Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about Low T and AndroGel

When you're beginning a new treatment, it's natural to have a lot of questions. You'll want to consider all the information so you can make a choice that’s best for you and your health. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about AndroGel. Click on each question and view the answers below.

General questions about testosterone

What is a normal testosterone level?

Although levels vary, testosterone levels between 300 ng/dL and 1000 ng/dL are considered to be in the normal range for a healthy adult male.

Why haven't I heard about Low Testosterone before?

Many patients with Low Testosterone go undiagnosed and untreated. This may be due to embarrassment about discussing certain symptoms, such as sexual dysfunction or low sex drive. Or it may be because symptoms like decreased energy and depressed mood are often attributed to other factors.

General questions about AndroGel 1.62%

AndroGel 1.62% and AndroGel 1% (testosterone gel) pumps: what's the difference?

Dosing and application sites for AndroGel 1.62% differ from AndroGel 1%.

AndroGel 1.62% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1.62% is 40.5 mg of testosterone (2 pump presses).
  • Apply to shoulders and upper arms only.
    • Do not apply to any other areas of the body, such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.
  • AndroGel 1.62% is supplied in a single package that includes 1 metered-dose pump.
  • Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 2 hours after applying AndroGel 1.62%.

AndroGel 1% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1% is 50 mg of testosterone gel (4 pump presses).
  • Apply to shoulders, upper arms, and/or stomach area only.
    • Do not apply to any other areas of the body, such as your penis, scrotum, chest, or back.
  • AndroGel 1% is supplied in a twin package that includes 2 metered-dose pumps.
  • Wait 5 hours before showering, swimming, or bathing after applying AndroGel 1%.

AndroGel 1.62% and AndroGel 1% packets: what's the difference?

Dosing and application sites for AndroGel 1.62% differ from AndroGel 1%. For example,

AndroGel 1.62% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1.62% is 40.5 mg of testosterone (one 40.5 mg packet).
  • Apply to shoulders and upper arms only.
    • Do not apply AndroGel 1.62% to any other areas of the body, such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.
  • Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 2 hours after applying AndroGel 1.62%.

AndroGel 1% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1% is 50 mg of testosterone (one 50 mg packet).
  • Apply to shoulders, upper arms, and/or stomach area only.
    • Do not apply AndroGel 1% to any other areas of the body, such as your penis, scrotum, chest, or back.
  • Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 5 hours after applying AndroGel 1%.

Are AndroGel 1.62% and AndroGel 1% interchangeable?

No. Dosing and application sites for AndroGel 1.62% differ from AndroGel 1% and are not interchangeable.

What is AndroGel 1.62%?

AndroGel 1.62% is a prescription medicine that contains testosterone. AndroGel 1.62% is used to treat adult males who have low or no testosterone.

It is not known if AndroGel 1.62% is safe or effective in children younger than 18 years old. Testosterone products that are applied to the skin may have different doses, strengths, or application instructions that may lead to different levels of testosterone in your body.

AndroGel 1.62% is a controlled substance (CIII) because it contains testosterone, which can be a target for people who abuse prescription medicines. Keep your AndroGel 1.62% in a safe place to protect it. Never give your AndroGel 1.62% to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Selling or giving away this medicine may harm others and is against the law.

AndroGel 1.62% is not meant for use in women.

Why did my doctor prescribe AndroGel 1.62%?

Your doctor prescribed AndroGel 1.62% because your testosterone (T) levels are low and you have been diagnosed with a medical condition known as hypogonadism. AndroGel 1.62% is a daily testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) that can raise testosterone levels.

In a clinical study of 274 men who had Low Testosterone, some used AndroGel 1.62% and some used placebo. Of the men who used AndroGel 1.62% once daily for 16 weeks, 82% had their testosterone levels returned to normal compared to 37% of those who received placebo.

Does AndroGel 1.62% have any side effects?

AndroGel 1.62% can cause serious side effects, including:

  • If you already have enlargement of your prostate gland, your signs and symptoms can get worse while using AndroGel 1.62% (including changes in urination)
  • Possible increased risk of prostate cancer
  • In large doses, AndroGel 1.62% may lower your sperm count
  • Swelling of your ankles, feet, or body, with or without heart failure. This may cause serious problems for people who have heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Enlarged or painful breasts
  • Having problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea)
  • Blood clots in your legs or lungs. Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your leg can include leg pain, swelling, or redness. Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your lungs can include difficulty breathing or chest pain.

The most common side effects of AndroGel 1.62% include increased prostate specific antigen (a test used to screen for prostate cancer), mood swings, hypertension, increased red blood cell count, and skin irritation where AndroGel 1.62% is applied.

