Testosterone (Topical Application Route)
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR603099
Testosterone (Topical Application Route)Drug Information provided by: Micromedex
US Brand Names
Testosterone topical gel is used for the treatment of males whose bodies do not make enough natural testosterone, a condition called hypogonadism. Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for the growth and development of the male sex organs and maintenance of secondary sex characteristics.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of testosterone topical gel in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of testosterone topical gel in the elderly. However, elderly patients may be at an increased risk for developing heart and blood vessel problems, or prostate problems (including prostate cancer), which may require caution in patients receiving testosterone topical gel.
|All Trimesters||X||Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
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Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to alcohol or soy products or
- Breast cancer (males) or
- Prostate cancer, known or suspected—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Diabetes or
- Enlarged prostate or
- Lung disease or breathing problems (e.g., sleep apnea) or
- Problems with passing urine—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Heart disease or
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. Testosterone may cause edema (fluid retention) in patients with these conditions.
This medicine comes with a Medication Guide and patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
This medicine is available in two forms: individual packets or multi-dose pump. If you are using the pump gel for the first time, prime the pump before measuring out your first dose. Hold the pump over a sink and press the pump all the way down at least 3 times or until the gel begins to flow freely. Rinse the medicine discarded into the sink down the drain. Place the palm of your hand under the pump and press the pump the proper number of times to measure out your correct dose.
If you are using the gel in foil packets, tear the packet completely open along the perforation. Squeeze the entire contents directly onto the skin where you will apply the gel. You may also empty the packet into the palm of your hand and then apply the medicine. Throw away the empty foil packet in a place where children and pets cannot reach it.
To use the gel:
- Make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying the gel.
- Apply the gel to a clean, dry, intact skin of the shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen (stomach), unless your doctor tells you to use it on another part of your body. Do not apply this medicine to your scrotum or your penis. Do not use the medicine on skin that has a cut, scrape, or other type of injury.
- Allow the gel to dry on your skin before you cover it with clothing (e.g., t-shirt).
- Wait for 5 hours after applying this medicine before showering or swimming.
The gel form can be transferred to another person if they touch or rub the skin where the gel was placed or if some of the gel remains on your hands. To keep this from happening, wash your hands again after applying the gel. Also, wash the area where you applied the gel with soap and water if you expect to have a skin-to-skin contact with another person.
This medicine is flammable until it dries on the skin. Do not use it near heat, an open flame, or while smoking.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (gel):
- For hormone replacement:
- Adults—At first, apply 5 grams to a clean, dry, intact skin once a day (usually in the morning). Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 10 grams.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For hormone replacement:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to see if the medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any problems or unwanted effects.
This medicine should not be used by women. Testosterone may cause birth defects if a pregnant woman comes in contact with the medicine. Make sure your doctor knows if your sexual partner is pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Children and women should avoid contact with the unwashed or unclothed area where the testosterone gel has been applied. If another person does accidentally get this medicine on the skin, wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible.
Tell your doctor if your female partner or child starts to have male-like body changes while you are using this medicine. Such changes may include hair growth on the face, a deeper voice, or a significant increase in acne. The changes may also include an enlarged penis or clitoris, early development of pubic hair, increased erections or sexual desire, aggressive behavior, and bone problems.
In some cases, this medicine may decrease the amount of sperm men make and affect their ability to have children. If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor before using this medicine.
This medicine may cause fluid retention (edema) in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have bloating or swelling of face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet; tingling of hands or feet; or unusual weight gain or loss.
This medicine may affect the results of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which may be used to detect prostate cancer. Make sure you tell all of your doctors that you are using this medicine.
Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are using this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty urinating
- Feeling need to urinate often
- Frequent urination
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- Blurred vision
- Feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheaded
- Feeling of warmth or heat
- Flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
- Frequent strong or increased urge to urinate
- Increased urge to urinate during the night
- Pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
- Pounding in the ears
- Rapid weight gain
- Slow or fast heartbeat
- Swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
- Tingling of the hands or feet
- Unusual weight gain or loss
- Waking to urinate at night
- Aggressive behavior
- Bluish lips or skin
- Decrease in testicle size
- Development of pubic hair
- Difficult or labored breathing
- Enlargement of the clitoris or penis
- Not breathing
- Painful or prolonged erection of the penis
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Blemishes on the skin
- Burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at the application site
- Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- Discoloration of the hair
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Inability to have or keep an erection
- Lack or loss of strength
- Loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- Loss of memory
- Problems with memory
- Quick to react or overreact emotionally
- Rapidly changing moods
- Thinning of the hair
- Increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- Increased interest in sexual intercourse
- Trouble with sleeping
- Unable to sleep
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.