Among transdermal methods of administration of drugs, including androgenic, gel therapy is gaining great popularity. The most widely used drug registered in Russia is this group of Androgel, the active component of which is testosterone. Androgel (Solvay Pharma) is the only 1% testosterone gel in Russia that provides a constant concentration of the hormone in the blood within physiological limits with daily skin application.
The drug is available in bags of aluminum foil in cardboard boxes of 30 pieces. Each bag contains one dose of the drug – 2.5 or 5 g of gel containing, respectively, 25 and 50 mg of testosterone.
Mode of application
A transdermal gel is applied in a thin layer to clean, dry skin once a day (preferably in the morning), usually in the shoulder, shoulder, or abdomen. Allow the gel to dry before dressing. Do not apply the drug to the genitals due to the possible irritating effect of alcohol. After applying Androgel, it is not recommended to take a shower or swim, and also have sexual contact for 5 hours, necessary for the complete absorption of testosterone from the skin surface, to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
After applying the gel, it is recommended:
- wash hands with soap and water;
- cover the place of application with clothes, after the gel has dried (3-5 min);
- rinse the place of application of the gel during sexual intercourse with a partner if less than 5 hours have passed after the use of the drug.
1 g of Androgel contains 10 mg of testosterone. Androgel is available in 2.5 and 5 g portions, which contain 25 and 50 mg of testosterone, respectively. But only a small part (approximately 10%) of the drug applied to the skin will enter the systemic circulation and have a biological effect. The minimum and maximum doses of Androgel are 2.5 and 10 g per day. A dose of 5 g of testosterone gel per day is usually recommended. The dosage of the drug is determined by the doctor on the basis of the hormonal background of the man and the clinical symptoms of androgen deficiency. Correction of the dosage regimen should be carried out stepwise, 2.5 g per day.
Safety and Efficiency
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness and safety of the use of Androgel in the treatment of hypogonadism in men. Under the influence of the drug, against the background of an increase in the concentration of testosterone in the blood, an improvement in mood and sexual function, a decrease in bone resorption, an improvement in the quality of spontaneous and adequate erections are noted.
2 weeks after the start of the course of replacement therapy with Androgel, it is necessary to determine the level of testosterone in the blood. If the hormone level does not meet the standards or there is no decrease in the clinical symptoms of androgen deficiency, you can increase the daily dose of Androgel 1% from 5 g to 7.5 g or up to 10 g after consulting a doctor. When using gels, it is also necessary to take into account the dependence of the effectiveness of the drug on the condition of the skin, which may affect its pharmacokinetics.
Based on studies, it has been shown that Androgel is well tolerated. During therapy with Androgel, like other androgens, it is necessary to monitor liver function, the state of red blood (hemoglobin, hematocrit), the level of blood PSA and the state of the prostate (digital rectal examination).
After stopping the use of Androgel, the average level of testosterone remains within normal limits for 24-48 hours, and only on the 4th day after the last application returns to the initial (before therapy) values. Along with an increase in testosterone levels, the concentration of estradiol, which is within the normal range, and the concentration of 5α-dihydrotestosterone, i.e., Androgel, has the entire spectrum of testosterone action.
Advantages and disadvantages of Androgel
Therapy with the gel is non-invasive, painless, applying the gel can be done at home. Local reactions when using the gel are minimal. Androgel is well tolerated (erythema occasionally occurs), there has not been a single case of cessation of treatment due to the development of local reactions.
The disadvantages of the testosterone gel are mainly associated with the need for daily use and the inconvenience that occurs when applying the gel to the skin surface: the drying period, limiting the contact of the skin with the skin of another person, etc.