AndroGel

AndroGel

AndroGel Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

AndroGel (testosterone gel) is used to treat conditions in men that result from a lack of natural testosterone, a naturally occurring male hormone. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, hair loss, trouble sleeping, change in sexual desire, redness/swelling of the skin, change in skin color, or acne.

The recommended starting dose of AndroGel is 5 g once daily to clean, dry, intact skin of the shoulders and upper arms and/or abdomen. AndroGel may interact with insulin, blood thinners, oxyphenbutazone, or corticosteroids. Tell your doctor all medications you use. AndroGel should not be used in women. Women exposed to this medication may have side effects due to testosterone gel. Tell both of your doctors immediately if you notice symptoms in a woman such as changes in body hair or a large increase in acne. Avoid contact with this medication if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. This medication may cause harm to a fetus or breast-feeding baby.

Our AndroGel (testosterone gel) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

AndroGel in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using testosterone topical and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • burn-like blistering of the skin where the transdermal patch is worn;
  • skin irritation with patch-wearing that does not get better with time;
  • problems with urination;
  • swelling of your ankles;
  • frequent, prolonged, or bothersome erections; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • redness, itching, burning, or hardened skin where the skin patch is worn;
  • breast swelling or tenderness;
  • increased acne or hair growth;
  • headache, depressed mood; or
  • changes in your sex drive.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for AndroGel (Testosterone Gel for Topical Use) »

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

AndroGel Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, hair loss, trouble sleeping, change in sexual desire, redness/swelling of the skin, change in skin color, or acne may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: breast pain/enlargement, swelling of the feet/ankles (edema), weight gain, very slow/shallow/difficult breathing (possibly while sleeping), weakness.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: trouble urinating, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, agitation, hostility), change in size/shape of the testicles, testicle pain/tenderness, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin, change in the amount of urine, calf tenderness/swelling/pain.

In patients with diabetes, especially those taking insulin, testosterone may decrease your blood sugar. Be prepared to treat low blood sugar while you are using this medication. Symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness, nervousness, rapid pulse, and sweating. If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medications.

For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours, stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention, or permanent problems could occur.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

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

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for AndroGel (Testosterone Gel for Topical Use)»

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

AndroGel FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Trial Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Clinical Trials in Hypogonadal Men

Table 2 shows the incidence of all adverse events judged by the investigator to be at least possibly related to treatment with AndroGel 1% and reported by > 1% of patients in a 180 Day, Phase 3 study.

Table 2: Adverse Events Possibly, Probably or Definitely Related to Use of AndroGel 1% in the 180-Day Controlled Clinical Trial

Adverse Event Dose of AndroGel 1%
50 mg
N = 77
75 mg
N = 40
100 mg
N = 78
Acne 1% 3% 8%
Alopecia 1% 0% 1%
Application Site Reaction 5% 3% 4%
Asthenia 0% 3% 1%
Depression 1% 0% 1%
Emotional Lability 0% 3% 3%
Gynecomastia 1% 0% 3%
Headache 4% 3% 0%
Hypertension 3% 0% 3%
Lab Test Abnormal* 6% 5% 3%
Libido Decreased 0% 3% 1%
Nervousness 0% 3% 1%
Pain Breast 1% 3% 1%
Prostate Disorder** 3% 3% 5%
Testis Disorder*** 3% 0% 0%
*Lab test abnormal occurred in nine patients with one or more of the following events reported: elevated hemoglobin or hematocrit, hyperlipidemia, elevated triglycerides, hypokalemia, decreased HDL, elevated glucose, elevated creatinine, elevated total bilirubin.
**Prostate disorders included five patients with enlarged prostate, one with BPH, and one with elevated PSA results.
***Testis disorders were reported in two patients: one with left varicocele and one with slight sensitivity of left testis.

Other less common adverse reactions, reported in fewer than 1% of patients included: amnesia, anxiety, discolored hair, dizziness, dry skin, hirsutism, hostility, impaired urination, paresthesia, penis disorder, peripheral edema, sweating, and vasodilation.

In this 180 day clinical trial, skin reactions at the site of application were reported with AndroGel 1%, but none was severe enough to require treatment or discontinuation of drug.

Six patients (4%) in this trial had adverse events that led to discontinuation of AndroGel 1%. These events included: cerebral hemorrhage, convulsion (neither of which were considered related to AndroGel 1% administration), depression, sadness, memory loss, elevated prostate specific antigen, and hypertension. No AndroGel 1% patient discontinued due to skin reactions.

In a separate uncontrolled pharmacokinetic study of 10 patients, two had adverse events associated with AndroGel 1%; these were asthenia and depression in one patient and increased libido and hyperkinesia in the other.

