testosterone gel

Medically Reviewed on 2/28/2023

Generic Name: testosterone gel

Brand Name: Androgel

Drug Class: Androgens

What is testosterone gel, and what is it used for?

Androgel (testosterone gel) is a topical gel containing testosterone. It is administered through the skin for treatment of low testosterone levels. Androgel and other testosterone replacement products supplement or replace the natural production of testosterone and reverse symptoms of low testosterone levels. 

  • Low production of testosterone leads to erectile dysfunction, reduced sexual desire, fatigue and loss of energy, depression, regression of secondary sexual characteristics, and weakening of bones (osteoporosis).
  • Testosterone is the major male sex hormone responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and secondary sex characteristics. These effects include the development of the prostate, penis, and scrotum; distribution of facial, pubic, chest, and axillary hair; development of a deep voice and alterations in muscle mass and fat distribution.

Androgel belongs to a class of drugs called androgens. Other testosterone replacement products include Androderm, Axiron, Testim, and Fortesta. The FDA approved Androgel in February 2000.

What are the side effects of testosterone gel?

The most common side effects of Androgel are:

What is the dosage for topical testosterone gel?

  • The recommended starting dose is 50 mg applied once daily to the skin of shoulders, upper arm, or abdomen.
  • The dose may be increased based on blood testosterone levels.
  • The hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after applying Androgel.


Testosterone is a chemical found only in men. See Answer

Which drugs interact with topical testosterone gel?

  • Testosterone may decrease blood glucose levels. Therefore, less insulin may be required in diabetic patients.
  • Testosterone may increase the action of the blood thinner warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding.
  • Combining steroids with testosterone may increase fluid retention.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Androgel should not be used by nursing mothers because of the possibility of adverse effects on the nursing infant.

What else should I know about testosterone gel?

What preparations of testosterone gel-topical are available?
  • 1% Solution; 1.62% solution; 20 mg/1.25gm: 25 mg/2.5 gm; 40.5 mg/2.5gm: 50 mg/5 g, 1%: 1.62%.
How should I keep testosterone gel-topical stored?
  • Androgel should be stored at room temperature 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F)


Testosterone gel is a topical medication containing testosterone and is prescribed for the treatment of low testosterone levels. The most common side effects of testosterone gel 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.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/28/2023
FDA Prescribing Information.