T Nation

The Androgel Trap


If you are diagnosed with low T, your doctor may recommend Androgel. Before agreeing to this, you must get his word to junk the gel and go to shots if you're unhappy with the results. Like a fool, I did not. Also, no other doctor will overule the first, so you're stuck.

Of course, you could drop the gel, go to a totally new doc and try for shots. But now, since your T shut down from the gel, you will feel like absolute shit, worse even than before! Even if you slop on the gel outside the doc's office after the test, you'll still feel like absolute hell for 5 or 6 days.

Seriously, if anyone reads this, think about it before you agree. Words from someone who suffered!!!


Thanks. I'm scheduled to go to an endo in December to get my T levels checked.
I'm not sure what , if any, therapy he will recommend, but I will be cautious if he recommends Androgel.


Shit, that sucks headhunter. I'll keep this in mind if I ever have low-T. Thanks for the heads-up.


I am new here,41 year old lifter,been lifting on and off for a few years.
About a month and a half ago was diagnosed with low T,pcp started me on 5mg androgel,5mg.and sent me to a Uroligist,more blood tests,low LH. and low FSH,now i have to see an Endocronoligist. Any way i went off androgel and a week and a half later started to feel like total shit,hot flashes,bad stomach pain and more.
I went back on androgel and a few days later i am feeling much better.I'll see what the Endo. says in a few weeks.



I couldn't agree more with Headhunter on this. I had to go to a different doctor. Most primary care physicians have very little training on this issue, and I think believe most guys complaining about low T are really angling for steroids. So, if you can't get a change from your regular doctor, you really should go to an Endo (forget the urologist for this issue). Look, Androgel actually works for most guys. For me, as one who sweats a lot and has very sensitive skin, the gel was a complete non-starter.

You should try it first because if it works for you, its a lot more pleasant than the shots. But again, if your primary care physician isn't willing to talk about all the alternatives, then you need to move on. Just bear in mind that most insurers will NOT pick up the cost of the injectables.

While we're on the subject, you might as well cut the same overall deal with your doctor if he wants you to start with a patch or with Striant.


The gel isn't worthless, but works at glacier-like speed for me. I do feel somewhat better and am able to keep up with the kids (my own and my high school students). It is worth a try, just get the doc's word.

Good advice about the other therapies, too!!


The gel is working for me,but i think that the 7.5mg might work a little better.I see the Endo. at the end of dec. I think that he will probably try to treat my pituitary to make it produce the hormones to make my body produce its own T.The Uroligist said it would be better to try to treat the root of the problem instead of just replacing the lost T. So until I see the Endo. I will keep using the Androgel so I don't feel like crap.


Hey just thought i would write in.Ihave been on 5gm a day since 11/9 did not notice anything at first but then again my num 213 was realy low.Just starting to feel it in past couple of days.Im gonna give it 3 months then i will see about some depo.Any thoughts from anyone out there


Give the gel a couple of months; for me,it worked VERY slowly raising my T. Many guys experience better results than I did, so give it a fair trial.


I tried it a while ago and liked the product. It's not like doing a gram a week cycle for sure but for t replacement it's pretty good. IT took 6 weeks to really start to feel right on androgel.


I use the Patch that yields 5 mg . .just a nuisance rotating patch locations if you're squatting as you don't want it coming loose.
Great info on all the options at:

I too find it helps with anxiety levels (am using it to come off clonazepam- like time released Ativan) and night sweats . .

What a drag at 40 !
Ah well- as long as we look virile right guys ? LOL


My biggest concern with this is that by taking an artificial form of hormone, you risk further shutting down your natural hormone production capability.

I know 'T' declines with age. But it doesn't go to zero. If someone has unusually low 'T', I have to ask what has been done to find out WHY - there's quite possibly an imbalance somewhere - dietary or otherwise - that may be aggravating this. It might actually be easy to fix, too (and yes I accept, it might also not be easy to find/fix).

It dismays me to see people being prescribed such potent supplements to "fix a problem" as a first-off attempt at addressing a problem.

I know each case is different, and that at times there are genuine reasons why alternative solutions won't work (having AIDS for example - I'm all for 'T' for those suffering from that terrible wasting disease).

No criticism of anyone intended by this: my issue is with the medical institute and related stakeholders whom we rely on for our advice on our well-being. I'm also not having a dig at those who want 'T' for building bigger bodies: you know what you're doing and why, have-at it. My concern is for those who have been told their 'T' is low (when was it measured? How many measurements, over what period? How low is low? etc.)

Personally, I would strongly encourage folks to investigate alternatives to hormones or other potent drugs as a first-step. Only when reasonable attempts have been made to correct a problem using more natural means, would I consider using the more powerful synthetics.

