I'm 74 year old male. My T level is 47.
I have tried both Androderm patch and Androgel.
Both seem to work for me. Which one should I use on a regular basis?
Wow, a level of 47 seems extrodinarily low.
My understanding of the differences between the patch and the gel is this:
The patch sometimes produces reaction to the adheasive used, especially if it is applied over the same spot time and time again. In some cases, the adheasive is not strong enough, and the patch tries to come off over time.
There have been some dosage problems in the past, when the patch has gotten wet, releasing more of the medicine at first, and then having less later on.
By comparison, the gel is applied daily (usually) by the patient, and as a result, it is subject to the patient forgetting, or possibly doubling up and determining what dosage they get each day. Use of the gel frequently leaves one wondering just what effect, and when will the patient see a difference. Also, the gel typically is alcohol based, and so, there is a medicinal smell as it dries. However, some people claim they can smell the testosterone or it's impact when a subject is wearing it. Some claim it is arousing, or attractive. Others are repelled. Not all subject experience this.
Also, the gel can be washed away somewhat easily. And as a result, at least two hours application time must be allowed before swimming, bathing, showering or washing it off. It is thought that the level of the drug is already in the skin by that time, and the washing off will not significantly diminish the effective dosage. (However, common sense suggests that the longer period of time the gel can stay on the skin, the longer it will transfering it's medicine to the skin and hense, a better dosage the longer it is left on the skin.)
One other possible drawback to the gel... patients often misunderstand the purpose of applying the gel to the shoulders, upper arms, belly or torso. Some reason that testosterone will "do more for them" if they apply it directly to the penis or testicles. There are a number of reasons why this is incorrect, but it is best if applied "as directed"... which is in areas easily reached, and typically covered by shirts, undershirts and garments that reduce the possibility of cross-communication of the drug.
There have be confirmed cases where the drug has been acting upon children and spouses, due to close contact with gel-coated subjects. Significant efforts to warn against this have been mandated by the FDA to educate the subjects on how to avoid cross-communication of the drug.
Hope this helps. There are probably other points pro-and-con to be weighed, but these are some main ones. (There may also be some scarcity of the patch, as being not as available as gel recently.)
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