Wondering about androgel side effects and whether or not this topical solution is effective for erectile dysfunction? Many men have similar questions. This article attempts to answer them. Let’s start with the possible benefits.
Androgel benefits may be seen in men who have low testosterone levels. The gel contains testosterone, which passes through the skin and enters the bloodstream, raising testosterone levels. The gel is typically administered through a patch that sticks to the skin. The patch is placed on the arms, shoulders or abdomen.
Symptoms of low testosterone include decreased energy levels, low sex drive and erectile dysfunction, although low testosterone is not the only cause of these symptoms. Long term problems caused by low testosterone may include osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease accompanied by weak fragile bones, loss of stature and curvature of the spine.
Doctor administered tests should be completed to determine if low testosterone production is the cause of the symptoms. If the tests confirm low T levels, Androgel is one of the prescription solutions for increasing the level and could be effective for ED.
Side effects may be more likely when the man’s body is still producing adequate or nearly normal amounts of testosterone. A variety of side effects have been seen in clinical trials and reported by men using the patches.
The side effects range from mild to serious. Common mild side effects include:
· Skin irritation at the location of the patch
· Stomach upset
Less common side effects include vomiting, acne, hair loss and difficulty sleeping. Rare, but serious, side effects include:
· Difficulty urinating
· Enlarged prostate
· Liver damage
· Dark urine
· Muscle pain or weakness
· Swelling of the legs or ankles
· Low blood sugar
· Prolonged erection
· Serious allergic reaction
· High blood pressure
· Breast pain or breast growth
· Enlarged testicles
· Excessive sweating
Use of androgel and other testosterone replacement products is believed to be associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. A number of suits have been filed against the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the gels. The men filing the suits claim that they were not informed of these serious risks before beginning to use the product.
Cautious doctors would agree that safer alternatives should be considered first. Testosterone replacement might be viewed as a “last resort”. Some doctors have stated that whether or not Androgel works is unknown and even how it works is unclear. These doctors feel that the potential benefits for ED do not outweigh the Androgel side effects.