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AndroGel is a prescription steroid used for treating low testosterone levels in men. This medication contains testosterone in a special gel that is applied to the skin just once a day. Over a 24-hour period, AndroGel can increase testosterone levels back to normal. Although most people tolerate the medication well, side effects are possible and may include acne, prostate problems, and breast development.

What Is AndroGel?

AndroGel® (testosterone gel) is a prescription medication approved to treat low testosterone levels in men due to various causes.
 
AndroGel is an anabolic steroid and is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in the United States. This means that special laws and regulations control its sale and use.
 
(Click AndroGel Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes It?

AndroGel is made by AbbVie, Inc. 
 

How Does AndroGel Work?

AndroGel 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.
 
AndroGel 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.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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