Who should not use AndroGel 1.62%?

Do not use AndroGel 1.62% if you have breast cancer or have or might have prostate cancer.

AndroGel 1.62% is not meant for use in women and must not be used in women who are or may become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

AndroGel 1.62% may harm the unborn or breast-feeding baby. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should avoid contact with the area of skin where AndroGel 1.62% has been applied.

Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you have any of the above conditions.

What if someone else is exposed to AndroGel 1.62%?

They should wash the exposed area well with plenty of soap and water right away. Stop using AndroGel 1.62% and call your doctor right away if you see any signs or symptoms of puberty in a child, or changes in body hair or increased acne in a woman, that may have occurred through accidental exposure to AndroGel 1.62%.

Should I take AndroGel 1.62% if I'm taking other medications?

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. When AndroGel 1.62% is used with certain other medicines, they can affect each other. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • Insulin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Medicines that decrease blood clotting

AndroGel 1.62% may have an effect on how these medications work, so be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking these or any other medications.

Questions about applying AndroGel 1.62%

How do I prepare the AndroGel 1.62% pump?

Before using a new bottle of AndroGel 1.62% for the first time, you will need to prime the pump. To prime the AndroGel 1.62% pump, slowly push the pump all the way down 3 times. Do not use any AndroGel 1.62% that came out while priming. Wash it down the sink to avoid accidental exposure to others. Your AndroGel 1.62% pump is now ready to use. You do not have to prime your pump every day, only the first time you use it.

How do I use AndroGel 1.62%?

Make your application part of your daily routine.

  1. Apply AndroGel 1.62% at the same time every day, such as at the same time each morning. AndroGel 1.62% should be applied after showering or bathing to clean, dry, intact skin.
  2. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much AndroGel 1.62% to apply. If using the pump, once primed, slowly push the pump all the way down to dispense the gel. The gel can be dispensed either into the palm of the hand or directly onto the application site. If using the packets, you can open them by tearing open completely at the dotted line. Squeeze, from the bottom of the packet up so you're sure the packet is empty, either into the palm of your hand or directly onto the application site. AndroGel 1.62% should be applied right away.
  3. Apply the gel to the application sites as directed in the chart below. These areas are your shoulders and upper arms, areas that will be covered with a short-sleeved T-shirt. Do not apply AndroGel 1.62% to any other parts of your body, such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have applied the dose your doctor has prescribed for you.

It is important that you apply AndroGel 1.62% exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much AndroGel 1.62% to apply and when to apply it. Your healthcare provider may change your AndroGel 1.62% dose. Do not change your dose without talking to your healthcare provider.

Dosing information for AndroGel 1.62% pump

Find your dose as prescribed by your physician

Daily dose of testosterone

Number of pump presses

Application method
(using the palm of the hand)

20.25 mg 1 Pump Press Apply 1 pump press to 1 upper arm and shoulder.
40.5 mg 2 Pump Presses Apply 1 pump press to 1 upper arm and shoulder and then apply 1 pump press to the opposite upper arm and shoulder.
60.75 mg 3 Pump Presses Apply 2 pump presses to 1 upper arm and shoulder and then apply 1 pump press to the opposite upper arm and shoulder.
81 mg 4 Pump Presses Apply 2 pump presses to 1 upper arm and shoulder and then apply 2 pump presses to the opposite upper arm and shoulder.

Dosing information for AndroGel 1.62% packets

Find your dose as prescribed by your physician

Daily dose of testosterone

Number of
packets

Application method
(using the palm of the hand)

20.25 mg One 20.25 mg packet Apply one 20.25 mg packet to 1 upper arm and shoulder.
40.5 mg One 40.5 mg packet Apply half of one 40.5 mg packet to 1 upper arm and shoulder and then apply the remaining amount to the opposite upper arm and shoulder.
60.75 mg One 40.5 mg packet and one 20.25 mg packet Apply one 40.5 mg packet to 1 upper arm and shoulder and then apply one 20.25 mg packet to the opposite upper arm and shoulder.
81 mg Two 40.5 mg packets Apply one 40.5 mg packet to 1 upper arm and shoulder and then apply one 40.5 mg packet to the opposite upper arm and shoulder.

Where should I apply AndroGel 1.62%?

AndroGel 1.62% is not meant for use in women.

Apply AndroGel 1.62% only to areas that will be covered by a short-sleeved T-shirt, as shown in the shaded areas in the illustration. These areas are your shoulders and upper arms. Do not apply AndroGel 1.62% to any other areas of your body, such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.

