Testosterone

This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as endocrine-metabolic agents and works by improving the production of natural testosterone in men.

Overview

Testosterone nasal gel is used for treating hypogonadism, a condition where a male’s body does not produce enough testosterone naturally. Low testosterone in men may be caused by several medical conditions that include: testicle disorders, pituitary gland problems, and hypothalamus disorder. Your doctor should conduct a lab examination to establish whether your testosterone levels are normal. The doctor will recommend treatment if lab results show that you have low testosterone levels. This medication shouldn’t be used to treat low testosterone levels in men caused by aging.

Testosterone is essentially a male hormone that not only stimulates the growth of men’s sexual organs but also gives men their natural, sexual characteristics. It’s the hormone responsible for making men different from women from a sexual perspective. For example, testosterone is responsible for making men have muscular bodies, deep voices, and facial hair. It aids sperm production, fuels libido and makes men have a normal erection. It also improves the mood of a person besides boosting more production of red blood cells.

Men suffering from hypogonadism lack enough testosterone in their bodies. Males with a low testosterone condition or hypogonadism usually exhibit the following symptoms: low libido (decreased desire to engage in sexual intercourse), lower sperm count, erectile dysfunction problems and low mood. Most of the men start developing this disorder at the age of 40 and above. This condition can be treated using testosterone nasal gel under the supervision of a doctor. Only the doctor can prescribe this medication.

Conditions treated:

  • Hypogonadism

Type of medicine:

  • Endocrine-metabolic Agents

Side effects:

Taking testosterone nasal gel helps boost the production of testosterone in men suffering from hypogonadism. The use of this medication produces unwanted effects just like other medicines. You should report all side effects you experience to your doctor while taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor if you notice the following side effects:

More common

  • Change in sense of smell
  • Discomfort in the nose
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Stuffy or runny nose

Less common

  • Bloody nose
  • Chills
  • Body aches or pain
  • Cough
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Loss of voice
  • Sneezing
  • Ear congestion
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • Incidence not known
  • Anxiety
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Swelling in the arm or leg
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden shortness of breath

Some unwanted effects may not require medical intervention as they ease once your body is able to adjust to this medicine. In addition, your doctor can provide you with tips on how to reduce or prevent some of the side effects of taking testosterone through the nasal route. Talk to your doctor if any of the side effects listed above persist or if you want to learn more about them.

Dosage:

This medication comes in the form of gel and is taken via the nose. Dosage for this medication depends on a patient’s state and condition. Follow your physician's orders or read the instructions on the label keenly. The following information highlights the average dose that most patients should take while using this medication. Don’t alter your dose unless you are given permission to do so by your doctor.

Adults require 11 mg of this medication administered three times a day.

This medicine should be pumped into each nostril using a special device provided by the doctor or pharmacist. The medicine must be taken in the morning, afternoon and evening. You should take this medicine at the same time each day. Healthcare professionals recommend that you take this medicine in 6 to 8 hour intervals. For children, only the doctor can determine the dose amount and frequency of dose. Scientific studies have not yet shown if it’s safe to use this medication on children.

Before the doctor can administer the formulation using a special pump, he or she will first measure the level of testosterone in your body prior to starting treatment. Your level of testosterone in the body will determine the amount of dose the doctor will prescribe. Follow the instructions of the doctor carefully while using this medication. You should take time to read the printed leaflet that comes with this medication in order to fully understand how to use it safely. If you have any questions regarding using this medication, talk to your doctor immediately for guidance.

This medicine can only be taken via the nose. Ensure that the medication doesn’t touch eyes or skin as it can cause a serious reaction. If this medicine goes into your eyes or skin accidentally, wash it away with water as fast as possible.

