How To Reduce Your Risk Of Side Effects When Using Testosterone Gel

Testosterone gel makes it easy to supplement your testosterone levels, which helps ease symptoms like low libido, loss of muscle tone, and low energy levels. However, it can cause side effects in some patients. The most common side effects are headaches, dry skin, hot flashes, and muscle pain, but occasionally patients experience more serious side effects like breast enlargement and trouble urinating. The goods news is that there is a lot you can do, as a patient, to minimize your risk of suffering side effects due to your testosterone gel.

1. Tell your doctor about all other medications you are taking.

Patients often write off testosterone gels as "just a topical cream" and forget that the testosterone is absorbed into the bloodstream and works as a real medication. As such, drug interactions can occur. In particular, testosterone gel does not interact well with some blood clotting medications and antidepressants. Tell your doctor about any and all medications you are taking — even over-the-counter and herbal medications — so they can make sure what you're taking is safe to take with testosterone.

2. Use the gel at the same time every day.

If you use the gel early one day then late another day, your levels of testosterone will fluctuate more — and at some times, you may have more testosterone in your system than you should. This can increase your risk of side effects. You should, therefore, get into the habit of putting the gel on at the same time every day. Set an alarm in your phone to remind you, if needed.

3. Keep your scheduled blood tests with the doctor.

Your doctor may recommend that you have blood tests for levels of liver enzymes and other things periodically while you are taking testosterone gel. Keep your appointments for these tests. They may reveal that your dose is a little high before you see any physical side effects. This allows your doctor to adjust your dose before you experience problems.

4. Clean and dry your skin prior to application.

Some problems that patients pass off as side effects of testosterone are actually due to other compounds the gel is drawing into the body. (Testosterone gel contains a compound that opens the pores and encourages your body to absorb what's on your skin, and if there are other compounds on your skin, they might get absorbed, too.) Wash your skin with a mild, unscented soap and pat it dry before applying the testosterone gel. Never apply it after any lotions or other topicals.

If you do start experiencing side effects from your testosterone gel, reach out to your doctor. The sooner you address any issues, the better.

To learn more about low-T gel, contact a doctor.