What should I do after I apply AndroGel 1.62%?

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Let the application sites dry.
  3. Cover the application sites with a short-sleeved T-shirt.
  4. If using the packets, throw away the packet in the trash out of the reach of children to avoid accidental exposure.
  5. Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 2 hours after you apply AndroGel 1.62%.
  6. Maintain your normal daily activities.

AndroGel 1.62% is flammable until dry. Let the gel dry before smoking or going near an open flame.

Why do I need to use AndroGel 1.62% every day?

Low Testosterone requires ongoing treatment, so you must use AndroGel 1.62% daily, as prescribed by your doctor. If you stop, your T levels may fall back to previous levels in 2 or 3 days.

How well does AndroGel 1.62% work?

Using AndroGel 1.62% every day can help bring your testosterone levels back to the normal range and, with continued use, help keep them there.

In a clinical study of 274 men who had Low Testosterone, some used AndroGel 1.62% and some used placebo. Of the men who used AndroGel 1.62% once daily for 16 weeks, 82% had their testosterone levels returned to normal compared to 37% of those who received placebo.

However, if you stop using AndroGel 1.62% every day, your testosterone levels may fall back to your previous levels.

How do I store my AndroGel 1.62%?

AndroGel 1.62% is a controlled substance (CIII) and can be a target for people who abuse prescription medicines. Keep your AndroGel 1.62% in a safe place to protect it. Store AndroGel 1.62% at room temperature. Keep it away from children. When it is time to throw away the pump, safely throw away used AndroGel 1.62% in household trash. Be careful to prevent accidental exposure of children or pets. Keep AndroGel 1.62% away from fire.

General questions about AndroGel 1%

AndroGel 1.62% and AndroGel 1% pumps: what's the difference?

Dosing and application sites for AndroGel 1.62% differ from AndroGel 1%.

AndroGel 1.62% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1.62% is 40.5 mg of testosterone (2 pump presses).
  • Apply to shoulders and upper arms only.
    • Do not apply to any other areas of the body, such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.
  • AndroGel 1.62% is supplied in a single package that includes 1 metered-dose pump.
  • Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 2 hours after applying AndroGel 1.62%.

AndroGel 1% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1% is 50 mg of testosterone or 5 g of gel (4 pump presses).
  • Apply to shoulders, upper arms, and/or stomach area only.
    • Do not apply to any other areas of the body, such as your penis, scrotum, chest, or back.
  • AndroGel 1% is supplied in a twin package that includes 2 metered-dose pumps.
  • Wait 5 hours before showering, swimming, or bathing after applying AndroGel 1%.

AndroGel 1.62% and AndroGel 1% packets: what's the difference?

Dosing and application sites for AndroGel 1.62% differ from AndroGel 1%.
For example,

AndroGel 1.62% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1.62% is 40.5 mg of testosterone (one 40.5 mg packet).
  • Apply to shoulders and upper arms only.
    • Do not apply AndroGel 1.62% to any other areas of the body, such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum.
  • Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 2 hours after applying AndroGel 1.62%.

AndroGel 1% dosage information:

  • The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1% is 50 mg of testosterone (one 50 mg packet).
  • Apply to shoulders, upper arms, and/or stomach area only.
    • Do not apply AndroGel 1% to any other areas of the body, such as your penis, scrotum, chest, or back.
  • Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 5 hours after applying AndroGel 1%.

What is AndroGel 1%?

AndroGel 1% is a prescription medicine that contains testosterone. AndroGel 1% is used to treat adult males who have low or no testosterone.

It is not known if AndroGel 1% is safe or effective in children younger than 18 years old. Testosterone products that are applied to the skin may have different doses, strengths, or application instructions that may lead to different levels of testosterone in your body.

AndroGel 1% is a controlled substance (CIII) because it contains testosterone, which can be a target for people who abuse prescription medicines. Keep your AndroGel 1% in a safe place to protect it. Never give your AndroGel 1% to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Selling or giving away this medicine may harm others and is against the law.

AndroGel 1% is not meant for use in women.

Why did my doctor prescribe AndroGel 1%?

Your doctor prescribed AndroGel 1% because your testosterone levels are low and you have a medical condition known as hypogonadism. Without the proper amount of testosterone in your body, you might experience symptoms such as a depressed mood, lack of sexual interest and energy, an inability to maintain an erection, or other symptoms related to Low Testosterone. Talk to your doctor to learn why you were prescribed AndroGel 1% instead of AndroGel 1.62%.

