The testosterone restoring cream known as Androgel comes in two forms, which are a 1 and 1.62 percent cream that raise the levels of testosterone within the the body. For U.S. consumers the Androgel cost when not covered under a medical insurance policy can stop some men from using the product. Androgel in both its forms must be prescribed for use by a doctor and the patient must follow the directions for use to get the required rise in testosterone levels.
A great article from the Atlantic suggesting that low T is over-diagnosed and creams like Androgel are over-prescribed.
According to British Medical Journal (BMJ), the European Male Ageing Study has provided the best estimate of the prevalence of low T — defined as a combination of sexual symptoms and measured testosterone level — finding that only 0.1 percent of men in their forties, 0.6 percent in their fifties, 3.2 percent in their sixties, and 5.1 percent of men in their seventies would meet the criteria for the diagnosis.
A 2004 study from Australia in the medical journal Menopause shows that Androgel (a gel containing the male hormone testosterone) may improve well-being, mood, and sexual function in pre-menopausal women with low libido and low testosterone.
Androgel is neither indicated nor recommended for women. However, doctors can prescribe drugs such as Androgel for women with low testosterone, and some women may be curious how Androgel can increase their libido and/or their muscular tissue. The following is a list of forums in which women have discussed their experience with Androgel:
Androgel for Women and Bodybuilding:
Androgel for Women with Low Testosterone and/or Libido:
Q: How do I apply Androgel?
A: According to Abbott’s official instructions:
AndroGel 1.62% Pump
AndroGel 1.62% comes in a multi-dose pump.
This pump gives you the exact amount of medicine that your doctor has prescribed. If you are using the starting dose of 40.5 mg (2 pumps) of AndroGel 1.62% every day, this supply will last you 30 days.
Preparing the pump
Before using a new bottle of AndroGel 1.62% for the first time, you will need to prime the pump. To prime the AndroGel 1.62% pump, slowly push the pump all the way down 3 times. Do not use any AndroGel 1.62% that came out while priming. Wash it down the sink to avoid accidental exposure to others. Your AndroGel 1.62% pump is now ready to use. You do not have to prime your pump every day, only the first time you use it.
Directions for use
Make your application part of your daily routine.
- Apply AndroGel 1.62% at the same time each morning. AndroGel 1.62% should be applied after showering or bathing to clean, dry, intact skin. Do not apply AndroGel 1.62% to any other parts of your body such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.
- Once primed, press down firmly to dispense the gel. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much AndroGel 1.62% to apply. Your healthcare provider may change your AndroGel 1.62% dose. Do not change your dose without talking to your healthcare provider.
- Apply the gel to the application sites as directed in the chart above. These areas are your shoulders and upper arms, areas that will be covered by a short-sleeved T-shirt (see illustration below). Do not apply AndroGel 1.62% to any other parts of your body such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have applied the dose your doctor has prescribed for you.
After you apply AndroGel 1.62%:
- Wash your hands right away with soap and water.
- Let the application sites dry.
- Cover the application sites with a shirt.
AndroGel 1.62% is flammable until dry. Let the gel dry before smoking or going near an open flame.
Avoid showering, swimming or bathing for at least 2 hours after you apply AndroGel 1.62%.
If you expect another person to have skin-to-skin contact with your shoulders or upper arms, first wash the application area well with soap and water. Stop using AndroGel 1.62% and call your healthcare provider right away if you see any signs and symptoms of puberty in a child, or changes in body hair or increased acne in a woman, that may have occurred through accidental exposure to AndroGel 1.62%.
Source: Abbott’s official instructions for application: http://www.androgel.com/using-androgel.aspx
Q: What is the recommended dosage for Androgel 1% and Androgel 1.62%?
- AndroGel 1% recommended starting dose: 50 mg(5 grams of gel)or 4 pumps applied to the shoulders and upper arms and/or stomach area once daily in the morning.
- AndroGel 1% should not be applied to any other areas of the body, including the genitals.
- AndroGel 1% is supplied in a twin package including 2 metered dose pumps.
- Dose adjustment: Monitor serum testosterone levels initially and periodically during treatment and adjust dosing as needed.
- Dosing can be adjusted between 50 mg (5 grams of gel) and 100 mg (10 grams of gel) of testosterone. If serum testosterone levels consistently exceed the normal range at a daily dose of 50 mg (5 grams of gel), AndroGel 1% therapy should be discontinued.
- Each 1.25 g pump actuation contains 12.5 mg of testosterone.
- AndroGel 1.62% recommended starting dose:40.5 mg(2 pumps) applied to the shoulders and upper arms once daily in the morning.
- AndroGel 1.62% should not be applied to any other areas of the body, including the abdomen or genitals.
- AndroGel 1.62% is supplied in a single package including 1 metered dose pump.
- Dose adjustment: Titrate based on pre-dose morning serum testosterone levels from a single blood draw at approximately 14 days and 28 days after starting treatment or following dose adjustment, and assess serum testosterone levels periodically thereafter.
- Dosing can be adjusted between a minimum of 20.25 mg of testosterone (1 pump actuation) and a maximum of 81 mg of testosterone (4 pump actuations).
- Each 1.25 g pump actuation contains 20.25 mg of testosterone gel.
- Virilization has been reported in children who were secondarily exposed to testosterone gel.
- Children should avoid contact with unwashed or unclothed application sites in men using testosterone gel.
