T Nation

How Come -- Androgel Use Question


So I've read a bunch of posts from guys who use Androgel differently. On the package it says that you should only apply to your shoulders, upper arms, and abdomin... Why is that?

How come they specifically say on the package not to apply to the penis or testacles?

How come I have read that guys do this anyway?!

Thanks in advance...

  • Hakrjak


1) MANY men on here refuse to follow the most basic directions as is, and fancy themselves as being quasi-pharamacologists, -scientists, and -doctors.

2) How about calling up Abott Laboratories and getting the scoop from the horse's mouth.

3) Many people do dumb shit.

By the way, are you going to start being compliant with medication?


They also say to apply it in those areas because they are less hairy areas of the body for many men.

Also, there has been research into different application sites of Testim and Androgel. My doctor instructed me to rub gel into the flanks as it has been shown to elicit the best absorption.

However, my days with gel are coming to an end because I'm getting Testopel implants on Friday - a big respite after nine years of rubbing on gel.


Thanks for the reply. I've been following my doctors advice and the medication instructions with the Androgel, applying it only to my abs, shoulders and upper arms. I was just curious about this because you seem to hear so much about it. I'm due for blood tests in a couple of weeks to see if Androgel is sustaining my T level, and from there we might change me back to shots or god knows what if it's not high enough.

I've been on Androgel about 8 days now and feel better than being on nothing at all, but nowhere close to great. My suspiscion is that it's not absorbing enough, or I'm not on a high enough dosage, etc... But we'll find that all out :wink:

I agree with you that there are lots of guys here trying to be their own doctors. It sucks that the system has pushed them to that point because they don't feel like they are getting results from the guys in white coats :wink: I'm not really one of those guys though... I've been working with my docs trying to help them when I can, but never doing anything they don't advise.


  • Hakrjak


YOU are advising the doctor?

Shouldn't this be the other way around?

I also don't understand what is so goddamn hard about being prescribed a medication and just taking!

How much Androgel are you on?

What do you expect to happen in EIGHT days?

No disrespect to you, but judging from your posts, you seem to be ALL OVER THE PLACE!


How many docs do you have?!


look Brick - even you admitted to seeing some pretty crappy doctors and not getting help until you found your current doctor.

when a person has a doctor who is not well versed in HRT and said person has already tried and been unsuccessful in locating a truly good HRT doctor and is limited due to resources, insurance, family, etc. then they really only have three choices:

1) do exactly what the doctor says even though it never helps or seems to worsen the situation (which is how your advice comes across). and finally go on anti-depressants (per the doctor's orders) and just limp along through life feeling horrible until you finally die,

2) ignore the doctor, give up, crawl back home, get into a fetal position and wait to die because you feel so bad there is no point in going on, or

3) you can treat your doctor as a knowledgable person who is fallible and realize that your doctor is not GOD and does not know everything. so you start treating him or her like a paid consultant (which is what they are), and you engage them in conversations about YOUR health. You offer alternatives and push back on the doctor when they are asking you do to something you don't agree with unless they can convince you why they are offering that option (something besides dessicated thyroid meds are boggtywoggety because some drug rep told me so - or I don't test for Estradiol because only women have estrogen).

am I missing any options or missing something here?

and for the record, yes I advise all of the doctors I have seen. This is MY body, and I have put a lot of time and energy into looking for solutions. Do I know everything? Not by a long long long shot, but does my doctor know EVERYTHING? NO, he is human. He makes mistakes, he gets tired after a long day, he also jumps to conclusions at times or makes assumptions (as we all do). He does know more than me, and I respect that and value that.

does this mean that I control my treatment plan 100% of the time? NO. I listen to the doctor's OPINION (since most realize that HRT is more art then science at this point in history) and I value his insight and opinions, but I want him to explain WHY he is offering those specific options as opposed to others. I want to make an informed decision.

just like a car mechanic who tells you to add some fuel additive into the mix to clean out your engine, but you have had bad experiences with that or have mechanic friends who say it is worthless.... do you simply 'obey' the mechanic and get the additive because he told you to? I mean he is afterall the professional who has more knowledge and experience than you? OR do you question him, request alternatives, offer alternatives of your own based on your knowledge and understanding, and arrived at an informed decision/agreement?