Does AndroGel 1% have any side effects?

AndroGel 1% can cause serious side effects, including:

  • If you already have enlargement of your prostate gland, your signs and symptoms can get worse while using AndroGel 1% (including changes in urination)
  • Possible increased risk of prostate cancer
  • In large doses, AndroGel 1% may lower your sperm count
  • Swelling of your ankles, feet, or body, with or without heart failure. This may cause serious problems for people who have heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Enlarged or painful breasts
  • Having problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea)
  • Blood clots in your legs or lungs. Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your leg can include leg pain, swelling, or redness. Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your lungs can include difficulty breathing or chest pain.

The most common side effects of AndroGel 1% are acne, skin irritation where the gel is applied, increased cholesterol levels, increased prostate specific antigen (a test used to screen for prostate cancer), increased red blood cell count, and increased liver function tests.

Who should not use AndroGel 1%?

Do not use AndroGel 1% if you have breast cancer or might have prostate cancer.

AndroGel 1% is not meant for use in women and must not be used in women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. AndroGel 1% may harm the unborn or breast-feeding baby. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should avoid contact with the skin area where AndroGel 1% has been applied.

Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you have any of the above conditions.

What if someone else is exposed to AndroGel 1%?

They should wash the exposed area well with plenty of soap and water right away.

Stop using AndroGel 1% and call your doctor right away if you see any signs or symptoms of puberty in a child, or changes in body hair or increased acne in a woman, that may have occurred through accidental exposure to AndroGel 1%.

Should I take AndroGel 1% if I'm taking other medications?

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. If you're taking any of the following medications, you should consult your doctor before taking AndroGel 1%:

  • Insulin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Medicines that decrease blood clotting

AndroGel 1% may have an effect on how these medications work, so be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking these or any other medications.

Questions about applying AndroGel 1%

How do I prepare the AndroGel 1% pump?

Before applying your first dose of AndroGel 1%, you'll need to press down firmly on the pump 3 times, which is called “priming.” Then dispose of this extra gel in a way that others cannot accidentally touch or swallow it. You do not have to prime your pump every day, only the first time you use it.

How do I use AndroGel 1%?

Make your application part of your daily routine.

  1. Apply AndroGel 1% at the same time each morning. AndroGel 1% should be applied after showering or bathing to clean, dry, intact skin.
  2. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much AndroGel 1% to apply. If using the pump, once primed, slowly push the pump all the way down to dispense the gel. AndroGel 1% is also available in packets. Each packet contains 25 mg (2.5 g of gel) or 50 mg (5 g of gel) of testosterone. If using the packets, you can open them by tearing along the dotted line. Squeeze the contents into the palm of your hand. Squeeze from the bottom of the packet up. AndroGel 1% should be applied right away.
  3. Apply the gel to one or more of the application sites. These areas are your shoulders and upper arms, and/or stomach area. Do not apply AndroGel 1% to any other parts of your body, such as your penis, scrotum, chest, or back.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have applied the dose your doctor has prescribed for you.

Your doctor has determined how much AndroGel 1% you should use every day. Check the label on your bottle to see how many times to press the pump for the dose your doctor has prescribed. Follow these directions on how many times to press the pump.

Your doctor may change your AndroGel 1% dose. Do not change your AndroGel 1% dose without talking to your healthcare provider.

Dosing information for AndroGel 1% pump

Find your dose as prescribed by your physician

Daily dose of testosterone

Number of pump presses

50 mg4 Pump Presses
75 mg6 Pump Presses
100 mg8 Pump Presses

Where should I apply AndroGel 1%?

AndroGel 1% is not meant for use in women.

Apply AndroGel 1% only to areas that will be covered by a short-sleeved T-shirt, as shown in the shaded areas in the illustration. These areas are shoulders, upper arms, and/or stomach area. Do not apply AndroGel 1% to your penis, scrotum, chest, or back.

What should I do after I apply AndroGel 1%?

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Let the application sites dry.
  3. Cover the application sites with a short-sleeved T-shirt.
  4. If using the packets, throw away the packet in the trash out of the reach of children to avoid accidental exposure.
  5. Avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for at least 5 hours.
  6. Maintain your normal daily activities.

AndroGel 1% is flammable until dry. Let the gel dry before smoking or going near an open flame.

Why do I need to use AndroGel 1% every day?

Low Testosterone, medically known as hypogonadism, requires ongoing treatment, so you must use AndroGel 1% every day.

How well does AndroGel 1% work?

Using AndroGel 1% every day can raise your testosterone levels to the normal range and help keep them there. And once your T levels are in the normal range, you may experience symptom relief.

