Testosterone undecanoate is available only through a restricted program called the Aveed(R) REMS Program due to the risk of serious pulmonary oil microembolism (POME) reactions (urge to cough, dyspnea, throat tightening, chest pain, dizziness, syncope) and potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis. These reactions have occurred during or immediately after administration and may occur at any time during the course of therapy, including after the first dose. Monitor patients in a healthcare setting for 30 minutes after each injection .
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Testone CIK
- Testro AQ
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Endocrine-Metabolic Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Androgen
Uses For testosterone
Testosterone injection is used for the treatment of men whose bodies do not make enough natural testosterone, a condition called hypogonadism. Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for the growth and development of the male sex organs and maintenance of secondary sex characteristics.
Testosterone injection is also used in women with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic).
Testosterone injection is also used to stimulate delayed puberty in male teenagers.
Testosterone is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor. The Aveed® brand is only available under a restricted distribution program called the Aveed® REMS program.
Before Using testosterone
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For testosterone, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to testosterone or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Depo®-Testosterone in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Aveed® in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Although Delatestryl® may be used for short periods of time in certain male teenagers to treat delayed puberty, X-ray exams of the hands and wrists of male teenagers should be made every 6 months while receiving testosterone.
Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of testosterone injection have not been performed in the geriatric population. However, elderly patients are more likely to have heart or prostate problems (including enlarged prostate), which may require caution in patients receiving testosterone.
|All Trimesters||X||Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.|
Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using testosterone.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving testosterone, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using testosterone with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Paclitaxel Protein-Bound
Using testosterone with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of testosterone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to benzyl benzoate or refined castor oil or
- Breast cancer (males) or
- Prostate cancer, known or suspected—Aveed® and Delatestryl® should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Blood clotting problems (eg, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism) or
- Coronary artery disease or
- Diabetes or
- Drug abuse or dependence, or history of or
- Enlarged prostate or
- Heart attack, or history of or
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium in the blood) or
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol or fats in the blood) or
- Liver problems or
- Problems in passing urine or
- Sleep apnea (breathing problem)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Blood disorder (eg, polycythemia)—May increase risk for thromboembolic diseases.
- Heart disease (eg, congestive heart failure) or
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. Testosterone may cause edema (fluid retention) in patients with these conditions.
- Heart disease, severe or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease, severe—Depo®-Testosterone should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper Use of testosterone
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you testosterone in the hospital or a clinic. Testosterone is given as a shot into your muscle (usually in the buttocks). Testosterone needs to be given on a fixed schedule. Make sure you keep all of your appointments.
Testosterone comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Precautions While Using testosterone
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that testosterone is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Testosterone should not be used by women who are pregnant or might become pregnant. Testosterone may cause birth defects if a pregnant woman comes in contact with the medicine. Make sure your doctor knows if your sexual partner is pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using testosterone, tell your doctor right away.
Testosterone may cause a serious lung problem called pulmonary oil microembolism (POME). Tell your doctor right away if you have a cough or urge to cough, dizziness, fainting, trouble breathing, sweating, tightening of your throat, or chest pain.
Testosterone may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive the medicine.
Testosterone may increase the risk of prostate cancer, especially in older men. Make sure your doctor knows if you have prostate cancer, or if anyone in your family has prostate cancer.
Testosterone may cause blood clotting problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg, shortness of breath, sharp pains in the chest, or trouble breathing.
Testosterone may increase your risk of having heart or blood vessel problems, including a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, faintness, headache, nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, trouble seeing or speaking, or unusual sweating.
Testosterone may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
In some cases, testosterone may decrease the amount of sperm men make and affect their ability to have children. Talk with your doctor before you use testosterone if you plan to have children.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Testosterone may cause swelling of the breasts (gynecomastia) and breast pain in some patients. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.
Depo®-Testosterone contains benzyl alcohol which may cause serious reactions to newborn, premature, or low-birthweight infants. Check with your doctor if you are concerned.
Testosterone may cause changes in the level of cholesterol and fats in your blood. If this condition occurs, your doctor may give you a medicine to adjust the cholesterol and fats. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements. .
Testosterone Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- arm, back, or jaw pain
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding from the gums or nose
- blood in the urine or stools
- chest pain or discomfort
- cough or urge to cough
- decrease in amount of urine
- difficulty with breathing
- difficulty with swallowing
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- frequent urination
- inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
- noisy, rattling breathing
- pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- ringing in the ears
- severe, sudden headache
- skin rash, hives, itching
- slurred speech
- sudden loss of coordination
- sudden, severe weakness or numbness in the arm or leg
- swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
- tightening of your throat
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vision changes
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Acne or pimples
- Attack, assault, or force
- changes in mood
- not able to ejaculate semen
- pain or redness at the injection site
- trouble sleeping
- weight gain
Incidence not known
- Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- hearing loss
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- increased interest in sexual intercourse
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- more erections than usual or erections that last a long time
- swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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