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How is low testosterone (Low-T) treated?
Treatment of low testosterone in hypogonadism is a
fully accepted therapy. Treatment in older men is more controversial. Discuss
your testosterone levels, symptoms, and side effects of treatment with your
doctor to establish whether you should receive therapy and what form of therapy.
There are several ways that testosterone therapy can be administered:
Transdermal (skin patch): Usually applied once a day (for
example, Androderm). Tends to be clean and easy
to apply. There is an available mouth patch which sticks to the upper gums and
is applied twice daily.
Gels: Applied directly to the skin and then absorbed
through the skin (for example,
Axiron. Dosing is more difficult although these gels are available in
single applications packages or premeasured pumps.
Injections: Testosterone can
be delivered by direct injection.
Pellets: Pellets can be implanted into the
soft tissue and release the testosterone.
Why no pills? Testosterone is
available as a pill but some experts believe oral delivery of testosterone can
have negative effects on the liver. These other delivery methods bypass the
liver (as they don't involve a pill being absorbed through the
stomach/intestine) and go directly into the blood stream.