T Nation

AndroGel Recall


I thought this was hilarious.
I was just watching CNN and there were over eight cases of adults using their gel, coming into contact with their young children, and their children showing signs of increased test. Specifically, growing pubic hair, increased anger, and irritability.


Did they really have a recall on this? I have seen the instructions on the gel and its specificially says so on there NOT to touch anyone till the gel is dried.

Seems strange, unless the transfer can still happen even after the gel has dried.


I'm not sure if it was actually recalled but the title on the CNN segment was just that.


As many users as there are of that product, what is the chance that in not even 8 cases would the father carelessly leave the tube where a child could get at it, and the child would do what Daddy does?


It is a legitimate concern. If you search medline, you can find discussions of the issue.


there is an episode of House that uses this idea as a plotline.


I remember that episode, but I think it was a OTC kind of gel.

But it was funny to see that kid hit on Cameron.


True. Or people not rubbing it in properly. People misuse drugs all the time, so your theory wouldn't surprise me, either.

Pretty funny (I would have said scary before I became a nihilist) that the product is being recalled as if it's defective.


This begs the question: what kind of contact were these people having with their children on a daily basis that the androgel was being passed on to the children? I could understand maybe passing it on to infants or toddlers if fathers weren't washing their hands after application, but otherwise, WTF?


Aren't most recalls not due to the drug being dangerous, but people being stupid?


An insane plotline.

Levels of testosterone thousands of times normal, cysts in the brain, cysts appearing all over the place, numerous organ failures, the child about to die, all from inadvertent contact with topical testosterone.

Sorry, none of that would happen with even injected testosterone.

The highlight (or lowlight) of the episode was House wanting to surgically remove the girl's pituitary on account of his theory she was dying from producing too much estrogen, from the pituitary producing too much LH (as if too much LH could produce deadly amounts of estrogen.) Of course he didn't need a blood test to confirm she was high on either hormone -- no time for that! Remove the pituitary or she'll die!


for reals. he's house, he has no time for formalities like blood tests or second opinions. he's pure instinct.


Would a one time contact with a child even do anything problematic, or would the contact need to re-occur for problems to arise?


I'm not familiar with the Androgel formulation -- I know the generality of what it is comprised of, but do not know what happens on the surface of the skin when it is applied and dries, other than that they claim 10% delivery -- and so cannot say much.

But can say that even if say 1/10th of the applied amount (seems unlikely) wound up going to another person, and somehow wound up on them applied just as effectively as directly applying the gel (seems unlikely) then they'd be getting a 1/10th dose.

Back in the 50s and 60s anabolic steroids actually were given clinically to children in a non-trivial number of cases. Oral synthetics, true. But the fact was they could tolerate quite a bit, every day, without outcomes that disturbed the doctors at all. Even recently there was a study on use of oxandrolone for use in young girls with Turner's syndrome. It is not the case that children are, as in the House episode, hypersenstive to androgen. I don't think they should be given it, certainly not if there is no really compelling medical reason and there rarely if ever is, but they are not hypersensitive.

So even if the Androgel delivered 10% of a dose, which seems a probably-implausibly-high estimate, occasionally getting that seems unlikely to me to yield these outcomes.

Besides, why only 8 cases if that was the mechanism?

And 1% might be a more rational guess on amount of delivery.

The mechanism of left-the-drug-in-reach child-imitates-parent, on the other hand, seems to me (not to repeat myself) quite likely to generate say 8 cases what with the large number of Androgel users and not every parent being ultracareful and not every young child having enough sense to not do such a thing.


I didn't see the news program, but CNN.com has a report on it. It didn't mention anything about a recall though...