Topical testosterone creams and gels are used to treat low testosterone levels in men. They are also less commonly used off-label for women experiencing low sex drive during menopause, notes MayoClinic.com. Two main testosterone creams exist, as of 2010; they are only available by prescription from a medical doctor. Other options marketed online or in health stores are available; however, the safety in use is questionable, since the products are not U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved.
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Androgel contains a synthetic version of the hormone testosterone. This cream is a daily use treatment for men who do not produce enough natural testosterone. Androgel is only available by prescription for adult males. According to Drugs.com, topical dosage strength depends on individual needs, however, adults typically apply 5 grams of cream to intact skin once a day. The dosage is increased as needed but not to exceed the maximum dose of 10 grams. Androgel is not recommended for use by females and can cause birth defects if pregnant women come in contact with the medicine. Androgel may cause side effects such as difficulty urinating, swelling of the extremities or blood in urine.
Testim is another brand of testosterone cream available by prescription. This cream is marketed by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals and is reportedly beneficial in improving muscle mass, sexual desire and sexual performance in men. Testim is applied directly to the skin and the starting dose is 5 grams, or one tube, used once daily. The dose is increased to 10 grams as needed based on physician recommendation. Side effects include inability to pass urine, lowered sperm count and sleep apnea.
Homeopathic Testosterone Cream
Homeopathic testosterone cream is available without a prescription. NutraceuticsRX manufactures a 4-oz. dose and reports the 5 percent testosterone cream for men as helpful for increasing sexual energy and desire, decreasing fat and increasing lean muscle mass. This product is available online and contains natural ingredients such as saw palmetto, deionized water and natural omega oils. Homeopathic testosterone cream is not FDA approved and caution with use is suggested. First Testosterone is another cream available online. However, the prescription version is marketed as Androgel, which may be a safer version than the online option.