As men turn 50 and above, they might gradually develop hypogonadism, a medical condition associated with erectile dysfunction, cognitive impairment, and a set of other symptoms due to low testosterone levels.
Hypogonadism can also be caused by injuries, cancer, obesity, HIV, alcohol abuse, etc.
Fortunately, this condition can be considerably improved via testosterone-replacement therapy. Once the test confirms that your testes produce less testosterone than they’re supposed to, you should start the treatment under your doctor’s supervision.
Self-medicating isn’t the way to go when it comes to androgen deficiency.
Those who don’t like needles or hate bothering with appointments for injections might be comfortable using transdermally administered gels such as AndroGel to get their testosterone levels under control.
This is a prescribed medication that should be used with caution. Here is what you should know about applying AndroGel before starting the treatment.
- Choose the form of AndroGel. The topical AndroGel comes in two forms: multi-dose pumps and individual packets. The latter is easier to use as they’re pre-portioned. However, each patient has a different testosterone level and the medication dosage can vary, which makes multi-dose pumps more practical as they let you measure out the exact amount prescribed by your doctor. When using the pump for the first time, hold it over the sink and press the pump three times.
- Applying AndroGel. Apply the gel once a day, preferably at the same time, to clean, dry skin on your upper arms, shoulders or other location recommended by your doctor. Don’t apply it to the penis, abdomen, scrotum, knees, feet, knees, and to the parts of your body with scrapes or cuts.
- Time of use. Typically, AndroGel is used in the morning for the following reasons:
- The body has the highest testosterone level during morning hours. AndroGel brings about the peak of this hormone within a few hours of applying. It makes sense to keep testosterone boost as closer to the time that would be natural for your body.
- The clinical studies on AndroGel were done at this time of day, hence the FDA has no clinical evidence to recommend the use of this medication during other times of the day.
- The evening isn’t the best time for using AndroGel due to slower metabolism.
- In your sleep, you might get into skin-to-skin contact with your partner, which should be avoided for protection reasons.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap right after applying the gel to your skin. If you don’t do this, you might transfer some of the hormones to children, women or your furry friends before it gets absorbed into the skin. This should be avoided since testosterone can wreak havoc in their hormone balance.
- Cover the area of application. Once your hands are washed and dried, put on clothes to cover the area of application for the same reason – to avoid skin contact with others. Make sure you let the gel absorb for at least 10-20 minutes (depending on hydration of your skin) before putting on clothes. Cotton clothes would be optimal as they are breathable and won’t prevent the hormone from absorbing deeper into your skin.
- Keep your skin from getting wet. Don’t shower, bathe or swim for at least two hours since the application of AndroGel 1.62% and around five hours if you use AndroGel 1%. Intense training sessions are also not recommended as they might make you sweat. It might look as though the gel has been absorbed completely soon after application, but in fact, it takes more time to get through all skin layers.
- Try not to miss your next dose. If it already happened, use it as soon as possible. However, if it’s time to apply your next dose, forget about the missed dose. Do not apply double the amount of the gel.
- Keep in mind that 138 drugs are known to interact with AndroGel. First and foremost, make sure you’re not using AndroGel with:
- Diabetes medications
- Blood thinners
- Steroid medications
To be on the safe side, make up a list of all medications you’re currently using, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, to your physician before starting testosterone replacement therapy.
- Do not smoke while applying AndroGel until it has absorbed completely and stayed away from fire since this testosterone product is flammable.
- Don’t let anyone else use AndroGel and keep it out of reach of children.
- The bathroom isn’t the best place to store this medication since it should be kept away from excess moisture.
Remember that AndroGel helps you control your testosterone levels, but it can’t cure your condition. Even if you feel like the problem is gone, don’t stop the treatment without consulting your doctor.
Make sure you apply the prescribed doses of AndroGel regularly using all the necessary precautions and experience profound changes in your physical health to your ultimate satisfaction.
About The Author:
Having years of writing experience, Helen devotes her time to explore a variety of health issues and shares her knowledge with others. Other areas of her interest include nutrition, music, and the legalization movement. Currently, she is a blog writer at FairPriceRx.com.