AndroGel Warnings and Precautions
To help minimize risks while using AndroGel, warnings and precautions should be discussed with your healthcare provider before starting treatment. Tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking to help prevent drug interactions, as well as any medical conditions you have (such as infertility, sleep apnea, or any allergies). Precautions and warnings also apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking AndroGel?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking AndroGel® (testosterone gel) if you have:
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- An enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
- Heart disease
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Sleep apnea
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Specific AndroGel Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking AndroGel include the following:
- AndroGel can cause or worsen an enlarged prostate. It also appears to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Your healthcare provider should evaluate you for prostate cancer before you start the medication and periodically thereafter.
- This medication is not approved for use in women. It has not been adequately studied in women and can cause virilization (the development of male characteristics, such as a deep voice or body hair) in women. Other signs of virilization include acne, early development of public hair in children, or abnormal changes in genital size in children.
- AndroGel can rub off onto others with skin-to-skin contact, even hours after it is applied (it stays on the surface of the skin until washed off). Take measures to avoid exposing women and children to the drug, as virilization of women or children may occur.
If skin-to-skin contact is anticipated (such as for sexual intercourse), you should wash the area thoroughly before any contact occurs. If accidental contact occurs, the woman or child should wash their skin immediately to remove any of the medication that may have been transferred.
- Let your healthcare provider know if any women or children that may have come into direct or indirect contact with AndroGel have signs of virilization. Stop taking AndroGel until the exact cause of the virilization can be determined.
- AndroGel can potentially decrease sperm count, thereby decreasing fertility (although it can also help with certain causes of infertility related to low testosterone). Consult your healthcare provider if you experience difficulty conceiving a child while taking AndroGel.
- Androgens can increase the risk of liver problems, including liver cancer. Although these problems have not been reported with AndroGel, they cannot be completely ruled out.
- Androgens can cause fluid retention, which can be dangerous for people with liver, heart, or kidney disease.
- Breast enlargement can occur in men taking AndroGel.
- AndroGel can worsen (or possibly even cause) sleep apnea.
- AndroGel can potentially interact with a few other medications (see AndroGel Drug Interactions).
- AndroGel is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means it is definitely not safe for use during pregnancy (see AndroGel and Pregnancy).
- This medication is not safe for use during breastfeeding (see AndroGel and Breastfeeding).