In a 3 year, flexible dose, extension study, the incidence of all adverse events judged by the investigator to be at least possibly related to treatment with AndroGel 1% and reported by > 1% of patients is shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Adverse Events Possibly, Probably or Definitely Related to Use of AndroGel 1% in the 3 Year, Flexible Dose, Extension Study

Adverse Event Percent of Subjects
(N = 162)
Lab Test Abnormal+ 9.3
Skin dry 1.9
Application Site Reaction 5.6
Acne 3.1
Pruritus 1.9
Enlarged Prostate 11.7
Carcinoma of Prostate 1.2
Urinary Symptoms* 3.7
Testis Disorder** 1.9
Gynecomastia 2.5
Anemia 2.5
+Lab test abnormal occurred in 15 patients with one or more of the following events reported: elevated AST, elevated ALT, elevated testosterone, elevated hemoglobin or hematocrit, elevated cholesterol, elevated cholesterol/LDL ratio, elevated triglycerides, elevated HDL, elevated serum creatinine.
*Urinary symptoms included nocturia, urinary hesitancy, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary urgency and weak urinary stream.
**Testis disorders included three patients. There were two with a non-palpable testis and one with slight right testicular tenderness.

Two patients reported serious adverse events considered possibly related to treatment: deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and prostate disorder requiring a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).

Discontinuation for adverse events in this study included: two patients with application site reactions, one with kidney failure, and five with prostate disorders (including increase in serum PSA in 4 patients, and increase in PSA with prostate enlargement in a fifth patient).

Increases in Serum PSA Observed in Clinical Trials of Hypogonadal Men

During the initial 6-month study, the mean change in PSA values had a statistically significant increase of 0.26 ng/mL. Serum PSA was measured every 6 months thereafter in the 162 hypogonadal men on AndroGel 1% in the 3-year extension study. There was no additional statistically significant increase observed in mean PSA from 6 months through 36 months. However, there were increases in serum PSA observed in approximately 18% of individual patients. The overall mean change from baseline in serum PSA values for the entire group from month 6 to 36 was 0.11 ng/mL.

Twenty-nine patients (18%) met the per-protocol criterion for increase in serum PSA, defined as > 2X the baseline or any single serum PSA > 6 ng/mL. Most of these (25/29) met this criterion by at least doubling of their PSA from baseline. In most cases where PSA at least doubled (22/25), the maximum serum PSA value was still < 2 ng/mL. The first occurrence of a pre-specified, post-baseline increase in serum PSA was seen at or prior to Month 12 in most of the patients who met this criterion (23 of 29; 79%).

Four patients met this criterion by having a serum PSA > 6 ng/mL and in these, maximum serum PSA values were 6.2 ng/mL, 6.6 ng/mL, 6.7 ng/mL, and 10.7 ng/mL. In two of these patients, prostate cancer was detected on biopsy. The first patient's PSA levels were 4.7 ng/mL and 6.2 ng/mL at baseline and at Month 6/Final, respectively. The second patient's PSA levels were 4.2 ng/mL, 5.2 ng/mL, 5.8 ng/mL, and 6.6 ng/mL at baseline, Month 6, Month 12, and Final, respectively.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of AndroGel 1%. Because the reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure (Table 4).

Table 4: Adverse Drug Reactions from Postmarketing Experience of AndroGel 1% by MedDRA System Organ Class

Blood and the lymphatic system disorders: Elevated Hgb, Hct (polycythemia)
Endocrine disorders: Hirsutism
Gastrointestinal disorders: Nausea
General disorders and administration site reactions: Asthenia, edema, malaise
Genitourinary disorders: Impaired urination
Hepatobiliary disorders: Abnormal liver function tests (e.g. transaminases, elevated GGTP, bilirubin)
Investigations: Elevated PSA, electrolyte changes (nitrogen, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium), changes in serum lipids (hyperlipidemia, elevated triglycerides, decreased HDL), impaired glucose tolerance, fluctuating testosterone concentrations, weight increase
Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (cysts and polyps): Prostate cancer
Nervous system: Headache, dizziness, sleep apnea, insomnia
Psychiatric disorders: Depression, emotional lability, decreased libido, nervousness, hostility, amnesia, anxiety
Reproductive system and breast disorders: Gynecomastia, mastodynia, prostatic enlargement, testicular atrophy, oligospermia, priapism (frequent or prolonged erections)
Respiratory disorders: Dyspnea
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Acne, alopecia, application site reaction (pruritus, dry skin, erythema, rash, discolored hair, paresthesia), sweating
Vascular disorders: Hypertension, vasodilation (hot flushes), venous thromboembolism

Secondary Exposure to Testosterone in Children

Cases of secondary exposure to testosterone resulting in virilization of children have been reported in postmarket surveillance. Signs and symptoms of these reported cases have included enlargement of the clitoris (with surgical intervention) or the penis, development of pubic hair, increased erections and libido, aggressive behavior, and advanced bone age. In most cases with a reported outcome, these signs and symptoms were reported to have regressed with removal of the testosterone gel exposure. In a few cases, however, enlarged genitalia did not fully return to age appropriate normal size, and bone age remained modestly greater than chronological age. In some of the cases, direct contact with the sites of application on the skin of men using testosterone gel was reported. In at least one reported case, the reporter considered the possibility of secondary exposure from items such as the testosterone gel user's shirts and/or other fabric, such as towels and sheets [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for AndroGel (Testosterone Gel for Topical Use) »

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AndroGel - User Reviews

AndroGel User Reviews

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Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication AndroGel sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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