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Testosterone (Absorbed through the skin)

Testosterone (tes-TOS-ter-one)

Treats low testosterone levels.

Brand Name(s):


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:


  • Your doctor will tell you how many patches to use, where to apply them, and how often to apply them. Do not use more patches or apply them more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch.
  • Leave the patch in its sealed wrapper until you are ready to put it on. Tear the wrapper open carefully. NEVER CUT the wrapper or the patch with scissors. Do not use any patch that has been cut by accident.
  • The patient instructions will show the body areas where you can wear the patch. When putting on each new patch, choose a different place within these areas. Do not put the new patch on the same place you wore the last one. Be sure to remove the old patch before applying a new one.
  • Apply the patch to clean, dry skin with very little hair, on your back, abdomen, upper arms, or thighs. Apply the patch at about the same time every night.
  • Do not put the patch over burns, cuts, or irritated skin. Do not put the patch on oily or sweaty skin or on a spot that might put extra pressure on it (such as over a joint).
  • Bathing or swimming should not affect the patch. However, wait at least 3 hours after you apply the patch before you wash the skin area or shower or swim. Heavy exercise and sweating may cause the patch to fall off.
  • If the patch becomes loose, smooth it down and press it back onto your skin. If the patch comes off before 12 o'clock noon, put on a new patch, and then replace the new patch at your regular time. If the patch comes off after noon, just wait and put on a new patch at your next regular time. Do not tape the patch to your skin.
  • Missed dose: If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together. Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed.

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 foods and medicines can affect how testosterone works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Insulin
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Corticosteroid (including dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, an enlarged prostate, lung disease, sleep apnea, or a history of heart attack or stroke.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased numbers of red blood cells
    • Increased risk of prostate cancer
    • Blood clot in your leg or lung
    • Increase risk of heart attack or stroke
    • Lower sperm count (with large doses)
  • The skin patch contains aluminum, which may cause skin burns if you have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. You must remove the patch before an MRI.
  • This medicine is not indicated for use in women and should never be used by a pregnant woman.
  • 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
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, trouble urinating
  • Chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, unusual sweating, faintness
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, or coughing up blood
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your body, sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Pain, redness, or swelling in your arm or leg
  • Severe skin blisters, redness, swelling, or burning where the patch is applied
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

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

  • Mild skin soreness, redness, itching, or irritation where the patch was applied
  • 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: 11/18/2015

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