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What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals in the blood which serve as messengers to coordinate body functions. For example, thyroid hormone regulates the overall rate of metabolism throughout the body. Cortisol orchestrates, among others, the body’s response to stress. Many hormones do their work unobtrusively, without you being aware of their presence. They usually attract notice only when they are acting up.
Why reduce my testosterone?
While some men produce normal levels of testosterone, some will produce too much. Our blocker is designed with them in mind. Also, if you are a transgender, reducing testosterone levels will help you on your journey to feminisation.
What is the usual treatment for blocking testosterone production?
Doctors usually prescribe man-made hormones in order to block the production of androgens (male sex hormones). A form of hormone therapy involves synthetic drugs called LHRH analogs that chemically block the production of androgens. There are four LHRH analogues available: Goserelin (Zoladex)- injection, Nafarelin (Synarel)- nasal spray, Leuprorelin (Lupron) – injection and Buserelin (Suprecur)- nasal spray and injection. There is also a one-year leuprolide-acetate implant called Viadur, which is used primarily in the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
What are anti-androgens?
In order to block the testosterone produced in the adrenal glands, doctors prescribe together with the testosterone blocker, an anti-androgen —usually Eulexin (flutamide), Casodex (bicalutamide), or Nilandron (nilutamide). Some doctors may prescribe Cytadren (aminoglutethamide) or Nizoral (ketoconazole) for late-stage treatment. Patients who take Cytadren or Nizoral must also take hydrocortisone pills. They are used as a male contraceptive agent, to purposefully prevent or counteract masculinisation in the case of transsexual women undergoing sex reassignment therapy, and to prevent the symptoms associated with reduced testosterone, such as hot flashes, following castration.
What possible side effects do synthetic hormone blockade drugs have?
All of these drugs have potential dangerous side effects. The most common side effects somebody undergoing treatment could experience are hot flushes, sweating, loss of libido, headaches, mood changes (including depression), and changes in breast size due to oestrogen deficiency. Casodex and Eulexin may cause alcohol intolerance. All of them can result in anaemia, arthritic symptoms, appetite and weight loss, blood in urine, cholesterol and triglycerides increase, constipation or diarrhoea. Insomnia, drowsiness, dry mouth, emotional instability, swelling of feet or lower legs, flu syndrome, high blood pressure, and hyperglycaemia, are also associated with taking synthetic hormones. Doctors have also noticed in patients problems such as temporary impotence, itching, liver problems, memory loss, methemoglobinemia (a crystallization in the blood), nausea, nervous and twitchy legs, osteoporosis, testicular soreness and atrophy.
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