Gynecomastia - Treatment

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What is the treatment for gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, especially in pubertal males, often goes away on its own within about six months, so observation is preferred over specific treatment in many cases. Stopping any offending medications and treatment of underlying medical conditions that cause gynecomastia are also mainstays of treatment.

Treatments are also available to specifically address the problem of gynecomastia, but data on their effectiveness are limited, and no drugs have yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of gynecomastia. Medications are more effective in reducing gynecomastia in the early stages, since scarring often occurs after about 12 months. After the tissue has become scarred, medications are not likely to be effective, and surgical removal is the only possible treatment.

Medications that have been used to treat gynecomastia include:

  • Testosterone replacement has been effective in older men with low levels of testosterone, but it is not effective for me who have normal levels of the male hormone.
  • Clomiphene, and anit-estrogen medication has been used to treat gynecomastia. It can be taken for up to 6 months.
  • The selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) tamoxifen (Nolvadex) has been shown to reduce breast volume in gynecomastia, it was not able to entirely eliminate all the breast tissue. This type of therapy is most often used for severe or painful gynecomastia.
  • Danazol is a synthetic derivative of testosterone that decreases estrogen synthesis by the testes. It works by inhibition of pituitary secretion of LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), substances that direct the sex organs to produce hormones. It is less commonly used to treat gynecomastia than other medications.
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