Testosterone (Intramuscular)

This medication belongs to a class of medications known as androgens and works by affecting certain natural substances in the body, which stimulates the production of testosterone naturally.

Overview

This medication is used for treating hypogonadism or low testosterone disorder in men. In males, the hormone testosterone is chiefly responsible for lots of normal functions like the growth of sexual organs, muscles and bones. It also causes puberty (normal sexual development) in boys. Testosterone injection belongs to a category of drugs known as androgens. It essentially works by affecting certain natural substances in the body to stimulate the production of more testosterone naturally for men suffering from hypogonadism. This medication can also be used to cure delayed puberty in boys.

This medicine is injected into a person's buttock muscle as instructed by the doctor after every one to four weeks. If you are using this medication, do not inject this muscle into your vein. The dosage amount depends on the overall health of an individual, testosterone levels in blood and how a person responds to treatment.

If you'll be injecting yourself with this medication at home, your doctor will demonstrate to you how to properly administer the drug by yourself. Prior to using this medication, check out if the medication has any discoloration or particles. Discoloration and particles are an indication that the medication is not safe for use and should be disposed of immediately. You'll recover quickly if you follow all the instructions given by the doctor. Mark a calendar so that you don't forget to take your dose on time. Missing a dose several times can affect the effectiveness of this medication.

Condition treated

  • Hypogonadism (low testosterone level in men)

Type of medicine

  • Androgens

Side effects

Using testosterone injection helps stimulate the production testosterone hormone naturally in males. But along with the needed effects, using this medicine causes several side effects. Let your doctor know about all the side effects you are experiencing while using this medicine. Remember not every side effect listed below may be experienced by every patient.

Common side effects

  • Acne
  • Hair growth
  • com/health/gynecomastia/">Gynecomastia (breast enlargement)
  • More frequent erections
  • Pain and swelling at injection site
  • Decrease in sperm count when the drug is used at high doses
  • Erections that last longer than normal
  • Headache
  • Mood swings

If the side effects that result from taking this medication are mild, they should ease after some time, probably after a few days or a number of weeks. However, if the unwanted affects are serious, you should inform your doctor as soon as possible for quick action. Your doctor may decide to alter your dosage or change the medication altogether.

Serious side effects

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe side effects while using this medication. If you are having a medical emergency and the condition is life-threatening, call 911 right away. Some of the serious side effects that can occur while using this medication include but are not limited to:

  • Heart attack
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort in your upper body
  • Chest pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness in one part or side of your body
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Trouble starting urination
  • Nocturia (needing to urinate more often at night)
  • Not being able to completely empty your bladder
  • Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts
  • Straining while urinating
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Stomach pain and swelling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling in your legs and ankles
  • Bruising more easily than normal
  • Unusual or unexplained tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Pale-colored stool
  • Yellowing of your skin
  • Yellow eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of your leg
  • Pain in your leg
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Fast pulse
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Dizzy feeling
  • Fainting
  • Coughing up blood
  • Reddening in your face
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Blood clots
  • Tiredness
  • Decrease in mental alertness

The list of side effects above may not be complete. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to provide you with a comprehensive list of side effects associated with taking this drug. You can also read the printed leaflet that comes with this medicine to learn more about this medication.

Dosage

Testosterone injection is prescribed by the doctor to cure low testosterone problems in men. The dosage amount may depend on factors such as your age, level of testosterone, other medical conditions and how you react to the medication.

Dosage Instructions

Generally, the adults are injected with 50-400 mg of the medication on average. This medicine is injected straight into your muscles after every two to four weeks. The doctor may alter your dose based on the level of testosterone in your body, side effects and response to treatment. 400 mg is the maximum dose that your doctor can prescribe at any given time.

Children of the age of 12 to 17 years may be injected with 50-400 mg of the medication depending on their medical condition and diagnosis. The doctor should decide the best dosage amount after conducting several tests on your child. Children between the ages of 0 and 11 years should not be injected with this drug. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions regarding how to use this medication, especially on dosage requirements. Pay attention to the dosage instructions provided by the doctor if you wish to get better as soon as possible.

If you miss a dose or do not take this medicine on schedule, it may stop working or become less effective. Follow the dosage instructions with care if you want this medication to be effective. Never skip a dose on purpose while using this medication unless you don't want to remedy your condition quickly.

In case of overdose

Seek urgent medical attention as soon as possible, as the symptoms can be severe. In some cases, overdosing on this medication can cause death, so be warned. Some of the signs that you may have overdosed on this medication include:

  • Acne
  • Hair growth
  • Gynecomastia (breast enlargement)
  • Pain and swelling at injection site
  • Decrease in sperm count
  • Mood swings
  • More frequent erections
  • Erections that last longer than normal
  • Headache

If you think you've taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center for emergency help. If your symptoms are serious, call 911 or go to the nearest clinic or hospital emergency room immediately.

What action should you take if you miss a dose?

Take your dose as soon as you remember. If in doubt, talk to your doctor and inform him how many days you've skipped the injection. Your doctor should be able to help start a new injection schedule. Don't take two doses at the same time, even if you have missed a dose.

