A spray that could help with anxiety

23 February 2021

Demand for testosterone prescriptions have increased five-fold since 2011.

Researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, US, have patented a testosterone containing nasal spray which has been tested as an anxiety medication for women. It is said that the product would be the first testosterone therapy licensed to treat anxiety disorders. The research team is preparing to publish results from two studies on the effects of testosterone spray on women.

Robert Josephs, a psychologist at UC Austin who helped develop the spray, believes that testosterone may reduce anxiety by dampening down fear in the brain. Men naturally have nine times higher levels of the hormone than women. The researchers speculate that men’s higher concentrations may protect them against anxiety.

Demand for testosterone is said to be booming, with prescriptions increasing five-fold since 2011. The research team in Texas hope that their nasal spray will offer a comfortable, controlled, and fast acting dose of the hormone for people with ‘low T,’ noting that traditional supplements such as gels and creams can take days or multiple doses to reach full potential.

However, a note of caution is being sounded. Peter Celic, an endocrinologist at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, who is not involved with the new product, commented that testosterone is a highly potent hormone, and with receptors in nearly every tissue and organ, side effects are likely.

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