Dude, this is a very good posts, as are all the rest of yours. I have no 'net beef with you.

I understand that I'm very lucky to have a top notch doc. Even my own mother is grateful for him because she witnessed me having a near nervous breakdown at 22 years old because of hypogonadism. I follow his orders without question at this point because I've had nothing but success with him, and he treats symptoms as well as lab values.

Very few times have there been any adjustments made in my medication. I used Androgel for a very long time, and recently switched to Testim because Androgel was drying out my skin this past winter and it wasn't absorbing the way it usually does. I was getting lower readings than usual - lower than in NINE years. So he switched me to Testim, which has a better emolient (pentadecalactone), and everything is running liek it usually does. (Getting Testopel Friday, as written above.) So when I say to him "Doctor, I think something's wrong... " or "I'm not feeling like myself..." he listens and takes it seriously.

MANY doctors aren't like that - and I'm fully aware! There are numbskulls in every walk of life.

On the other hand, I see and meet men who are completely negligent, careless, and non-compliant with their medication. Or as with nutrition and exercise on this board and in real life, they engage in more mental masturbation and thinking than they do complying and DOING!

Maybe I am a bit thick-headed at times. I actually am considered by many in real life (especially in my profession, which is in healthcare) to be "exceedingly patient" (exact words by many). However, I honestly believe that once the right doctor is reached, this shit is not much of a friggin' project.

Here's how my whole thing worked, step by step:
1) Prescribed Androgel for 5 grams.
2) Take Androgel.
3) Don't feel like myself. Tell doc, "Doc, I still don't exactly feel like myself."
4) Doc says, "Alright, we can go to two packs, which is the highest dose; but keep in mind it might take some time to feel good again. I'm gonna write you a script for some Viagra in the meantime too; you might need some help with your erections in the meantime."
5) Lab values are higher. I ignore them though and go about life for the next three months waiting to feel like myself again.
6) Life returns to normal after several months.


I have 2 docs right now. I have a GP that I started with, and now I have an Endo who is coordinating most of my TRT care.

Speaking to what Purchance said above --- I saw my GP for another unrelated matter today and our convo drifted to TRT when he asked how I was doing... he said ,"Hey man, I can't imagine many people in town are going to be on the cutting edge of TRT... You may need to find someone in the big city if you aren't satisfied with your Endo either... I only know about TRT because I had a few guys come to me with low levels, and I started reading -- but I am by no means an expert... I would be completely talking out of my ass if I tried to advise you much further...." -- At least he was being honest! :smiley: Wish my Endo was as candid, but she still seems to be acting like she knows what she's doing... haha

Regarding my treatment -- I'm on 5MG of Androgel per day, and it's day 8. It's easy to just takes the meds and hope for the best, but at what point do you try something else? I'm guessing at about the 1 month mark, when I have my next appt scheduled.


  • Hakrjak


When do you get a blood test?

If your level is still low or low normal, you can go to 7.5 or 10 grams.

How long were you untreated while walking around hypogonadal? If you were untreated long (as I was) it can take several months to feel good again.

What state do you live in?

I'd also be scared to go to a doc who spoke like that working on me. So yeah, you might have to take her advice and go to someone else.


Brick - the feeling is mutual. I just get concerned at times that your posts could cause the lurkers who read these threads to get the idea stuck in their heads that doctors are gods and shouldn't be questioned, that we should take a backseat in our treatment and just blindly follow our doctor's advice.

on a side note, have you run any recent tests for your own Thyroid and/or Cortisol levels? with your success with gels I would think that those systems should be pretty healthy, but was just curious. We know that high TSH seems to be linked to poor absorption.

hakrjak - even with bad doctors you can still request certain blood tests and back up your request with the medical reason why you think that test could confirm (or rule out) a possible cause of your symptoms. Then once you are armed with that knowledge you can determine if you need to find a good doctor to treat you. This way you are at least moving forward (getting more information) instead of just sitting there twiddling your thumbs.