How to establish if a testosterone injection is working

If you follow the instructions of the doctor carefully, the medication should cure your low testosterone issues after some period of use. Some of the symptoms associated with low testosterone condition include mood swing, poor concentration, reduced growth of male sexual organs, erectile dysfunction, gynecomastia, loss of body hair, anemia, osteoporosis, and loss of muscle mass. Skipping a dose or using this medication wrongly may make the medication ineffective or, in some cases, the drug may stop working completely. Make sure you use this medication exactly as prescribed by your physician.

Drug Interactions

Testosterone injection may interact with other medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements you might be taking. An interaction occurs when a given substance alters the manner in which a drug works. Interactions can cause serious side effects or make a drug ineffective. As such, healthcare professionals recommend that you don't take drugs that interact together. However, there are some cases where your treatment may force such drugs to be used in combination.

To prevent interactions, you should inform your doctor about all the drugs and herbal supplements you are taking. The doctor will assess all the drugs you are taking and advise you on which you should avoid. The doctor should be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of all medications that interact with testosterone injection. Here are some of the medicines to avoid while using this medication. This does not, however, mean that the list below is complete.

  • Nateglinide
  • Pioglitazone
  • Repaglinide
  • Metformin
  • Glimepiride
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Glipizide
  • Sitagliptin
  • Linagliptin
  • Exenatide
  • Liraglutide
  • Saxagliptin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone

Warnings

For people with liver disease, this medication may cause liver damage, thus worsening the condition of the patient. The injection may also cause water and salt retention. Do not use this medication if you are suffering or have a history of liver disease.

For people suffering from heart ailments, taking this medication can cause salt and water retention, making your heart condition much worse. If you have a history of suffering from heart ailments, talk to your doctor first before taking this medication.

If you have a history of kidney problems, taking this drug can cause water and salt retention, thus worsening your health condition. Avoid using testosterone injection if you suffer from kidney issues.

If you are a man suffering from breast cancer, do not take this drug as it may worsen your condition. Also, people with prostate cancer should not take this medication.

If you suffer from a condition known as sleep apnea, ask your doctor if it's safe to use this medication. There are many cases where it has made the condition worse.

People suffering from polycythemia should not take this drug as it can increase a person's red blood cell count and worsen your condition. Don't take this medication if your hematocrit is over 54%.

People with high cholesterol levels are advised not to take this drug. High cholesterol level can increase your risk of contracting blood vessels or heart problems. Your doctor should be able to assess your cholesterol levels before prescribing this medication.

If you have diabetes, this drug can cause your blood sugar levels to decrease. Your doctor may decide to lower the dosage amount prescribed for your diabetes condition prior to prescribing this medication. It's important to monitor your blood sugar levels while taking this medication. Also, People with blood clotting condition should not take this medication because it can worsen your condition.

Pregnant women should not use this medication because it can affect both the mother and her unborn baby. Moreover, this medication should only be used by men to increase the level of testosterone.

This medication shouldn't be used to treat seniors with low testosterone issues. Clinical trials have not established if this drug is effective for curing low testosterone problems caused by aging. In addition, people above the age of 65 have a high risk of contracting disease such as prostate cancer, high blood pressure and heart diseases thus it's risky to take this medication. Talk to your doctor first if you are above the age of 65 and you intend to use this medication.

Children above the age of 12 shouldn't use this medication because clinical trials have not established if it's safe. Also, this medication can cause faster maturation of bones in kids without affecting height. This may cause children to be short in terms of height. Consult with your healthcare provider before considering this injection for your child.

Testosterone injection may cause an adverse allergic reaction. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling of your throat, swelling of the tongue and trouble breathing.

If you experience an allergic reaction, contact your doctor or local poison board for quick medical attention. Call 911 if your symptoms are severe and require urgent medical attention. Never take this drug again if you suffer from an allergic reaction.

Storage

Store this medicine safely away from the reach of kids. Don't store this medication in the bathroom as such a place is usually moist. This medication should be stored at room temperature at all times. Dispose of unneeded medication safely through your local take-back program. Never dispose of this medication down the drain or toilet unless you are given permission by your health care provider.

Summary

Testosterone injection helps treat hypogonadism (a condition where males fail to produce the required levels of testosterone hormone naturally). The injection is given via the buttock muscle under strict instructions from the doctor. Men who suffer from hypogonadism may not be able to function normally and may exhibit signs such as low mood, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction etc. This medication works by affecting certain natural substances to stimulate the production of more testosterone in a patient naturally. This medication can only be prescribed under strict instruction from the doctor.

Along with the needed effects, this medication is known to produce several side effects. Some of the common side effects that patients experience while using this medication include: Acne, Hair growth, frequent erections, Gynecomastia (breast enlargement), Mood swings, Headache, Decrease in sperm count when the drug is used in high doses, Erections that last longer than normal and Pain and swelling at injection site. Serious side effects that require urgent medical attention include but are not limited to: Stomach pains, swelling in face or lips, Nausea, vomiting, Swelling in your ankles or legs, bruising more easily than normal, yellowing of your skin, and loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, unexplained tiredness, and Pale-colored stool.

The dosage requirements for this medication(testosterone injection) in adults and kids between the ages of 12-17 are about 50-400 mg taken after every 1 to 4 weeks. The dosage amount depends on a patient's diagnosis and medical condition. The doctor should also be able to inform you about all the drugs that interact with this medication so that you don't suffer from serious side effects or make this medication ineffective. In addition, the doctor will give several precautions and warnings that you must adhere to while using this medication.

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Last Reviewed:
December 22, 2017
Last Updated:
April 03, 2018
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