So, how does one ensure that testosterone levels remain in balance? Some doctors suggest that monitoring testosterone levels every five years, starting at age 35, is a reasonable strategy to follow. If the testosterone level falls too low or if the individual has the signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels described above, testosterone therapy can be considered. However, once testosterone therapy is initiated, testosterone levels should be closely monitored to make sure that the testosterone level does not become too high, as this may cause stress on the individual, and high testosterone levels may result in some of the negative problems (described previously) seen.
Androgel is a gel containing testosterone. It is administered through the skin for treatment of low testosterone levels. It belongs to a class of drugs called androgens. Other testosterone replacement products include Androderm , Axiron , Testim, and Fortesta. Testosterone is the major male sex hormone responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and secondary sex characteristics. These effects include development of the prostate, penis, and scrotum; distribution of facial, pubic, chest and axillary hair; development of a deep voice and alterations in muscle mass and fat distribution. Low production of testosterone leads to erectile dysfunction , reduced sexual desire, fatigue and loss of energy, depression , regression of secondary sexual characteristics, and weakening of bones ( osteoporosis ). Androgel and other testosterone replacement products supplement or replace natural production of testosterone and reverse symptoms of low testosterone levels. The FDA approved Androgel in February 2000.
Common (1% to 10%): Sinusitis, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, bronchitis
Uncommon (% to 1%): Cough, dyspnea, snoring, dysphonia
Rare (less than %): Pulmonary microembolism (POME) (cough, dyspnea, malaise, hyperhidrosis, chest pain, dizziness, paresthesia, or syncope) caused by oily solutions
Frequency not reported: Sleep apnea
Postmarketing reports: Chest pain, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hyperventilation, obstructive airway disorder, pharyngeal edema, pharyngolaryngeal pain, pulmonary embolism, respiratory distress, rhinitis, sleep apnea syndrome [ Ref ]