Description of testosterone undecanoate
Testosterone is a naturally produced hormone by the body that is used for androgen replacement therapy in males who cannot produce enough amount of testosterone. It is a drug that belongs to the androgen class of drugs. The diseases that cause the deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone are hypogonadism and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Testosterone undecanoate is a drug that is available for use as injectable solution. It is recommended to administer the injection intramuscularly and not intravenously. Testosterone undecanoate may be obtained only with prescription. Before starting to use testosterone it is important to make the necessary blood tests in order to confirm the low testosterone level. Consult a doctor before starting to use testosterone and get prescription of the right quantity of the drug to your desired therapeutic results. Generally, the dose is prescribed according to the severity of testosterone deficiency.
·Testosterone undecanoate is contraindicated in males less than 18 years old due to unknown safety and efficiency issues.
·Testosterone undecanoate should also not be used in males with carcinoma of the prostate.
·Do not use this product if you have breast cancer.
·Testosterone undecanoate is not meant for use in women, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Before starting to use testosterone undecanoate
Prevent your doctor if you:
·Have breast cancer;
·Have urinary problems due to enlarged prostate;
·Have liver or kidney disorders;
·Have heart diseases such as congestive heart failure;
·Have a suspected or known prostate cancer.
Prevent your doctor about all medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription ones. It is not indicated the concurrent administration of testosterone undecanoate with the following medicines:
·Insulin or other antidiabetic agents;
·Medicines used for decrease of blood clotting.
How to use testosterone undecanoate?
Testosterone undecanoate is a drug available for use as injection. It should be used only intramuscularly and not intravenously. There is no need to titrate the doses. Males should consult a doctor before starting to use the drug in order to get prescription of the right amount of testosterone and improve the symptoms of low testosterone levels. Generally, it is indicated a dosage of 750mg, followed by other 750mg injected after four weeks and other 750mg every 10 weeks thereafter. It is important to follow the cycle in order to obtain the desired results.
The injection has to be administered deeply into the gluteal muscle by following the necessary precaution measures of intramuscular administration. Before injecting the solution, it is important to inspect visually the vial for particulate matter and discoloration. Between consecutive injections, it is necessary to alternate the injection site between left and right buttock. If you are not sure how to inject the solution, go to a hospital and follow the schedule of dosing in order to achieve the desired results.
Precautions with testosterone undecanoate
It is important to assess all risks and benefits from androgen replacement therapy before starting to use the drug.
·There is increased risk of serious pulmonary oil microembolism reactions such as cough, hyperhidrosis, chest pain, syncope, dizziness, dyspnea and throat tightening. Such adverse events may occur right after the administration of the injection intramuscularly. There have also been observed anaphylaxis including life-threatening reactions. Males with suspected hypersensitivity to the drug should not use the drug.
·Males who use testosterone undecanoate are at increased risk of polycythemia. It is important to check hematocrit before starting the hormone replacement therapy.
·Due to potential virilizing effects, testosterone undecanoate should not be used in women.
·Males being treated for hypogonadism are mostly prone to gynecomastia. The androgenic effects of the drug depend on the dosage. Use the dosage prescribed by the physician and do not increase it without his/her approval.
·Prolonged use of testosterone undecanoate also increases the risk of serious hepatic adverse events such as hepatic neoplasms, peliosis hepatis, jaundice and cholestatic hepatitis. It is not recommended to use the drug for a longer period of time than the one indicated. If any signs or symptoms of hepatic dysfunction occur, discontinue with the drug until the cause is evaluated.
Side effects of testosterone undecanoate
Like all androgens, testosterone undecanoate may cause side effects. The side effects patients may experience with testosterone undecanoate replacement therapy are quite similar with adverse effects caused by other testosterone medications. One of the most common side effects of testosterone undecanoate is the suppression of normal production of the hormone. Another common side effect for all androgens is the high level of aromatization into estrogen that results in gynecomastia and high water retention.
Possible side effects of testosterone undecanoate are the following:
·Changes in certain blood tests;
·Enlargement of the prostate, the symptoms of such adverse effect are the following: increased urination at night, urine accident, trouble starting the urine stream and incapacity of passing urine or weak urine flow. Report about these symptoms right away and take all measures of precaution in order to avoid them.
·Decrease in sperm count;
Drug abuse and dependence
Testosterone undecanoate is classified as Schedule III controlled substance in the Controlled Substances Act. The use of the drug without prescription is illegal. Generally, athletes and bodybuilders tend to abuse the drug in order to boost physical performance. It also happens with testosterone undecanoate. The abuse of testosterone may result in adverse physical and psychological effects. It is also not known whether testosterone undecanoate causes dependence or not. Anabolic steroid dependence is characterized by the following:
·Use of the drug more than prescribed/indicated;
·Use of the steroid when its use is interrupted;
·Continued use despite medical and social problems;
·Difficulty in discontinuing the drug despite attempts to do so and others.
·It is recommended to store testosterone undecanoate in a clean and dry place at the room temperature below 30 degrees C.
·Do not keep the medicine in the kitchen or in the bathroom in order to avoid the moisture.
·Try to avoid the direct sunlight and heat.
·Discard safely the expired or no-longer needed medication by following the exact instructions of a physician or pharmacist.