Once you start taking these supplements, you may find, like nicotine, they are a drug your body gets so used to that you need it. Not a good situation however you want to look at it.

$0.02 worth.



I personally do not understand ANY Androgel bashing considering that it works in 95 percent of men who use it. As stated ad infinitum and nauseum, Androgel initially took my testosterone levels from 250 to 300 ng/dL to 1,400 ng/dL by taking 10 grams of it per day.

I am now using 7.5 grams of gel per day and my levels consistently stay at 800 to 1,100 ng/dL. I have no clue why anyone would opt for injections considering they are pain in the ass, literally and figuratively, cause fluctuations in blood levels of estrogen and testosterone levels, and thereofore cause a constant flux of benefits and detriments. All the while, Androgel causes no such problems if taken at the right dosage consistently.

And for all the talk about pituitary "shut-down", you can bet that injections do this, considering that your levels reach temporarily supraphysiological levels, therefore leading to a suppression of FSH and LH and atrophy of the testicles. Then there are the folks who say "hey, I can then ask my doc for Clomid, HCG, and anti-aromatases!"

HELLO PEOPLE: this is not similar IFBB pro-bodybuilding where we tackle hypogonadism with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals! Listen to Cy Wilson's T-Nation radio clip and understand that you should use as little drugs as possible to remedy hypogonadism. Once you add in more drugs, you screw up other metabolic pathways, leading to other problems!


And just to add on, the human testicles only produce about 7.5 to 10 mg of testosterone per day, the equivalent of what a dose of 7.5 to 10 g of gel a day provides.


While I do agree with some of this post, mainly in the sense that similar to me, you would like to see society be preventive rather than reactive in regards to health problems, I do disagree with some of it as well. Hypogonadism is a serious endocrine DISEASE, disorder, malady, or whatever termyou prefer.

I am sorry folks, and although I am not a urologist/andrologist, endocrinologist, or primary care physician, I do not believe that abnormally low levels of FSH, LH, and testosterone are caused by what appears to be trivial matters: low fat diet, you got upset cause you got an F on a paper, you are dieting down for a show, etc, etc.

I personally have IDIOPATHIC secondary hypogonadism. I did not take anabolic steroids, nor did I suffer from any accident, tumor, or disease that would damage my pituitary gland. However, I did test consistently low for FSH and LH and therefore low testosterone levels when I started to have testosterone problems.

Believe me, I suffered quite a bit for a year before finding a qualified andrologist-urologist: clinical depression, complete erectile dysfunction, anxiety, sore joints, and tight muscles. After taking Androgel for 4 years, I am the most alert, creative, fit, and enthusiastic I have ever been in my whole life.

This could be to other matters I got control of or enhanced, but being relieved from the symptoms of hypogonadism has done its share in enhancing the quality of my life. So, in conclusion, I believe in being preventive and proactive in regards to staving off disease, but I do believe that when someone is suffering from a disease, we need to be corrective and reactive.


Give the stuff a chance -- I know HH had bad results, but it took me from the low 300s to 892 with a 40.5 free in just over 6 weeks. No needles, no side effects. I feel great, and chase mamma all over the house.


Androgel has boosted my T-levels from a low of 198 to consistently in the 700-800 range on 5 mg per day.

However, it has had little to no affect on my lost libido. Has anyone else experienced this?

I have been on androgel for about 9 months now.


Just to add to my last post. Somebody mentioned testim, as a replacement for androgel. It allegedly raises free testosterone levels higher (which I believe contributes to higher libido), than androgel.

Has anybody had any positive results with Testim? Thx.



Three things from recent posts. First, I don't think any of us needs lectures on preventative steps. No one here is talking about T for bodybuilding purposes, and generally we're talking about going to real doctors, not anti-aging clinics. The doses and levels discussed here are in physiologic ranges, and steriod abusers are using doses 5 and 10 times higher than discussed here.
Second, I saw a post about treating the pituitary in order to stimulate T production. I went through that, and its valid, but its really problematic. Instead of T, you take leutinizing hormone, which in turn stimulates your body to produce T. But you won't believe the ups and downs you may experience. Its an indirect treatment so you have to dose the LH so that it stimulates other organs to produce T, and its a very inexact science. I eventually went back to taking Testosterone.


Watch DHT inhibition if you're taking finasteride to protect your hair/ prostate or even saw palmetto in large/ frequent enough dosing . .
DHT gives us the "lift" and part of the big hormonal picture. Often if we view it as possibly bad ( prostate enlargement paradigm), we take too many measures to suppress.

Worth googling :wink: