How Does It Work?
contains the hormone testosterone in a special gel that is applied to the skin just once a day. The gel dries on the skin, and testosterone is absorbed into the bloodstream throughout a 24-hour period. AndroGel helps increase testosterone to a normal level.
The medication is used as a gel (not taken by mouth) because it would have little effect on testosterone levels if taken by mouth. When medications are taken by mouth, they must first pass through the liver before they reach the bloodstream. The liver metabolizes testosterone extensively before it has a chance to reach the bloodstream, and significant blood levels of the medication cannot be achieved. However, when testosterone is applied to the skin, it bypasses the liver, allowing significant amounts of the hormone to reach the bloodstream.
AndroGel Uses in Children
AndroGel is not approved for use in children, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Using AndroGel in children could result in bone problems.
Off-Label Uses of AndroGel
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend AndroGel for something other than treating low testosterone in men
. These are known as off-label
uses. Off-label AndroGel uses include treating the following conditions:
- Low testosterone in women (even though testosterone is thought of as a "male" hormone, women also produce it)
- Slightly low (but still considered normal) testosterone levels in men.