AndroGel and Axiron are the brand names for human-made testosterone, which helps in the treatment of low testosterone levels. While both are topical medicines, their primary difference is where the drug is applied on the body. Your decision to use one over the other may depend on the strength needed and its form.
What Is Testosterone?
This male hormone is responsible for the appearance of certain characteristics men develop during puberty such as:
- Hair growth
- Sex drive
- Muscle strength and mass
When a man suffers from low testosterone, it could lose his muscle mass and strength. He may even suffer from depression. As men get older, it’s natural to lose some testosterone, but it can also happen in many other cases. If you’re concerned about low testosterone levels, you need to speak with your doctor about potential treatments.
AndroGel vs. Axiron: Which One Is The Better Choice For You?
Both drugs, which can help boost a man’s testosterone levels, have the same active ingredient. It’s their application methods, strengths and forms that make them different from each other. Regardless of which drug you are using, you must be mindful about drug transmission.
How To Apply The Testosterone Medication?
Since these are topical medications, you put them on your skin, but never on your back, chest or genitals. Apply it any one of those places means the drug may not absorb completely. Once you apply it, you need to thoroughly wash your hands free of it.
Do not swim, wash or exercise (or do anything that could lead to heavy sweat) for six hours after you apply the AndroGel and two hours for the Axiron.
A Look At Axiron
Axiron offers users 30 milligrams of clear solution in each pump of its bottle. The application cap makes it easy for you to pump the solution into the cap. The sprayed dosage should be applied in the armpit region, which has less skin for the medication to absorb through and get into the bloodstream.
When applying the Axiron medication, use the application cap – not fingers. Why? Direct touching of the solution can result in an excessive amount being absorbed by the body, and you could unintentionally transfer it to someone else – child, friend, etc. Make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry the cap after you’ve applied the medication. You also need to wash your hands using hot water and soap to remove any residue.
To ensure the best result, use Axiron around the same time each time and after showering. When you use deodorant, you want to apply Axiron after it.
A Look At AndroGel
This is a clear gel that also comes in a pump of either 12.5mg or 20.25mg. The following strengths of AndroGel are:
Thoroughly massage the medication onto your shoulders, stomach or upper arms once a day… using your palm.
The Dangers Of Drug Transference
It is imperative, without question, that you need to thoroughly wash your hands after applying either drug to your skin. If you don’t and come into skin-to-skin contact with another person, they could accidentally come into contact with the medication, receiving their own dosage of it.
Make sure to be quite mindful of never transferring the testosterone medication to women or children.
Since Axiron and AndroGel are anabolic steroids, they can cause both psychological and physical side effects. Women who come into accidental contact with the testosterone medication could develop facial hair, body hair and acne. Children exposed to the drugs could experience puberty early, have aggressive behavior, or their genitals could increase in size from swelling.
What Are The Possible Side Effects?
Again, both drugs are anabolic steroids, which means their side effects tend to resemble one another. In most cases, the side effects felt are mild and will go away once the body becomes acclimated to the medicine. The most common side effect of both drugs is skin irritation. However, other possible effects you could experience include:
- Rise in acne
- Headaches (usually at the beginning of the treatment)
- Diarrhea (usually at the beginning of the treatment)
- Rise in blood lipids – a doctor will need to do continual testing to ensure blood lipids stay normal
- Back pain
- Muscle aches
Some serious side effects to be mindful of include:
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
- Breathing issues (something resembling an allergy)
- Swelling in the legs or ankles (usually an indication of heart failure or blood clot)
- Difficulty urinating
- Prolonged erections
If you experience problems with urination, it should be checked out by a doctor right away, as it could be a sign of either prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. You may also see a rise in PSA levels (prostate-specific antigen), which could lead to prostatitis (or prostate inflammation).
Also, if you experience any of the serious side effects listed above or the mild symptoms become bothersome, talk with your doctor right away.
Who Shouldn’t Use Axiron and/or AndroGel?
Anybody using blood thinners, insulin or steroids should not be using Axiron or AndroGel due to the interactions they can cause.
- Steroid use and either drug could lead to a rise in fluid, especially if you suffer from liver, kidney or heart disease.
- Insulin use with either drug could cause low blood sugar levels, which could affect how much insulin you need to use.
- Blood thinners and these drugs can affect the effectiveness of the blood thinning
How Effective Is AndroGel and Axiron In Treating Low Testosterone?
According to various studies, topical medications like AndroGel and Axiron can effectively improve testosterone levels, improving a sufferer’s quality of life. Still, the FDA wants users to understand the risks associated with testosterone therapy including the possibility of stroke and heart attacks. The agency recommends doctors to constantly monitor their patients using Axiron and AndroGel.
Although they work similarly to each other, it’s how they are applied and where that makes the difference. For men with sensitive skin, it may be best to use AndroGel and rotate the application sites to decrease the chances for skin irritation.
Still, no matter which one you decide to use, be sure you use it as directed. Always talk to your doctor about concerns you may have about either drug. He/she will also let you know which option is better for you.