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Testosterone Topical gel

What is this medicine?

TESTOSTERONE (tes TOS ter one) is the main male hormone. It supports normal male traits such as muscle growth, facial hair, and deep voice. This gel is used in males to treat low testosterone levels.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. This medicine is applied at the same time every day (preferably in the morning) to clean, dry, intact skin. If you take a bath or shower in the morning, apply the gel after the bath or shower. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Make sure that you are using your testosterone gel product correctly and applying it only to the appropriate skin area (see below). Allow the skin to dry a few minutes then cover with clothing to prevent others from coming in contact with the medicine on your skin. The gel is flammable. Avoid fire, flame, or smoking until the gel has dried. Wash your hands with soap and water after use.

For AndroGel Packets: Open the packet(s) needed for your dose. You can put the entire dose into your palm all at once or just a little at a time to apply. If you prefer, you can instead squeeze the gel directly onto the area you are applying it to. Apply on the shoulders, upper arm, or abdomen as directed. Do not apply to the scrotum or genitals. Be sure you use the correct total dose. It is best to wait 5 to 6 hours after application of the gel before showering or swimming.

For AndroGel 1%: Pump the dose into the palm of your hand. You can put the entire dose into your palm all at once or just a little at a time to apply. If you prefer, you can instead pump the gel directly onto the area you are applying it to. Apply on the shoulders, upper arm, or abdomen as directed. Do not apply to the scrotum or genitals. Be sure you use the correct total dose. It is best to wait for 5 to 6 hours after application of the gel before showering or swimming.

For AndroGel 1.62%: Pump the dose into the palm of your hand. Dispense one pump of gel at a time into the palm of your hand before applying it. If you prefer, you can instead pump the gel directly onto the area you are applying it to. Apply on the shoulders and upper arms as directed. Do not apply to other parts of the body including the abdomen or genitals. Be sure you use the correct total dose. It is best to wait 2 hours after application of the gel before washing, showering, or swimming.

For Testim: Open the tube(s) needed for your dose. Squeeze the gel from the tube into the palm of your hand. Apply on the shoulders or upper arms as directed. Do not apply to the scrotum, genitals, or abdomen. Be sure you use the correct total dose. Do not shower or swim for at least 2 hours after application of the gel.

For Fortesta: Use the multi-dose pump to pump the gel directly onto the area you are applying it to. Apply on the thighs as directed. Do not apply to the abdomen, penis, scrotum, shoulders or upper arms. Gently rub the gel onto the skin using your finger. Be sure you use the correct total dose. Do not shower or swim for at least 2 hours after application of the gel.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breast enlargement

  • breathing problems

  • changes in mood, especially anger, depression, or rage

  • dark urine

  • general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms

  • light-colored stools

  • loss of appetite, nausea

  • nausea, vomiting

  • right upper belly pain

  • stomach pain

  • swelling of ankles

  • too frequent or persistent erections

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

  • unusually weak or tired

  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • acne

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • hair loss

  • headache

What may interact with this medicine?

  • medicines for diabetes

  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin

  • oxyphenbutazone

  • propranolol

  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.

Store at room temperature between 15 to 30 degrees C (59 to 86 degrees F). Keep closed until use. Protect from heat and light. This medicine is flammable. Avoid exposure to heat, fire, flame, and smoking. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • breast cancer

  • diabetes

  • heart disease

  • if a female partner is pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • lung disease

  • prostate cancer, enlargement

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to testosterone, soy proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. They will need to check the level of testosterone in your blood.

This medicine can transfer from your body to others. If a person or pet comes in contact with the area where this medicine was applied to your skin, they may have a serious risk of side effects. If you cannot avoid skin-to-skin contact with another person, make sure the site where this medicine was applied is covered with clothing. If accidental contact happens, the skin of the person or pet should be washed right away with soap and water. Also, a female partner who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant should avoid contact with the gel or treated skin.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

This drug is banned from use in athletes by most athletic organizations.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 5/3/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.