Androgel & Testim Side Effects in Men
Author: Brian Hildebrandt, Last Updated: April 18, 2018
The best way to reduce Androgel side effects for optimal energy, mood, and sexual function. Androgel and Testim is a testosterone topical medication intended for hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels in men.
It is applied to the skin every day to treat low testosterone symptoms like fatigue, moodiness, loss of muscle mass, loss of bone density, and sexual dysfunction.
Side effects include those caused by testosterone itself and those specific to the topical application of Androgel.
How to Apply Androgel
Androgel is to be applied every morning to clean dry skin on your upper arms, shoulders, or abdomen. Testosterone gels can have a strong smell (musky odor stink) and be messy and sticky to apply.
It’s important to thoroughly wash your hands after applying Androgel to reduce inadvertent transfer to someone else. You should be especially cautious around women and children.
The application site should be covered with clothing so you can avoid skin-to-skin contact with people close to you. If contact occurs, over a prolonged period, your female partner may take on male characteristics like increased body hair and acne.
If she is pregnant, harm could come to the developing fetus.
Side Effects of Androgel & Testim
Some Androgel side effects occur at the application site in the form of skin irritation causing redness, swelling, and itching.
Other common side effects include breast tenderness, breast enlargement, acne, prostate enlargement and changes in urinary patterns.
Most testosterone side effects may be avoided by keeping estrogen in check through the use of a medication called aromatase inhibitors (AI’s) like Arimidex (Anastrozole) or Femara (Letrozole). They prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
General Testosterone Side Effects
In fact, one of the most common side effects of testosterone therapy is the development of prostate disorders. This mainly includes an increased risk of prostate enlargement and NOT cancer.
Prostate problems may cause urinary urgency, trouble starting urination, weak flow, being unable to urinate, increased frequency, and needing to get up several times at night to go to the bathroom.
These side effects may be mitigated through the use of Arimidex or Aromasin as previously mentioned. Androgel and testosterone use in general have been linked to sleep apnea in those predisposed, like men with obesity.
Androgel side effects include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, mood changes, headaches, and changes in sex drive. Other risks include edema or swollen ankles, depression, depressed respirations, dizziness, weight gain, and change of testicle size.
More Serious Side Effects
Some other side effects may require immediate medical attention. These include a drop in blood sugar that causes shakiness, sweating, rapid pulse, and a prolonged or painful erection.
Because Androgel and Testim may worsen symptoms associated with certain diseases, you should let your doctor know if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, prostate cancer, BPH, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, kidney problems, or heart disease.
Be an Informed Patient
To lessen the risk of side effects from occurring, be sure to tell your doctor about all prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. Particular medications that may interact with Androgel include insulin, corticosteroids, and anticoagulants.
Androgel is useful for helping you overcome the symptoms associated with low testosterone levels in men but like any other medication, there is a risk of side effects. You can educate yourself on the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy to make a well-informed decision.
Once taking the drug, be sure to report any side effects to your doctor so the medication may be stopped or the dosage adjusted to derive maximum benefits.