Androgel

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What is Androgel?

Answer

Androgel« contains the male hormone testosterone. This gel is prescribed as replacement hormone therapy for men who have abnormally low testosterone levels. Other forms of testosterone replacement include tablets, skin patches or intramuscular injections. Androgel« provides more consistent levels of testosterone compared to injections and causes less skin irritation than patches. Testosterone is needed for normal physical development in males and is also responsible for maintaining secondary sexual characteristics that include a man's beard, chest hair, muscle mass, and libido. In clinical studies, Androgel« successfully produced normal testosterone levels in men who didn't make enough testosterone naturally. It also successfully reduced the symptoms of low testosterone, such as low libido and decreased muscle mass.

Androgel« is a clear, colorless gel that comes in a carton containing 30 single-use packets. Every morning, apply Androgel« to clean, dry skin on your shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after applying the gel. Wait until the gel dries before putting on a shirt. Androgel« won't affect the skin site it's rubbed into - so it won't grow hair on your shoulder, for example, or make your biceps bigger. Instead, it works by penetrating the skin and getting absorbed into the bloodstream.

Androgel« side effects

Androgel's side effects are usually mild and rarely require patients to stop using Androgel«. Its most common side effects are skin irritation, acne at the application site, increased breast size, headache, problems urinating and prostate disorders. Rare but serious side effects include prostate cancer and hepatitis. If you are suffering from side effects, they should disappear once you stop using Androgel«. Your doctor can monitor testosterone levels by doing blood tests. These will help monitor if Androgel« is producing enough testosterone as well as alert you for potential side effects.

Androgel« should never be used for children, pregnant women and men with prostate cancer or breast cancer. It has also never been studied for use in males under the age of 18. Pregnant women should even avoid skin contact with application sites in men. If there is contact, wash the exposed skin with soap and water.

Read an article about testosterone in our Health Encyclopedia.

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