Dear Dr. Motola,
I was prescribed Androgel for a low testosterone level (5mg/day). Currently, I am considering taking a supplement to maintain a healthy prostate. It contains:
- Saw Palmetto
- Pygeum extract
- Nettle Extract
Is there a chance that any of these will have an adverse reaction with the Androgel? Could there be any negative effect on the prostate?
The vitamin supplements that you are considering should have no adverse effect while taking androgel. These vitamins and supplements are commonly used and are very safe. Selenium and lycopene are the two agents that are being studied in a very large national study, the SELECT study (The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial). This study funded by the National Cancer Institute and being coordinated by the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) is an ongoing seven-year study comprising 35,000 men and looks at whether these supplements might prevent prostate cancer.
There is some evidence that patients who are treated with androgens are at an increased risk for the development of prostatic hyperplasia and prostatic carcinoma. Yearly digital rectal examinations and PSA tests must be performed.
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