release medication slowly and are effective for about eight hours. Short-acting opioids work more quickly and usually last less than 6 hours.
Normal testosterone levels are typically between 300 and 800 ng/dL. For this study, men with levels below 250 ng/dL were considered to have hypogonadism.
Overall, 56.8% of the men were hypogonadal, but rates differed based on the drug's length of action. Seventy-four percent of the men taking long-acting opioids had low testosterone, compared to 34% of the men taking the short-acting variety.
After adjusting for daily dosage and body mass index, the researchers found that men taking long-acting opioids were almost five times more likely to become hypogonadal than the men taking short-acting opioids.
No association was found between dose and an increased risk of low testosterone.
The study was published online ahead of print in January in The Clinical Journal of Pain. Please click here to learn more.
If you're attending the American Urological Association annual meeting this weekend and next week, please stop by the ISSM booth (#2038) and say hello!
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The meeting will be held 4 - 8 May at the San Diego Convention Center. Exhibitors will be located in the Science and Technology Hall.
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