Testosterone side effects

testosterone side effects

Testosterone Injection

Testosterone injections increase your testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone that your sex organs mainly produce. A healthcare provider will usually give you this injection in a hospital or clinic setting.

What is this medication?

TESTOSTERONE (tes TOS ter one) is used to increase testosterone levels in your body. It belongs to a group of medications called androgen hormones.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Andro-L.A., Aveed, Delatestryl, Depo-Testosterone, Virilon

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Prostate disease
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to testosterone, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • If a female partner is pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for injection into a muscle. It is usually given in a hospital or clinic.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Contact your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

Try not to miss a dose. Your care team will tell you when your next injection is due. Notify the office if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Medications for diabetes
  • Medications that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Propranolol
  • Steroid medications like prednisone or cortisone

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. They will need to check the level of testosterone in your blood.

This medication is only approved for use in men who have low levels of testosterone related to certain medical conditions. Heart attacks and strokes have been reported with the use of this medication. Notify your care team and seek emergency treatment if you develop breathing problems; changes in vision; confusion; chest pain or chest tightness; sudden arm pain; severe, sudden headache; trouble speaking or understanding; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; loss of balance or coordination. Talk to your care team about the risks and benefits of this medication.

This medication may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your care team before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medication.

Testosterone injections are not commonly used in women. Women should inform their care team if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your care team or pharmacist for more information. Talk with your care team about your birth control options while taking this medication.

This medication is banned from use in athletes by most athletic organizations.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Heart attack—pain or tightness in the chest, shoulders, arms or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, cold or clammy skin, feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Mood swings, irritability, or hostility
  • Prolonged or painful erection
  • Sleep apnea—loud snoring, gasping during sleep, daytime sleepiness
  • Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
  • Swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Acne
  • Change in sex drive or performance
  • Pain, redness, or irritation at the application site
  • Unexpected breast tissue growth

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children. This medication can be abused. Keep your medication in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medication with anyone. Selling or giving away this medication is dangerous and against the law.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Follow the directions for the product you are prescribed. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Frequently Asked Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

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