Testosterone Prescriptions on the Rise

Medical study finds increased use despite worries about potential health risks.
2:05 | 06/03/13

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Transcript for Testosterone Prescriptions on the Rise
If you watch television you've undoubtedly seen those commercials about a kind of secret weapon promising to make American men feel younger stronger more alert. Sales of -- -- two billion dollar mark but a new study. Finds the sale of testosterone. Soaring but what about the risks ABC's Neal Karlinsky with the story. It's billed by some as a virtual fountain of youth a miracle drug for middle aged man looking for a boost from the boardroom. To the bedroom. -- probably seen the ads millions of men and 45 or older may have OT. 57 year old CEO Chris running as and he is sold on low T. Or testosterone treatment he calls it a wonder drug it helped him lose weight gain muscle and generally fuel young again I get out of Charlotte -- I'm impressed because I look. African awesome but tonight researchers in Texas say all those ads could be driving a potentially worrisome amount of over treatment. Between 2001 and 2011. -- -- testosterone prescriptions tripled among men over forty. But they say a full quarter of them were put on testosterone. Without even having their levels checked first to see if they really needed it it's become. Near epidemic proportions and what we're seeing -- -- in our clinics The New England Journal of Medicine warns that only about 2% of men over forty should be getting any boosted -- That's because while added testosterone can lead to increased muscle mass and sex drive. Some doctors say too much raises the risk of prostate cancer and liver damage. So we reached out to the makers of several low -- products a spokesperson for Eli Lilly tells ABC news. We encourage patients to talk to their positions to weigh the benefits and risks before taking any prescription. Into research raising red flags doesn't seem to be having any effect on the business of -- T. Seals are expected to -- to five billion dollars by 2017. -- Karlinsky ABC news Seattle.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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