The most common side effects of Androgel are headache, high blood pressure, acne, abnormal lab tests (for example, glucose and cholesterol tests), application site reactions (for example, itching, blisters, and redness), enlarged prostate, and increased serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels.
In patients with diabetes, especially those taking insulin, testosterone may decrease your blood sugar. Be prepared to treat low blood sugar while you are using this medication. Symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness, nervousness, rapid pulse, and sweating.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common general side effects of using AndroGel are acne, application site reactions and prostatic disorders. Certain lab tests may be affected by AndroGel use; inform the lab and the physician ordering the lab work if you are taking AndroGel.
It may take up to three months for AndroGel to reach its therapeutic effect; therefore, long-term use is required and side effects may not present until the therapeutic response is reached. Sensitivity reactions to AndroGel may be mild with local application site irritation, or reactions may be severe to include anaphylaxis. AndroGel may cause excitation and insomnia in some patients, as well as an increased libido.
Patients may experience sodium and water retention, which causes swelling and weight gain. Because of these side effects, patients taking AndroGel should weigh themselves daily. AndroGel can affect serum calcium levels, cholesterol levels and liver function tests resulting in elevated values; routine lab work is recommended to monitor for these adverse effects. Long-term use of AndroGel may lower a patient’s white blood cell (WBC) count; this side effect places a patient at greater risk for infection; routine lab work should be conducted to monitor WBC levels.
Androgel is a testosterone replacement product used for men 18 years old or older with a deficiency or absence of testosterone due to primary hypogonadism or hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.