Posts Tagged ‘Testosterone Patch’

Newer Testosterone Delivery Systems

// October 29th, 2010 // No Comments » // Hormones

In addition to the testosterone patches, other products are just now being developed for testosterone-deficient men. One company is developing a sublingual (under the tongue) testosterone pill that allows testosterone to be absorbed through the mouth, bypassing the stomach and thereby avoiding the liver toxicity associated with currently available testosterone tablets. Another pharmaceutical firm is investigating testosterone and dihydrotestosterone gels that are rubbed directly on the skin and absorbed into the bloodstream. These gels will be sold as “single-dose sachets.” The sachets will look like the ketchup packets currently available at local fast-food chains. Men will tear the top off the sachet and rub the gel on the surface of their skin. Absorption is rapid, and blood testosterone levels increase within a few minutes to an hour after the gel is applied. In early studies, rashes have not been a problem. A new drug application for the testosterone gel is currently pending before the FDA.

Others are working on the development of very long-acting testosterone implants to provide a stable source of testosterone for several months. The impetus for the development of this wide array of testosterone products may relate to the perceived needs of the increasing numbers of healthy older men in whom advancing years and retreating testosterone production coincide.

Problems with Testosterone Patch Therapy

// October 29th, 2010 // No Comments » // Hormones

To be effective in transferring testosterone from the patch into a man’s bloodstream, patches must remain in close proximity to the skin. The adhesive in the patch usually takes care of this, but the bond between the adhesive and skin breaks down when men sweat. None of the patches are effective when wet. Men who like to go to the gym to exercise learn this very quickly and will often remove their patch and store it on a shelf in their lockers just before starting their workout. Then they can work up a sweat during exercise or plunge into a pool or hot tub without compromising the effectiveness of their patch. When they have concluded their workout they can shower and towel off, and once dry, can safely reaffix the testosterone patch to maintain its effectiveness.

It is not just those men who exercise at the gym who must follow these guidelines. Men who sweat copiously while gardening or doing heavy labor or perspire during periods of increased stress must be aware that sweating will limit the effectiveness of their testosterone-impregnated patches and take similar precautions.

Skin Reactions with Testosterone Patches

The key element needed for the patches to work is a substance called a chemical “enhancer.” It is the enhancer that makes it possible for testosterone to get out of the patch, go through the skin, and enter the bloodstream. Differences in enhancer properties define both effectiveness and toxicity, with Testo-derm’s enhancer working only when applied to thin scrotal skin, whereas the enhancer in the Androderm and Testoderm TTS patches is significantly stronger, permitting diffusion of testosterone across all skin surfaces, but not without extracting a toll. Skin irritation, rashes, itching, and occasionally blisters and hives are among the reactions commonly associated with the use of the Androderm and Testoderm TTS patches. (Curiously, skin irritation is less common with the scrotal Testoderm patch.) Some men have no skin irritation at all with either the Androderm or Testoderm TTS body patch, whereas others do. Men who have fairer skin seem to be more likely to develop these skin reactions and rashes. Those who are susceptible to skin reactions can minimize or totally prevent the occurrence of the rash by pretreating the skin with a pea-sized dollop of a cortisone-like cream called triamcinolone. (I usually offer a prescription for triamcinolone cream whenever I write a prescription for either Androderm or Testoderm TTS patches.)