Androgel is a topical testosterone supplement used to treat symptoms of low testosterone levels in men. The restoration of normal testosterone levels will likely increase muscle growth that had been inhibited by low testosterone levels. However, it is likely not safe or effective to use Androgel to increase testosterone and stimulate muscle growth in healthy men with normal levels of testosterone. Androgel is normally available only with a doctor's prescription and should be taken under his direction.
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Androgel contains testosterone that has been suspended in a gel to be absorbed through the skin. Androgel is given as an alternative to injectable or oral testosterone supplements to treat symptoms of low testosterone production in men. These symptoms include decreased sexual ability or desire, fatigue, depression, brittle bones and loss of secondary sexual characteristics, such as muscle mass and deep voice.
Increased muscle mass is a male secondary sex characteristic brought about by high testosterone levels. According to the Cleveland Clinic, low testosterone can cause a decrease in muscle mass. Correcting testosterone deficiency will restore muscle mass to normal levels. Testosterone and related steroid hormones are used to increase muscle mass in athletes, but severe side effects are likely. According to Drugs.com, taking excessive testosterone can lead to urinary and sexual dysfunction, breast tissue enlargement, acne, increased hair growth, salt retention, liver and kidney disease, bleeding problems, immune system dysfunction and neurological problems, such as headache, depression, anxiety and other psychological abnormalities.
Low Testosterone Causes
Low testosterone can be caused by injury or disease of the testicles, because they are involved in testosterone production. Chemotherapy, radiation and severe diseases can also lead to pathologically low testosterone levels. Stress and substance abuse can also lead to low testosterone. Taking steroids other other chemical that affect levels of testosterone or estrogen in the body can also disrupt the natural balance of your hormones.
Dangers to Women and Children
Androgen is applied to the skin on the shoulders, underarms, chest or abdomen. If women or children are exposed to the gel, it can cause severe health effects. Androgel may rub off on your sheets, clothes and furniture. Contact your doctor if women in your life experience acne or unexpected hair growth or children experience enlarged genitals, pubic hair growth, increased erections, unusual sexual desire or aggressiveness.