Low Testosterone Medications
If you have low testosterone levels, the medicine your healthcare provider recommends will depend on your personal preference, cost and insurance coverage, and various other factors. Medications used for treating low testosterone levels come in a variety of forms, such as patches, skin products, tablets, and injections. Talk to your healthcare provider about which product is most appropriate for your particular situation.
An Overview of Medications for Low TestosteroneLow testosterone is usually treated with testosterone replacement therapy. The exact medicines recommended will depend on several factors, including:
- Personal preferences (such as injections versus patches)
- Cost and insurance coverage
- The particular medical condition being treated (not all products are approved for every use)
- Other treatments that have been tried
- Other medical conditions a person has.
This article will describe some of the different medicines available for treating low testosterone levels.
Approved Testosterone MedicationsListed below are the testosterone replacement medications available and approved for use in the United States:
- Androderm® (testosterone patch)
- AndroGel® (testosterone gel)
- Axiron® (testosterone topical solution)
- Delatestryl® (testosterone enanthate injection)
- Depo®-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate injection)
- Fortesta® (testosterone gel)
- Methitest® (methyltestosterone tablets)
- Striant® (testosterone buccal tablet)
- Testim® (testosterone gel)
- Testopel® (testosterone pellets)
- Testred® (methyltestosterone capsules).
All of the products listed above are approved for use in men, and a few are also approved for use in women with certain types of late-stage breast cancer.
Side effects of these medications are quite similar, as they all contain testosterone, with one notable exception. It is thought that the oral methyltestosterone products, such as Testred and Methitest, might be more toxic to the liver, compared with other forms of testosterone replacement.
Also, the differences in formulations can cause some differences in side effects. For instance, the skin products can sometimes cause skin irritation, and the injectable products can sometimes cause pain and inflammation at the injection site.
Some low testosterone medications can be transferred by direct skin-to-skin contact to partners or children. This can be a problem and may lead some men to choose forms of testosterone that cannot be transferred, such as the injectable forms.