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Conditions: Low Testosterone

Treating Low Testosterone

How do testosterone gels and patches work?

Testosterone patches are a useful alternative to injections because of their convenience, ease of use and maintenance of normal testosterone levels, despite their higher cost. There are two types of transdermal (through the skin) delivery systems: a patch applied to the skin or the scrotum and a gel that is rubbed into the skin. These methods provide continuous delivery of testosterone after it is absorbed into the skin, which acts as a reservoir for the sustained release of testosterone into the bloodstream.

The skin patch Androderm® is applied daily in the evening to the back, abdomen, upper arms or thighs. It results in normal serum testosterone levels, mimicking the natural diurnal pattern of testosterone (highest levels in the morning and lower levels in the evening).

Scrotal skin absorbs testosterone better than non-scrotal skin. Testoderm®, a non-adhesive patch, is applied each morning after a dry shave to the scrotum. Testosterone levels mimic the natural diurnal pattern.

AndroGel® and Testim® are testosterone gel preparations applied once-daily to the shoulders, upper arms and/or abdomen. Blood levels of testosterone seem to be constant over 24 hours. To minimize the potential to transfer testosterone, hands should be washed immediately, and it is recommended that patients shower before intimate contact or wear a shirt to cover the application site.

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