To use this medication, follow these instructions if it’s your first time:

  • Clear your nasal passage by blowing your nose
  • Remove the lid from the dispenser
  • In order to optimize the pump prior to using it for the first time, the dispenser should be held upside down. Press the pump ten times - this should be done slowly. Discard any extra medication coming out with warm water down the drain. Wipe the protruding part of the dispenser (tip) with a clean, dry tissue.
  • Use a mirror to ensure that the dispenser tip is inserted into your nostril before you pump the medication into your nose. If you aren’t certain about using this medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist for help. Reading the fine print that comes with the medication can also help.

If you miss a dose, take one immediately once you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, just continue with your normal dosing schedule and skip the missed dose. Don’t take two doses because you missed a dose.

In case of emergency or overdose

In case of overdose, contact your local poison control organization for help. If a victim collapses or stops breathing, dial 911 for emergency help.

Interactions:

Even though certain medications shouldn’t be used together, there are some cases where a doctor may okay a combination even if interactions occur. In such a case, your physician may alter your dose amount or the schedule of taking the drugs for your own benefit and safety.

While taking this medication, it’s crucial to let the doctor know about all other medications you are using or intend to use. Using this medication in combination with following drugs is not recommended.

  • Anisindione
  • Bupropion
  • Dicumarol
  • Dasabuvir
  • Paclitaxel
  • Warfarin
  • Paclitaxel Protein-Bound
  • Phenprocoumon

Using this medication in combination with licorice may lead to increased side effects. However, the doctor may allow the combination for your own benefit. If both drugs are used together, your doctor may decide to change dosage or frequency of use.

Other interactions

Certain medications shouldn’t be used when eating some types of food due to the threat of interactions. The use of tobacco or alcohol together with this medication may increase interactions. Avoid using tobacco or alcohol while using testosterone nasal gel.

Other medical problems

The use of testosterone formulation (nasal route) may be affected if you have other medical problems. It’s crucial to talk to the doctor if you have any of these medical issues.

  • Blood clotting problems such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
  • Diabetes
  • Drug abuse or dependence
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Heart attack
  • Hypercalcemia (high calcium in the blood)
  • Hyperlipidemia (high lipid or cholesterol in the blood)
  • Lung disease
  • Breathing problems like sleep apnea
  • Problems with passing urine
  • Stroke
  • Breast cancer (males)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Blood disorder like polycythemia
  • Deviated anterior nasal septum
  • Mucosal inflammatory disorders like Sjögren's syndrome
  • Nose disorders
  • Nose or sinus surgery
  • Heart disease such as congestive heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Rhinitis

Consult your doctor all the time while using testosterone nasal gel. Your physician may ask you to undergo more tests in a laboratory in order to gauge your body’s response to this medication. Tests may also be conducted to gauge how your body reacts when a number of drugs are used together. Although using a combination of drugs together is not advised, sometimes it may be necessary. Inform your doctor or lab technician about all the medication you are using before undergoing tests. Using testosterone nasal gel can impact laboratory tests.

It’s crucial to maintain a list of all prescription and non-prescription medicines you are taking. This also includes telling your doctor about vitamins, minerals or herbal supplements you are using. Always carry the list with you every time you have an appointment with the doctor. It’s also critical to carry the list during an emergency situation

Warnings:

You should consider the risks versus the benefits of testosterone gel before you start using this medication. You and your doctor should discuss all the pros and cons of using this medicine. These are some of the things that you should consider before using this medication.

Tell your physician if you experience any allergic reaction while using this medication. In addition, inform your doctor if you are also allergic to certain foods, preservatives, dyes etc. For non-prescription drugs, ensure that you read the label or packaging ingredients keenly.

Several scientific studies have not established whether it’s safe to administer testosterone nasal gel to children. Talk to your doctor for more information before using this medication on children.

This medicine should be used with caution if used by elderly persons. The doctor should be consulted before this medication is used. The elderly are at a high risk of suffering from conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, prostate cancer and many other ailments. This means more caution should be exercised while using testosterone nasal gel.

This medication should not be used by women who are pregnant or those intending to get pregnant. Also, this medication should no be used by women who are breastfeeding as the drug can be harmful to infants. The doctor may have to recommend an alternative medication to cure your low testosterone problems.

