Testosterone is a sex hormone (androgen), which plays important role in life of men and women. If testosterone is synthesized in the body in small amounts, it may cause different problems, for instance, in physical development of the body or in sexual function.
Medications, containing testosterone have been used in medical practice for years. Such drugs are considered effective and safe; therefore, they are approved by medical regulatory authorities of most countries of the world. In rare cases, testosterone-based drugs can cause side effects or other negative outcomes.
Often, side effects depend on the form of hormones in the particular drug. The U.S. FDA approved over 30 medications containing various forms of testosterone in different time; these are Cypionate, Undecanoate, Enanthate, and Propionate.
Side effects of testosterone in men
While using testosterone-containing drugs, men might have some side effects. Usually, frequency and severity of testosterone side effects depend on the age and overall health of male patients.
Testosterone affects all systems of the body and may cause some changes in their work. Sexual side effects of testosterone involve prolonged erections. Sometimes, men notice an increase in the tissue of the mammary gland.
Side effects of testosterone on skin are manifested as both excessive hairiness and hair loss. Often, redness of the skin and pimples occur. Testosterone retains salts and water in the body, which can increase the size of waist or other parts of the men’s body.
Gastrointestinal side effects of testosterone in men such as nausea occur rarely and usually liver dysfunction causes them. As for the CNS side effects of androgens, they show up as depression, changes in sexual drive and headache.
Side effects of testosterone in women
Typically, women use testosterone rarely than men, but sometimes they just have to. Women should be informed on possible side effects, like menstrual irregularities, deepening of the voice and excessive hairiness.
Side effects arise in women due to a long-term androgen therapy as a rule. Some negative reactions of testosterone are irreversible. Mainly, this fact is to be taken into account by women who use hormones to increase their athletic performance.
Testosterone is contraindicated for women, who can be or who are already pregnant. Using of steroids during pregnancy causes virilization of fetal genitals.
Pharmaceutical forms of testosterone
Side effects often depend on the pharmaceutical form of drugs. At the U.S. pharmacies, you can buy testosterone cream (gel), pills and injections. Pharmaceutical properties of testosterone for external use differ from injections properties; therefore, these forms might have different side effects as well.
Testosterone gel, as well as pills, may cause redness of the skin and frequent erections. Gel is indicated for external use, meaning the risk of the CNS, gastrointestinal and other side effects of testosterone is minimal.
If you want to use testosterone gel or cream, look for such medications as AndroGel, Fortesta and Testim at local pharmacies. American consumers can buy such forms of testosterone, produced by Endo Pharms, AbbVie and Auxilium Pharms.
Despite the fact that testosterone injections or pills increase the risk of adverse reactions, sometimes people need to use namely these drugs to cure certain pathologies and diseases.
In the USA, Testosterone pills (pellets, capsules or tablets) are available under the brand names Striant, Testred and Vogelxo. The owners of marketing authorization are such pharmaceutical companies as Auxilium, Valeant and Upsher Smith.
The advantage of testosterone injections is that they are used in minimal doses, which in fact can lower the risk of side effects of testosterone in some categories of patients. In addition, you can buy injectable testosterone in the USA under the following names – Vogelxo, Delatestryl, Depo-Testadiol and Ditate-Ds.
How do we reduce the risk of side effects of testosterone?
A self-increase of the dosage may cause side effects of testosterone, as well as testosterone overdose. If you were prescribed the pills, then you should better take them at the fixed time every day.
If you use testosterone in form of gel or cream, you should follow standard precaution measures – apply the drug on clean, undamaged areas of skin, wash your hands and avoid taking the shower or a bathtub within a few hours after application.
A combined use can cause unusual reaction. While using testosterone please do not take anticoagulants, corticosteroids, oxyphenbutazone, triamcinolone and insulin.
In order to reduce the risk of androgen side effects, first of all you should follow the recommended dose regimen. Please take the drug as it is said in the leaflet instruction or as recommended by your physician.