- Axiron vs. Androgel comparison
- What are Axiron and Androgel?
- What are the uses for Axiron and Androgel?
- What are the side effects of Axiron and Androgel?
- How should Axiron and Androgel be taken (dosage)?
- Which drugs interact with Axiron and Androgel?
- Are Axiron and Androgel safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Axiron vs. Androgel comparison
The active ingredient in both Axiron and Androgel is synthetic testosterone, and both medications consist of topical gel that allows the testosterone to absorb through the skin. Doctors prescribe these drugs to adult males who for some reason, whether a physical condition or a result of aging, are lacking normal testosterone levels.
The only difference between these two gel medications is where on your body you're supposed to put it. Axiron gel is applied in the armpits, while Androgel is applied to the upper arm, shoulders, or abdomen.
What are Axiron and Androgel?
Both Axiron and Androgel are skin ointments that deliver laboratory-manufactured testosterone through the skin. Pharmaceutical researchers developed this therapy in part because testosterone production in men tends to decline as they age, causing muscle loss, bone weakness, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and fat accumulation. Scientists sometimes refer to this slowdown in testosterone production as "andropause," but physiologically, it's only superficially similar to menopause in women, which is a much more drastic hormonal change.
Testosterone (also referred to as an "androgen") production in men starts ramping up during puberty, and testosterone production by the testes is the end hormonal result of a production chain involving the brain and endocrine system. The hypothalamus of the brain, a structure behind the base of the forebrain, secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which stimulates the nearby pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone, which then stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone.
Testosterone, a lipid-soluble (fat-soluble) hormone, can pass through the membranes of cells because cell membranes are made of fats. Inside the cell, floating around in the cytoplasm, are protein molecules called androgen receptors (AR), which are shaped in such a way they fit like a puzzle piece with testosterone molecules. When a testosterone molecule locks into the androgen receptor, the whole assembly migrates into the cell nucleus where the DNA is stored. The testosterone-AR assembly interacts directly with the DNA to help the cell "read" the code, allowing it to produce the necessary proteins to maintain muscle mass, hair growth, genital function and other male sex characteristics.
Axiron and Androgel help replace the missing testosterone to help maintain mood, sexual function, muscle mass, and bone strength.
Quick GuideLow Testosterone (Low T) Treatments
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.