Comparison of a new long-acting testosterone undecanoate formulation vs testosterone enanthate for intramuscular androgen therapy in male hypogonadism

T Minnemann, M Schubert, S Freude, D Hübler, I Gouni-Berthold, C Schumann, A Christoph, M Oettel, M Ernst, U Mellinger, W Krone, F Jockenhövel
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 2008, 31 (8): 718-23

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of a novel long-acting im testosterone undecanoate (TU) formulation in comparison with testosterone enanthate (TE).

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: An open-label, randomized, prospective clinical trial in 40 hypogonadal men (baseline serum testosterone levels <5 nmol/l), randomly assigned to 250 mg TE/3 weeks (no.=20) or 1000 mg TU im every 6 to 9 weeks for 30 weeks (no.=20). Subsequently, 32/40 men continued the study for another 114 weeks, now receiving TU 1000 mg/12 weeks.

RESULTS: TU and TE produced no statistically significant improvements in grip strength over the first 30 weeks, which only occurred after approximately 90 weeks when all subjects received TU. There were no changes in body mass index with TU and TE, neither in the follow-up period when all patients received TU. But ratios of waist to hip circumferences declined in the longer term. Total serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides declined over the first 30 weeks, while plasma HDL also declined. Plasma LDL decreased further under long-term TU therapy, while HDL then increased. Hemoglobin and hematocrit values significantly increased over the first 30 weeks in both treatment groups and then no further increase was observed. Levels did not exceed the upper limit of normal. In both treatment groups, serum prostate specific antigen levels rose slightly after 30 weeks, with no further increase over the first 12 months, remaining stable within the normal range. Plasma T before the following TU injection was above the lower limit of reference values. Four injections per year are adequate.

CONCLUSIONS: Administration of TU every 12 weeks is at least as safe and efficacious for treatment of hypogonadal men as TE, with a substantially lower frequency of administration. Follow-up over 114 weeks, when all subjects received TU, showed an excellent profile of efficacy and safety.

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