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If you have diabetes, kidney disease, or certain types of cancer, you may not be able to safely use Testopel. Other safety precautions include warnings of potential drug interactions and an increased risk for problems such as liver cancer, heart attacks, or strokes. Also, you should not use this medicine if you have certain allergies or have breast or prostate cancer.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving Testopel® (testosterone pellets) if you have:
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
- Heart disease
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- High cholesterol
- Increased red blood cells
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With TestopelSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving these pellets include the following:
- Like other testosterone medications, Testopel may increase the risk for an enlarged prostate gland and stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells. Your healthcare provider may evaluate you for prostate cancer before you start Testopel, and periodically during treatment.
- You should know that this medication might cause breast enlargement in men.
- Extended use of high doses of testosterone (the active ingredient in Testopel) may increase the risk for serious and potentially life-threatening liver problems, including liver cancer. Although Testopel is not known to produce these problems, all potential risks cannot be ruled out.
- This medicine can cause a loss of calcium from the bone in people with breast cancer, which can cause an abnormally high level of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). Men with breast cancer should not receive Testopel. If this medicine is given to someone with breast cancer, and calcium levels increase, it should be stopped.
- Testopel may increase the number of red blood cells in your blood. This can cause blood clots, which increases the risk for other serious problems, such as a heart attack and stroke. Your healthcare provider will do periodic blood tests to monitor your blood cell counts.
- This medicine can affect long-term bone growth in children, potentially decreasing a child's future adult height. Children and adolescents using this medicine will therefore need to have their bone age checked every six months during treatment.
- Testopel can cause fluid retention (edema), which can be a potentially serious problem in people with heart, kidney, or liver disease. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice swelling of the ankles, legs, or feet. You may need to stop treatment. Your healthcare provider may also need to give you a medicine known as a diuretic to help your body clear the extra fluid.
- There is a chance that Testopel pellets could come out after being inserted under your skin. Contact your healthcare provider if you believe this has happened to you.
- Because Testopel is injected beneath the skin where it remains active for three to six months, it can be difficult for your healthcare provider to adjust your dose if needed. If treatment needs to be stopped, the pellet may need to be surgically removed.
- Your healthcare provider may do periodic blood tests during treatment to monitor your liver function, cholesterol, blood cell counts, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. It is important to keep all your appointments with your healthcare provider so you can be properly monitored during treatment.
- Testopel may react with a number of other medications (see Testopel Drug Interactions).
- This product is a pregnancy Category X medication. This means it is not safe for use during pregnancy (see Testopel and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Testopel passes through breast milk. If you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see Testopel and Breastfeeding).