In a clinical study, of the 129 hypogonadal men who continued AndroGel 1% therapy for 6 months (with dose adjusted properly), 87% had their T levels restored to normal. Many men also experienced symptom improvement over time.

However, if you stop using AndroGel 1% every day, your testosterone levels may fall back to your previous levels.

How do I store my AndroGel 1%?

AndroGel 1% is a controlled substance (CIII) and can be a target for people who abuse prescription medicines. Keep your AndroGel 1% in a safe place to protect it. Store AndroGel 1% at room temperature. Keep it away from children and pets.

USE: AndroGel® (testosterone gel) 1% and 1.62%

AndroGel® (testosterone gel) 1% and 1.62% are controlled substances, available by prescription, used to treat adult males who have low or no testosterone. It is not known if AndroGel is safe or effective in children younger than 18 years old. Testosterone products that are applied to the skin may have different doses, strengths, or application instructions that may lead to different levels of testosterone in your body.

Important Safety Information

  • AndroGel can transfer from your body to others. This can happen if other people come into contact with the area where AndroGel was applied.
  • Signs of puberty that are not expected have happened in young children who were accidentally exposed to testosterone through skin-to-skin contact with men using topical testosterone products like AndroGel.
  • Women and children should avoid contact with the unwashed or unclothed area where AndroGel has been applied. If a woman or child makes contact with the AndroGel application area, the contact area on the woman or child should be washed well with soap and water right away.
  • To lower the risk of transfer of AndroGel 1.62%, you should apply it only to your shoulders and upper arms, areas that will be covered by a short-sleeve T-shirt. Do not apply AndroGel 1.62% to any other parts of your body, such as your stomach area (abdomen), penis, or scrotum. Wash your hands right away with soap and water after applying. After the gel has dried, cover the application area with clothing until you have washed the application area well or have showered. If you expect another person to have skin-to-skin contact with your shoulders or upper arms, first wash the application area well with soap and water.
  • To lower the risk of transfer of AndroGel 1%, you should apply it only to areas that will be covered by a short-sleeve T-shirt. These areas include shoulders, upper arms, and stomach area. Do not apply AndroGel to your penis or scrotum. Wash your hands right away with soap and water after applying AndroGel. After the gel has dried, cover the application area with clothing. If you expect to have skin-to-skin contact with another person, first wash the application area well with soap and water.
  • Stop using AndroGel and call your healthcare provider right away if you see any signs and symptoms of puberty in a child, or changes in body hair or increased acne in a woman, that may have occurred through accidental exposure to AndroGel.
  • Do not use AndroGel if you have breast cancer or have or might have prostate cancer.
  • AndroGel is not meant for use in women and must not be used in women who are or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding. AndroGel may harm the unborn or breastfeeding baby. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should avoid contact with the area of skin where AndroGel has been applied.
  • Before you use AndroGel, tell your healthcare provider if you have breast cancer; prostate cancer; urinary problems due to enlarged prostate; heart, kidney, or liver problems; problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea); and/or have any other medical conditions.
  • AndroGel can cause serious side effects, including:
    • If you already have enlargement of your prostate gland, your signs and symptoms can get worse while using AndroGel (including changes in urination)
    • Possible increased risk of prostate cancer
    • In large doses, AndroGel may lower your sperm count
    • Swelling of your ankles, feet, or body, with or without heart failure. This may cause serious problems for people who have heart, kidney, or liver disease
    • Enlarged or painful breasts
    • Having problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea)
    • Blood clots in your legs or lungs. Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your leg can include leg pain, swelling, or redness. Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your lungs can include difficulty breathing or chest pain.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, especially if you take insulin, medicines that decrease blood clotting, or corticosteroids.
  • AndroGel is flammable until dry. Let AndroGel dry before smoking or going near an open flame.
  • The most common side effects of AndroGel 1.62% are increased prostate specific antigen (a test used to screen for prostate cancer), mood swings, high blood pressure, increased red blood cell count, and skin irritation where the gel is applied. The most common side effects of AndroGel 1% are acne, skin irritation where the gel is applied, increased cholesterol levels, increased prostate specific antigen, increased red blood cell count, and increased liver function tests.
  • AndroGel 1% and 1.62% application sites and dosages are not interchangeable with each other, or with other topical testosterone products.
  • This is the most important information to know about AndroGel. For further information, talk with your healthcare provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.or call 1-800-FDA-1088

If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.

References: 1. AndroGel 1.62% [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc. 2. AndroGel 1% [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.