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The eMC  

Last Updated 07 Apr 2014

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Testosterone 50mg gel sachets

Testosterone (Test-ost-er-rone) is a medicine which is used in decreased libido and testosterone replacement therapy.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Testosterone varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

There are 2 preparations of Testosterone available. If Testosterone 50mg gel sachets is not the preparation you are looking for, please select from the drop down list below.

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Testosterone 50mg gel sachets

Information specific to Testosterone 50mg gel sachets when used in testosterone replacement therapy

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Your medicine

This medicine contains the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is responsible for the development of male characteristics. These include growth of hair on the face and body, deepening of the voice, muscle development and the development of the male genitalia. Testosterone is also important for maintaining libido and fertility in men. In men who do not produce enough testosterone, Testosterone is used to reduce the effects of a low level of testosterone.

This medicine should only be used by men and should not be handled by women or children. Women or children who come into contact with Testosterone must immediately wash it off their skin with soap and water. After applying Testosterone you should wait a long period of time for it to be absorbed before having sexual intercourse. You should also wear clothing to cover the application site during sexual contact. Alternatively you should have a shower to wash Testosterone from your skin.

Other information about Testosterone:

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should use. It also tells you how often you should use your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should use. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

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When to take your medicine

Some medicines work best if they are taken at a specific time of day. Getting the most from your medicine can also be affected by the times at which you take other medicines.

Specific information on when to use Testosterone can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine. Alternatively, you can request information about when to take your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.

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How to take your medicine

Some medicines have specific instructions about how to take them. This is because they work better when taken correctly. These instructions can include getting the right dose and special instructions for preparing the medicine.

Specific information on how to use Testosterone can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. Alternatively, you can request information about how to take your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.

If you are having problems taking this form of Testosterone, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice on other ways to take your medicine or other preparations that are easier for you to take.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. If you take extra doses of your medicine, you must get medical advice immediately. This is because the effects of taking too much medicine are very complex so it is very important that you seek medical advice.

Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for advice.

Make sure you take all of your medicine containers with you if you are advised to go to hospital.

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Stopping your medicine

Suddenly stopping your medicine may cause your original condition to return. This is why you must speak to your prescriber if you are having any problems using your medicine.

If you are not having any problems taking this medicine then do not stop using it, even if you feel better, unless advised to do so by your prescriber.

If you are in any doubt, contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

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Looking after your medicine

The instructions on how you should keep your medicine are on the pharmacy label. It is a good idea to keep your medicine in the original container. This will help to keep your medicine in the best condition and also allow you to check the instructions. Do not take the medicine if the packaging appears to have been tampered with or if the medicine shows any signs of damage. Make sure that the medicine is out of the sight and reach of children.

Specific information on how to look after Testosterone can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. Alternatively, you can request information about how to look after your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.

You must not take the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Testosterone is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for someone who is under 18 years of age.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to determine whether or not the medicine is suitable and whether it must be prescribed with extra care
  • to confirm that this is the right dose
  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects

Over time it is possible that Testosterone can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Testosterone has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.

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Side-effects

A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

Common: More than 1 in 100 people who use Testosterone:

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown:

  • blood sugar control changes in diabetics
  • cancer of the liver
  • changes in libido
  • depression
  • feeling nervous, hostile or irritable - you must seek medical advice if this happens to you
  • increase in the size of the prostate gland
  • jaundice
  • may affect the results for certain tests including drug testing in sports
  • muscle cramps
  • oedema - you must seek immediate medical advice if this happens to you
  • priapism
  • prostate cancer or worsening of prostate cancer
  • reduced sperm production, metabolic problems or more frequent or prolonged erections - these problems may occur if testosterone has been used at a high dose and for a long period of time. You must seek medical advice if you get more frequent or prolonged erections
  • seborrhoea
  • side-effects that may occur when people who are not using Testosterone repeatedly come into contact with Testosterone. This may occur after close skin contact with someone who is using Testosterone. These side-effects may include growth of facial or body hair, deepening of the voice or irregular menstrual periods in women. If you develop acne or hair overgrowth and you have been in contact with someone who is using Testosterone you must seek medical advice
  • skin irritation
  • sleep apnoea
  • urinary problems
  • water retention
  • weight gain - you must seek medical advice if you gain weight
  • worsening of epilepsy or migraine

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Testosterone:

  • corticotropin

The following types of medicine may interact with Testosterone:

If you are taking Testosterone and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Testosterone.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

Like all medicines Testosterone can cause side effects. You should see how this medicine affects you and then judge if you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt, talk to your prescriber.

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Diet

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Testosterone:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when using Testosterone
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Alcohol

Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Testosterone:

  • there are no known interactions between alcohol and Testosterone
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Family planning and pregnancy

This medicine must not be taken by women so its effects in pregnancy are not known.

In the case of Testosterone:

  • if you are using Testosterone and your partner is pregnant you must not allow your partner to come into contact with the areas of skin where you have applied this medicine. You should either cover the area with clothing or wash off Testosterone from your skin if you are going to come into contact with your partner. If your pregnant partner comes into contact with Testosterone they must immediately wash the affected area with soap and water
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Breast-feeding

This medicine must not be taken by women so its effects on breast-feeding are not known.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's appearance and to make it easier to use. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

This medicine contains testosterone.

We are unable to list all of the ingredients for your medicine here. For a full list, you should refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with this medicine. You should check that you are able to take the ingredients of your medicine, especially if you have any allergies. You should also check whether any of these ingredients are known to have side-effects.

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Testosterone before, do not take Testosterone. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Testosterone, Version 18, last updated 07 Apr 2014