AndroGel is a remarkable testosterone replacement therapy that typically comes in a 1% or 1.62% solution. AndroGel is used for patients with low or no testosterone as a supplement or replacement. By increasing testosterone levels, AndroGel can be used to treat a number of different conditions in men such as muscle and bone loss, as well as decreased libido. Unlike other testosterone replacement therapy medications such as various injections and pills, AndroGel comes in the form of an easy and pain-free gel solution. The gel solution comes in a pump that dispenses around 20 mg of solution per pump. Depending on if patients use 1 to 4 pumps per day, a supply should last around 30 days or more before needing to refill. But it is important to use AndroGel exactly and as often as a doctor has directed. The best time to apply AndroGel is in the morning after showering.
AndroGel is only available by prescription for male patients with low testosterone levels, however, its effectiveness in patients with low testosterone due to age has not yet been determined. Patients younger than 18 are currently not prescribed AndroGel, because it is not clear whether it is safe or effective to do so. If the solution should come in accidental contact with a child younger than 18, it can potentially produce early symptoms of puberty including aggression, so it is incredibly important that children do not touch the gel pump or areas where you have applied the gel. Women should also not touch the AndroGel solution as it can produce male characteristics like body hair. Therefore, it is recommended that AndroGel be applied to areas such as the shoulders or upper arms where others will be unlikely to come in contact with it, provided you are at least wearing a short sleeve t-shirt.
Patients using AndroGel should not apply it to areas such as the penis or scrotum, as well as areas such as the stomach or underams. Patients should also make sure only to put on clothing over the area after the area where they have applied the gel has dried. Swimming, bathing and other similar activities should be avoided for at least 2 hours so that the solution does not rinse off, rendering it ineffective; but always wash the solution off your hands to avoid getting it on others.
Regular blood tests may be required to determine whether AndroGel is making a difference in testosterone levels. If not, a doctor may ask patients to stop using AndroGel and try something else. Serious side effects such as severe swelling, pain, changes in the genitals and mood changes may also warrant a doctor taking patients off AndroGel. Other serious side effects include an increased risk of prostate cancer, or enlarged prostate accompanied by symptoms such as difficulty urinating and frequent urge to urinate. Less severe, but common side effects include minor irritation, mood swings, increased sexual desire, higher blood pressure and increased red blood cell count. Hair loss and acne may also occur, especially in those genetically predisposed to those conditions.