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Testosterone

Testosterone (Androgel) is an expensive drug used to support normal male traits such as muscle growth, facial hair, and deep voice. This gel is used in males to treat low testosterone levels. This drug is slightly more popular than comparable drugs. It is available in brand and generic form. It is not covered by most Medicare and insurance plans, but manufacturer and pharmacy coupons can help offset the cost. Compare androgens.

Insurance Coverage: Many major insurance plans no longer cover generic testosterone gel as of 2015. Learn More

Looking for the compounded version? See prices for testosterone cream.

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What is Vogelxo?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Androgel, Axiron, First-Testosterone, First-Testosterone MC, Fortesta, Testim, Vogelxo

Therapeutic ClassificationsEndocrine-Metabolic Agent

Pharmacologic ClassificationsAndrogen

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Blackbox WarningTOP

Topical application route (Gel/Jelly)

Virilization has been reported in children who were secondarily exposed to testosterone gel. Healthcare providers should advise patients to strictly adhere to instructions for use. Children should avoid contact with unwashed or unclothed testosterone application sites .

Topical application route (Solution)

Virilization has been reported in children who were secondarily exposed to topical testosterone solution. Healthcare providers should advise patients to strictly adhere to instructions for use. Children should avoid contact with unwashed or unclothed testosterone application sites .

OverviewTOP

Testosterone topical gel is used for the treatment of males whose bodies do not make enough natural testosterone, a condition called hypogonadism. Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for the growth and development of the male sex organs and maintenance of secondary sex characteristics.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Proper UseTOP

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide and patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Androgel® or Fortesta® is available in two forms: individual packets or multi-dose pump. Vogelxo is available in three forms: individual packets, multi-dose pump, or tube. If you are using the pump gel for the first time, prime the pump before measuring out your first dose. Hold the pump over a sink and press the pump all the way down at least 3 times (Androgel® or Vogelxo™) or 8 times (Fortesta®) or until the gel begins to flow freely. Rinse the medicine discarded into the sink down the drain. Place the palm of your hand under the pump and press the pump the proper number of times to measure out your correct dose.

If you are using the gel in foil packets, tear the packet completely open along the perforation. Squeeze the entire contents directly onto the skin where you will apply the gel. You may also empty the packet into the palm of your hand and then apply the medicine. Throw away the empty foil packet in a place where children and pets cannot reach it.

AndroGel® is available in two dosage strengths: AndroGel® 1% and AndroGel® 1.62%. AndroGel® 1% is used differently than AndroGel® 1.62%, even though they are both applied to the skin. Do not change your dose unless your doctor tells you to.

To use the gel:

  • Make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying the gel.
  • Apply AndroGel® 1% to a clean, dry, intact skin of the shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen (stomach), unless your doctor tells you to use it on another part of your body. AndroGel® 1.62% should only be applied to a clean, dry intact skin of the shoulders and upper arms. Fortesta® should be applied to a clean, dry, intact skin of the front or inner thighs. Vogelxo™ should be applied to a clean, dry, intact skin of the shoulders or upper arms. Do not apply Vogelxo™ to your abdomen or stomach. Do not apply this medicine to your scrotum or your penis. Do not use the medicine on skin that has a cut, scrape, or other type of injury.
  • Allow the gel to dry on your skin before you cover it with clothing (eg, shorts, pants, t-shirt).
  • Wait for at least 2 hours (for AndroGel® 1.62%, Fortesta®, and Vogelxo™) or 5 hours (for AndroGel® 1%) after applying this medicine before showering or swimming.

The gel form can be transferred to another person if they touch or rub the skin where the gel was placed or if some of the gel remains on your hands. To keep this from happening, wash your hands again after applying the gel. Also, wash the area where you applied the gel with soap and water if you expect to have a skin-to-skin contact with another person.

This medicine is flammable until it dries on the skin. Do not use it near heat, an open flame, or while smoking.

DosingTOP

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For topical dosage form (gel):
    • For hormone replacement:
      • Adults—
        • AndroGel® 1%: At first, apply 5 grams to a clean, dry, intact skin once a day (usually in the morning). Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 10 grams.
        • AndroGel® 1.62%: At first, apply 40.5 milligrams (mg) (two pumps or a single 40.5 mg packet) to a clean, dry, intact skin once a day (usually in the morning). Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 81 mg per day.
        • Fortesta®: At first, apply 40 milligrams (mg) (four pumps) to a clean, dry, intact skin once a day (usually in the morning). Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 70 mg per day.
        • Vogelxo™: At first, apply 50 milligrams (mg) (one tube, one packet, or four pumps) to a clean, dry, intact skin once a day (usually in the morning). Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed DoseTOP

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Use & StorageTOP

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

AllergiesTOP

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

PediatricTOP

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of testosterone topical gel in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

GeriatricTOP

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of testosterone topical gel in the elderly. However, elderly patients may be at an increased risk for developing heart and blood vessel problems, or prostate problems (including prostate cancer), which may require caution in patients receiving testosterone topical gel.

PregnancyTOP

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersXStudies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast FeedingTOP

Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using this medicine.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Licorice

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Allergy to alcohol or soy products or
  • Breast cancer (males) or
  • Prostate cancer, known or suspected—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

PrecautionsTOP

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to see if the medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any problems or unwanted effects.

This medicine should not be used by women. Testosterone may cause birth defects if a pregnant woman comes in contact with the medicine. Make sure your doctor knows if your sexual partner is pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.

Children and women should avoid contact with the unwashed or unclothed area where the testosterone gel has been applied. If another person does accidentally get this medicine on the skin, wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible.

Tell your doctor if your female partner or child starts to have male-like body changes while you are using this medicine. Such changes may include hair growth on the face, a deeper voice, or a significant increase in acne. The changes may also include an enlarged penis or clitoris, early development of pubic hair, increased erections or sexual desire, aggressive behavior, and bone problems.

This medicine may cause blood clotting problems. Check with your doctor right away if you have a chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body, or pain in your lower leg (calf) while using this medicine.

This medicine may increase your risk of having heart or blood vessel problems, including a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, faintness, headache, nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, trouble seeing or speaking, or unusual sweating.

In some cases, this medicine may decrease the amount of sperm men make and affect their ability to have children. If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor before using this medicine.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

This medicine may cause fluid retention (edema) in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet, tingling of the hands or feet, or unusual weight gain or loss.

This medicine may affect the results of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which may be used to detect prostate cancer. Make sure you tell all of your doctors that you are using this medicine.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are using this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

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