The side effects of AndroGel are largely identical to every testosterone medication, including injectable testosterone. However, while side effects of AndroGel are possible they are highly unlikely in most men. This transdermal compound is generally used to treat low testosterone, and most men can tolerate therapeutic level doses of testosterone without the first problem. In fact, most men can tolerate high levels of testosterone brought on by supraphysiological doses if they take the right precautions. Granted, supraphysiological doses will increase the risk, but the threshold of toleration remains high. With this in mind, let’s look at the possible side effects of AndroGel, what we can do about them and ensure our successful supplementation.
The estrogenic side effects of AndroGel include gynecomastia and excess water retention. This can also lead to high blood pressure if the water retention becomes severe. While possible, most men should not have an issue if they take the necessary precaution, which will entail the use of an anti-estrogen. The estrogenic side effects of AndroGel are due to the testosterone hormone’s interaction with the aromatase enzyme, which causes the testosterone hormone to convert from testosterone to estrogen. As estrogen levels rise, this can lead to the aforementioned effects. However, by supplementing with an anti-estrogen, we can combat the estrogenic side effects of AndroGel. Aromatase Inhibitors (AI’s) will be the most effective as they inhibit the aromatase process thereby reducing serum estrogen levels. Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s) can also be an option as they bind to the estrogen receptor thereby preventing the estrogen hormone from binding. However, SERM’s are not always enough and most will find an AI is the way to go.
The androgenic side effects of AndroGel are highly dependent on genetic predispositions and by no means fall into the category of guaranteed. The androgenic side effects of AndroGel include acne, hair loss and body hair growth. Such effects are due to the testosterone hormone being metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which reduces the testosterone hormone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, genetic predispositions tell the final story. Only those who are predisposed to male pattern baldness will risk hair loss. You were going to lose your hair anyway but the use of AndroGel could speed it up. If you are not predisposed you will not be at risk. When it comes to acne and body hair growth, again dispositions will tell the tale. The androgenic side effects of AndroGel can be combated by the use of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like Finasteride. Such inhibitors will significantly reduce the androgenicity of the testosterone hormone; however, they also weaken it, carry serious side effects of their own and should not be used unless absolutely necessary. No man on replacement level doses should need an inhibitor, which will be almost all men who use this particular testosterone compound. The androgenic side effects of AndroGel can also include virilization in women. Virilization symptoms may include body hair growth, a deepening of the vocal chords and clitoral enlargement. Women can suffer from low testosterone and in many cases need some type of testosterone therapy; however, AndroGel is not a recommended form. Women should not use this anabolic steroid.
The cardiovascular side effects of AndroGel can include high blood pressure and cholesterol issues. High blood pressure is, however, very unlikely so as long as water retention is controlled. If this is controlled, baring no underlying issue, most men should not have a problem. Then we have cholesterol, and while exogenous testosterone can negatively affect cholesterol it can also be maintained at an optimal range with proper steps. Important notes – data has shown that when used in therapeutic level doses, exogenous testosterone should not have a statistical affect on cholesterol. In cases of performance doses, data has shown moderate suppression of HDL cholesterol but not of a concerning nature. Then we have exogenous testosterone when used in conjunction with an AI. Data has shown when exogenous testosterone is used with an AI HDL cholesterol may be suppressed by 20-25% with therapeutic or supraphysiological doses. In order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and avoid cardiovascular side effects of AndroGel, there are specific steps and precautions you can take:
The side effects of AndroGel will include the suppression of natural testosterone production in all men who supplement with the compound. For the low testosterone patient, the primary users of this steroid, this suppression is of no concern as they are no longer producing enough testosterone to begin with. The use of this compound will be providing all the testosterone they need. For the performance athlete, suppression is again of no concern as the AndroGel will provide all the testosterone they need. For such an athlete, assuming there was no prior low level condition natural production will begin again on its own once use is discontinued. While natural production will begin on its own, most men are encouraged to implement a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plan in order to facilitate a stronger and more efficient recovery. However, this does not apply to the low testosterone patient. Low testosterone patients will not at any time discontinue the use of exogenous testosterone or they will once again be in a low testosterone state.