Testosterone is given as replacement therapy when natural testosterone levels fall too low.
Several different preparations of testosterone are available which are suitable for use in men.
If you experience frequent or persistent erections, let your doctor know.
|Type of medicine||Androgen (male sex hormone)|
|Used for||Androgen deficiency in men
Delayed puberty in men
|Also called||Restandol® Testocaps, Striant® SR, Nebido®, Sustanon 250®, Testim®, Testogel®, Tostran®|
|Available as||Capsules, mucoadhesive buccal tablets, injection, and gel|
Testosterone is produced by the testicles. It is essential for normal growth and development of the male sex organs and sexual characteristics. Testosterone is given to men as replacement therapy when natural testosterone levels are too low.
Before taking or using testosterone
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking or using testosterone it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have heart problems or high blood pressure.
- If you have epilepsy or migraine.
- If you have diabetes.
- If you have cancer.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take or use testosterone
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand of testosterone you have been given, and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from it.
- Take or use testosterone exactly as your doctor has told you to. Your dose will be on the label of the pack to remind you. The doses given below are intended to be a guide only.
- If you are using Restandol® Testocaps: it is usual to take three or four capsules daily for the first few weeks. It is likely that your dose will be reduced to one to three capsules daily after this time. Take the capsules with a meal. Swallow them whole - do not open or chew them.
- If you are using Striant® SR tablets: the usual dose is one tablet every 12 hours. Place the rounded side of the tablet on your gum above your front teeth and hold it firmly in place for about 30 seconds. It will stick to your gum. Replace the tablet every 12 hours.
- If you are having injections: these are given by your doctor or nurse, usually on a regular basis, so make sure you know when your next treatment is due.
- If you are using Testim®, Testogel® or Tostran® gels: apply the gel at about the same time each day, to a clean, dry area of your skin. The manufacturer's information leaflet will explain which areas of your skin your gel can be applied to - read this carefully before you use the gel. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how much to use each day.
- If you miss a dose, read the manufacturer's information leaflet which comes with your treatment for advice on what to do.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so your progress can be monitored.
- If you experience frequent or persistent erections, you must let your doctor know. Your dose may need to be adjusted or your treatment stopped to avoid any injury.
- If you are using a gel, testosterone can be transferred to other people through close skin contact. This may cause side-effects in the other person. To prevent this from happening, cover the treated area with clothes or wait for at least four hours after applying the gel before you have close contact. It is very important that pregnant women avoid contact with any areas of your skin which have been treated with testosterone gel.
Can testosterone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Some common testosterone side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Headache and other aches and pains||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue or are severe, speak with your doctor|
|Mood changes, feeling dizzy||Speak with your doctor if this continues to be troublesome|
|Feeling sick, abdominal pain||Stick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Difficulty passing urine||Let your doctor know about this|
|Skin rash and irritation, swollen hands or feet, increased blood pressure, increased breast size, breast pain, increased body hair, prostate problems, increased weight, baldness||If any of these become troublesome, let your doctor know|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store testosterone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Never keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Testim® Gel; Ferring Pharmaceuticals Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Testogel®; Bayer plc, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2007.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Tostran® 2% Gel; ProStrakan, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Restandol® Testocaps 40 mg capsule; Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2012.
- British National Formulary; 64th Edition (Sep 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London (links to current BNF)
|Original Author: Dr Adrian Bonsall||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr John Cox|
|Last Checked: 10/12/2012||Document ID: 1500 Version: 27||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.