FDA Warns of AndroGel and Testim Testosterone Gel Problems for Children

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Following reports of serious problems involving children who came in contact with the prescription testosterone gel products AndroGel or Testim, the FDA is requiring that the manufacturers add a “black box” warning highlighting the risk of secondary exposure.

AndroGel and Testim are approved by the FDA for use by men with very low testosterone levels or who have stopped producing the hormone altogether. Both topical gels are approved for daily use on the upper arms or shoulders, and AndroGel is also approved for use on the abdomen.

According to the FDA, 1.4 million prescriptions were filled for AndroGel in 2007, and 370,000 prescriptions filled for Testim the same year.

Although the testosterone gels are not approved for use among females, approximately 25,000 of the prescriptions were off-label for women with diminished sex drive to increase their libido.

The potential for Testim and AndroGel side effects caused by secondary exposure are known risks associated with the medications, and the labels previously contained instructions that users should wash their hands after applying the testosterone gel and cover any treated area of skin with clothing.

The FDA has continued to receive reports of Testim and AndroGel causing problems for children who came into secondary contact with the testosterone gel. The adverse effects could cause abnormal genital growth, premature growth of pubic hair, accelerated bone development, increased libido and violent behavior.

Although the side effects often regress after exposure ceases, the FDA noted that in a few cases genital size did not return to normal and bone aging remained.

As of December 1, 2008, the FDA has received at least 8 reports of testosterone gel side effects among children between nine months and five years old, and additional reports since then are still under review.

“These drugs are approved for an important medical need, but can have serious, unintended side effects if not used properly,” said the FDA’s Janet Woodcock, M.D. “We must ensure that the adults using them are well-informed about the precautions needed to protect children from secondary exposure.”

The FDA is requiring that a prominently displayed “black box” warning be placed on the labels for both testosterone gels, and a Medication Guide is being developed to provide patients with risk information and instructions about the steps that should be taken to avoid unintended exposure side effects of AndroGel and Testim.

Users are urged to wash their hands with soap and water after every application, cover the application site with clothing until after the gel has dried and wash the application site thoroughly with soap and water before any skin-to-skin contact with other people.

The FDA also indicated that similar unapproved products that may be sold over-the-counter or on the internet, can result in the same side effects and should be avoided.

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  1. Joyce Reply

    My husband aged 66 had a testicle removed for non-hodgkins lymphoma. His testosterone level is very, very low. He had a PSA of 2.75 and now it is 6. We are very frightened. Doctor says to have another PSA in 2 weeks.

  2. Brad Reply

    PSA should be tested every year. If you see a change that is .5 or higher in two years, you should have a biopsy done no matter the score. A PSA closer to 4 is very common in older men. Prostate cancer can be seen in men in their early 40s, tends to be more aggressive in the younger population. It is common that older men will develop this type of cancer. Men who were in the Vietnam War have a higher risk of prostate cancer too. If you were and developed prostate cancer, check with the V.A. to see about coverage since it is usually covered. It is considered a known issue. Make sure if they decide to remove the prostate that they do it using a Di Vinci robot to do the surgery. Yearly physicals are very important and roughly 60% men do NOT get them done regularly. I wouldn’t blame the TRT right away, but it could be the cause. I’ve been on Androgel for two years now. I feel much better. Libido is back, depression is gone and my quality of life is much better. I still have my worries with the side effects. I am on two pumps a day, but may try to bring it down over time and see if I still feel the same. Good luck to those out there and I hope you are healthy and safe!

  3. Bob Reply

    Took androgel for lowT for about 1 yr. stopped when PSA started to spike PSA finally hit 6 couple yrs later. Diagnosed with prostate cancer went they tomo radiation therapy 43 treatments.
    Now a major florida law firm has agreed to investigate at no cost to me, we will see…

  4. Jorge Reply

    I used testim in 2007, a year later I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. My prostate was removed, my sexual life destroyed, even a year later I had a penis implant, it is not the same. My penis shrunk a lot and I have some form of ginecomastia also.

  5. steven h Reply

    Angro Gel did not work well for me, because it irritated my skin, and I did not see the increases in testosterone I was expecting. I decided to try something herbal, and went with the Dr Max Powers Testpsterone Booster, since its over the counter (I bought online), and this worked WAY better than andro gel for me. .. .no more gross smelling lotion…my girlfriend hated androgel

  6. Jean Reply

    My husband has been on Andro gel for about 8 years. We just got married 1 1/2 years ago. (not to get into personal specifics) but we were not intimate until we got married. in less than a month I gained 20 pounds. My feet ached, my toes burned like they were sitting over hot coals and my ankles swelled. My calves burned and my thighs ached. I started growing rapid chin hairs. Once he stopped using the Andro gel, the symptoms started going away. We still had not put two and two together until he went back on it and all the symptoms came back. I had my testosterone levels check and I was at 126. 2 months later after my husband going off the gel, I had my testosterone checked again and I was at 42. Just to let all the women out there know, they can have all the same side affects as men. Just FYI, we did wait until it was dried and he did wash his hands after all applications. I still have problems with my ankles, feet and toes swelling. I use to weight train and I have lost every bit of muscle I had. I don’t recommend Andro Gel to anyone. It’s not safe.

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