This seems reasonable,

I know i just started on androgel yesterday, 5g dosage, and requested a new battery of tests for testosterone free/total and E2 levels in one month.

From what i have read androgel takes about 2-4 weeks to reach the optimal level for a given dosage, so after 8 days its too early to judge. I intend to retest, and if my levels are where me and my Endo want them (700-100 ft with ideal E2 then ill stay as is, if not then androgel dosage can change or the doc is open to switching to shots)

Sorry bit of tangent, my point is, give the product time to work, applying as directed and then move intelligently from there.

Good luck


This guy on here is a jerk. He is coming back with these erogant anwsers. Of course you should always second guess your Dr. Read, read, read and learn as much as you can. Dr's are not god even though most of them think they are. Dr's do not listen so if they don't listen to you or take that time, go to another Dr.
If you do research you will find that the skin on your chest and arms has the approx obsorbtion rate of 10-20% and the skin on your testicles has an rate more around 70%.

Do some research instead of just knocking these guys when they talk and being so cocky.
No one should just sit there like a dumbass and do exactly what their Dr says. Some Dr's are wacks and don't care what is going on in your body. Second guess them. Do your own research because it's your body. The Dr will know most eveything but sometimes there are wrong. Always edjucate yourself.

I guess there is no spell check on this thing?


spellcheck works on the full reply (not fast reply) I think.

Brick can come across that way, but he is simply trying to help. I think he is just trying to balance out the guys who promote self treating without any blood tests and without any doctor assistance. There are extremes out there on both sides that should be avoided.

no one should inject or take any medication without PARTNERING with a knowledgable doctor.
no one should just blindly accept what a doctor says either. Doctors are human and make mistakes and have limited knowledge just like the rest of us.


OK Point taken.

Anyone interested should you tube testosterone and you can watch all sorts of interesting lectures from Dr's around the world that specialize in TRT and get their points of view. Here is one and he seems to be very well known.

I am on Androgel and synthroid. I had all of the symptoms that these other guys post. Depression, very low energy, no labido. Diagnosed years ago with depression and went through Paxil, Prozac and all that. That was 20 years ago and now have realized or found out that my test is very low. Have been on 5 for around 2 years and started to feel bad again. Dr just moved me to 7.5 and will re test me. Androgel is so freaking expensive. I have been considering injection only for that reason. I am experienced and edjucated in the half life of cypionate and I am very sensative to light acne and gyno when the dose goes much above 75 per week. I would never do these 1 or 2 shots a month method. Who wants to feel terrible 1/2 there life and good for the other 1/2. I like consistancy.

I am considering applying androgel to my testes but will consult with my Dr first. The Dr speaking in the video talks about the higher obsortion rate but he is speaking about cream and not gel. I am not sure if that makes a difference. I think that is what he uses in Australia?

Anyway, I appologize for my observation but I was feeling like he needed an opinion of someone elses view of what he was saying.

Sorry Brick if your intentions where good.


paxtec -
1st I would recommend reading all of the threads stuck at the top of this forum.
2nd I would recommend you read stopthethyroidmadness.com/things-we-have-learned and stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work/ to see if T4 only medication is really the best for you and if it is truly helping you or not.
3rd your experience is pretty common regarding absorption problems (hence the stickied threads).
4th you really need a lot of tests to determine the root cause of your problem. resolving cortisol/thyroid issues can help some avoid HRT by raising testosterone levels naturally.


(1) Spread Androgel on plate, in the evening, allowing alky to evaporate.

(2) Using finger, smear Androgel off plate and onto scrotum.

(3) Feel better, for first time in years.

Sidenote: I basically hate all TRT/HRT doctors passionately. Most should be in prison just from their ignorance. For ex, once had a TRT doc ask me if Androgel was a patch or cream --- a TRT guy!! Another one said HCG was all phony because the guy who 'invented' it worked at Mass General Hospital.

You CANNOT make these people and their antics up.