Testim is a medicated skin gel used for treating certain causes of low testosterone in men. It is available by prescription only and comes in the form of a skin gel. The gel is applied to the skin once daily, typically on the shoulders or upper arms. Potential side effects of this testosterone replacement medication include prostate problems, high blood pressure, and skin reactions at the application site.
What Is Testim?
Testim® (testosterone gel) is a prescription skin gel approved to treat low testosterone levels in men due to various causes. It is an anabolic steroid; as a result, it is classified as a controlled substance in the United States. This means that special laws and regulations control its sale and use.
(Click Testim Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes This Medication?
Testim is made by Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does It Work?
Testim contains the hormone testosterone in a skin gel. It works by increasing testosterone to a normal level.
Testim is used as a gel (not taken by mouth) because it would have little effect on testosterone levels if taken orally. 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 adequate blood levels of the medication usually 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: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Testim [package insert]. Norristown, PA: Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; 2006 February.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Testosterone gel safety information (5/7/2009). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/testosterone_gel/default.htm. Accessed May 20, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.
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