Medical Services Patients & Visitors Health Information For Medical Professionals Quality About Us
Text Size:  -   +  |  Print Page  |  Email Page

Testosterone (On the skin)

Testosterone (tes-TOS-ter-one)

Treats low testosterone levels. Testosterone is a male hormone.

Brand Name(s):

AndroGel, Androgel, Axiron, First-Testosterone, First-Testosterone MC, Fortesta, Testim, Vogelxo

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to testosterone, or if you have breast cancer or prostate cancer.

How to Use This Medicine:

Gel/Jelly, Kit, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Apply this medicine at the same time every day, usually in the morning, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Apply the medicine only to clean, dry skin. Do not use the medicine on skin that has a cut, scrape, or other injury.
  • If your medicine comes in a pump, prime the pump 3 times before you use it for the first time. Do not use the medicine that comes out during priming. Rinse it down the drain.
  • If you are using the gel:
    • Apply the gel only to your shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen. Do not apply this medicine to your scrotum or penis.
    • Allow the gel to dry on your skin before you cover it with clothing. Wait for at least 2 to 5 hours after applying this medicine before you shower or swim.
  • If you are using the topical solution:
    • Use an applicator to apply the solution to clean and dry underarms. Do not apply this medicine to any other part of your body.
    • If the medicine drips or runs, wipe it back with an applicator. Do not rub the solution with your fingers or hand.
    • Rinse the applicator cup with water and pat it dry with a tissue. Put the applicator cup and cap back into the pump bottle.
    • Allow the solution to dry before you cover it with clothing. Do not shower or swim for least 2 hours.
    • You may use an antiperspirant or deodorant spray, but it must be applied at least 2 minutes before you apply this medicine.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water after you use this medicine.
  • Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse your eyes right away with water, and call your doctor.
  • 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 their skin, wash the area with soap and water right away.
  • The medicine is flammable until it dries on the skin. Do not smoke or go near an open flame until the gel or solution has dried and you have covered the area with clothing.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Throw away the empty pump, tube, or packet in a place where children and pets cannot reach it.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how testosterone works. Tell your doctor if you are using the following:
    • Insulin
    • Oxyphenbutazone
    • Steroid medicine (such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone)
    • A blood thinner (such as warfarin)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, an enlarged prostate, heart disease, high cholesterol, lung disease, or sleep apnea.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Enlarged prostate
    • Increased risk of prostate cancer
    • Blood clot in your leg or lung
    • Lower sperm count
    • Liver problems
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Changes in how much or how often you urinate, trouble urinating
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Pain, redness, or swelling in your arm or leg
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • More erections than usual or erections that last a long time
  • Swollen breasts

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 12/4/2014


The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
Copyright © 1984- Truven Health Analytics. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.