Do not use this medicine together with other medicines that use the nasal route unless the doctor allows you to do so.

This medication shouldn’t be used by women as it may cause birth defects, especially in pregnant women. Inform your doctor if your partner becomes pregnant.

This medication can cause nasal issues.

Talk to your doctor as soon a possible if you experience problems such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion, nosebleeds, nasal scabbing, nasal discomfort, and nasal dryness while using this medicine.

This medication can cause blood clotting issues. Alert your doctor if you experience chest pain while using this medication. Other symptoms to report right away while using this medicine include having difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, and numbness in any part of your body.

This medication can increase your chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Talk to your physician immediately if you experience chest pain that spreads to your arms, back, jaw or neck. Other signs to report to your doctor right away include faintness, nausea, headache, trouble breathing, vomiting, unusual sweating and vision problems.

Inform your doctor if your female partner begins to experience man-like changes while using this medication. Some of the changes to note include: hair growth on face, deep voice, enlarged clitoris, fast development of pubic hair, aggression, sexual desire etc.

In some instances, the use of this medication can decrease the amount of sperm in men. If you intend to have children, speak with your doctor prior to using this medication.

Talk to your doctor right away if you experience the following signs: dark urine, pain in the upper abdomen, pale stool, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, yellow eyes and skin. Such could be signs of a severe liver problem.

The use of this medication may cause edema or fluid retention in some patients. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you have swelling on your face, arms, feet, and hands. Also, don’t hesitate to contact your physician if you experience rapid weight gain or loss while taking this medication.

Don’t allow any person to use your medicine. Testosterone is a heavily controlled drug that’s only prescribed by the doctor. Prescriptions can only refilled for a limited time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions regarding the use of this medicine.

Storage:

Keep this medication stored safely in a container preferably at room temperature. You should store it in a place where children cannot reach. Ask your pharmacist or garbage collector for advice on how to safely dispose of this and other outdated medication you might have at home. Dispose this medication safely through your local take-back program.

Summary:

Testosterone nasal gel is used for remedying low testosterone disorder in men. Men who suffer from low testosterone disorder or hypogonadism may have low libido, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction issues and low mood. This condition may occur from childbirth or later in life. A majority of men start developing this condition once they hit the age of 40. The doctor may advise the patient to undergo Testosterone replacement therapy to cure the condition. Testosterone replacement therapy may come in the form of a gel administered inside the nose using a special dispenser. This medication works by enhancing the production of testosterone naturally.

Using this medication produces side effects just like any other medicines. You should report any side effect you notice while using this medication. Some of the common side effects that occur while using this solution includes: change in sense of smell, headache, fever, discomfort in the nose, sore throat, muscle aches, stuffy or runny nose.

This medicine comes in the form of a gel and is applied inside a nose using a special dispenser pump. It is used three times per day on each nostril. To avoid skipping a dose, ensure that you take this medication at the same time each day. Do not use more or less of this medication at any moment. Follow the instructions of the doctor at all times to ensure you use this medication safely. If you notice any signs of cold or flu while using this medication, speak with your doctor. Your physician may order that you stop using this medication if the signs mentioned do not ease.

The use of this medication can cause interactions with a number of drugs such as Anisindione, Bupropion, Dasabuvir, Warfarin, Phenprocoumon, Paclitaxel Protein-Bound, Dicumarol, Paclitaxel, etc. Consult your doctor to understand all the medications that may interact with testosterone nasal gel. The doctor should also give you a list of warnings and precautions that you should adhere to before using this medication. Lastly, this medication should be stored in a safe way so that children may not reach them. You should store it at room temperature at all times. Any unneeded medication should be disposed of safely through local take-back initiatives.

https://www.harvardprostateknowledge.org/a-harvard-expert-shares-his-thoughts-on-testosterone-replacement-therapy

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Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
December 22, 2017
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