- Healthcare providers should advise patients to strictly adhere to recommended instructions for use.
- AndroGel is contraindicated in men with breast cancer or known or suspected prostate cancer, and in women who are or may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, as testosterone may cause fetal harm.
- Monitor patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treated with androgens due to an increased risk for worsening signs and symptoms of BPH.
- Patients treated with androgens may be at increased risk for prostate cancer and should be evaluated prior to initiating and during treatment with androgens. Monitor prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels periodically.
- Avoid unintentional exposure of women or children to AndroGel. Secondary exposure to testosterone can produce signs of virilization and should be brought to the attention of the healthcare provider. Exposure of a pregnant woman to AndroGel may result in potential hazard to the fetus. AndroGel should be promptly discontinued until the cause of virilization is identified.
- Increases in hematocrit, reflective of increases in red blood cell mass, may require lowering or discontinuation of testosterone. Monitor hematocrit prior to and periodically during treatment. Monitor hemoglobin periodically.
- AndroGel is not indicated for use in women.
- Treatment with AndroGel may lead to azoospermia; edema which may be serious in patients with preexisting cardiac, renal, or hepatic disease, or in patients taking adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or corticosteroids; gynecomastia; sleep apnea, especially in those with risk factors; changes in insulin sensitivity or glycemic control; and changes in anticoagulant activity.
- Treatment with androgens may lead to serious hepatic effects. AndroGel is not known to cause these adverse effects. Monitor liver function tests (LFTs) periodically.
- Changes in serum lipid profile may require dose adjustment or discontinuation of testosterone therapy. Monitor lipid concentrations periodically.
- Androgens should be used with caution in cancer patients at risk of hypercalcemia (and associated hypercalciuria). Regular monitoring of serum calcium concentrations is recommended in these patients.
- Most common adverse reaction of AndroGel 1.62% (incidence ≥5%) is an increase in prostate specific antigen (PSA). Most common adverse reactions of AndroGel 1% (incidence ≥5%) are acne, application site reactions, abnormal lab tests, and prostatic disorders.
- Dosage and administration for AndroGel 1.62% differs from AndroGel 1%. AndroGel is not interchangeable with other topical testosterone products.
Limitations of Use:
- Safety and efficacy of AndroGel in males less than 18 years old have not been established.
- Topical testosterone products may have different doses, strengths, or application instructions that may result in different systemic exposure.
Q: What’s the typical price for Androgel?
A: At a major chain pharmacy such as Walgreen’s or CVS, the price of Androgel will average approximately $260 for a three month supply. If you have insurance, a three moth supply of Androgel will cost around $60. Throughout the year Abbott offers an Androgel Coupon that can reduce the cost of uninsured supplies for a limited period of time.
Abbvie announced that the FDA has cleared the way for a new Androgel packaging option. In addition to the previously approved metered-dose pump packaging, Androgel 1.62% will now be available in two different strength packets – 20.25 mg or 40.5 mg. This should make traveling with testosterone much easier as a pump isn’t needed for these packets. A typical starting dosage for Androgel 1.62% is 40 mg of testosterone.
For the full press release, please see abbvie.com
Allegan, Michigan based Perrigo has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for testosterone gel 1%. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Perrigo Company (Nasdaq: PRGO;TASE) announced that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its New Drug Application (NDA) for testosterone gel 1%. Perrigo’s NDA included a bioequivalence study that compared its product to AbbVie’s AndroGel® 1%.
AndroGel® 1% (testosterone gel 1%) is indicated to treat adult males who have low or no testosterone. Annual sales were approximately $705 million annually, as measured by Symphony Health.
Perrigo’s Chairman and CEO Joseph C. Papa stated, “This filing is another example of our investment in new products and continued focus on bringing extended topicals to market. As always, Perrigo is committed to making quality healthcare more affordable for our customers and consumers.”
You can read the full press release here: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/02/perrigo_co_is_approved_to_mark.html
AndroGel 1.62 is a concentrated testosterone replacement gel which is used to treat adult males who have low testosterone levels. The testosterone in AndroGel is the same that is created naturally in the body. It is a prescription medication delivered through a pump which omits a clear, odorless gel. The recommended starting dose is two dollops of gel, which equals 40.5 milligrams of testosterone.
Showering is encouraged before application because the gel works best when applied to dry, clean skin. The gel needs to be applied every day at the same time to the shoulders and upper arms. Other areas like the abdomen or genitalia should be avoided.
After application wash your hands immediately with soap and water and cover the areas where the gel was applied with clothing. This ensures that the gel does not touch anyone else, which would affect them. If the gel touches someone else, they should wash their hands thoroughly. Make sure to avoid contact with water for two hours in activities like showering or swimming.
There are many benefits to using AndroGel over other testosterone products. It is much less painful than testosterone injections and it is easy to apply. According to the AndroGel website, 82% of men who used the product every day for 16 weeks had their testosterone levels raised from low to normal.
The most common side effects are mood swings, increased red blood cells and skin irritation. Others have also experienced weight gain and increased prostate-specific antigens, which cause your immune system to create antibodies that work against it. If you stop using AndroGel, it is likely that your testosterone levels will return to previous levels within two or three days.
AndroGel should not be used for people who have possible prostate or breast cancer. In addition this product is not meant for men with normal testosterone levels or women. Ask your doctor about using this product, especially if you take insulin, corticosteriods or medicines that decrease blood-clotting.