Testosterone Replacement Treatment Options
More on transdermal testosterone products: Types of Transdermal Testosterone Products Currently Available
Another option for testosterone replacement therapy is a testosterone patch such as Testoderm or Androderm. For many men two 5-mg patches will bring them into the effective mid-range (500 ng/dL and above) of the testosterone blood test. The most frequent complaint with the patch is skin irritation at the application site. Some men do not like the potential of an unwanted “disclosure” since the patch can be visible to anyone who may see you without clothes. You also run the risk of having the patch fall off after sweating or bathing.
Androderm comes in two doses: A 2.5 mg/patch and a 5.0 mg/patch. The actual amount of testosterone in the 2.5 mg patch is really 12.2 mg, while in the 5.0 mg patch it is 24.3 mg. Similar to what happens with the gel, much of the testosterone in the patch will not be absorbed into your system. So the aim of the 2.5 mg patch is to get 2.5 mg of testosterone successfully into the blood stream each day. It is possible to absorb slightly more or slightly less than the 2.5 mg patch’s ideal dosage (this applies to the 5.0 mg patch as well). Most men need not one but two patches of 5 mg each to attain total testosterone blood levels above 500 ng/dL.
Androderm patches are usually applied on the back, abdomen, thighs, or upper arms. Because the active area of the patch is covered, you can enjoy some worry-free skin contact with your partner. As with any form of testosterone, your blood level will need to be checked by your doctor to readjust your dosage. Since dosages vary between 2.5 and 10 mg daily, this may require one or more patches.
It seems from the data that Androderm does not raise DHT or estrogen levels too much, so this may be an advantage for this option.
PERSONAL COMMENT: I have used Androderm and I have to say that I was not very fond of this product. I felt kind of exposed when I was naked, I didn’t want to have to talk about testosterone replacement therapy just when things were getting interesting. Some countries and public clinics provide only Androderm as the only option for TRT; it is a good option I would not discourage anyone from using it.
Testoderm was first introduced as a patch that you would have to apply to the scrotum (testicular sack) after shaving it. For obvious reasons, it was not very practical and discreet (imagine explaining to any sexual partners what that patch is doing there and that you are not injured as it may seem!). It also showed large increases in DHT since the scrotum tissue seems to facilitate the conversion of testosterone into DHT. For this reason a new non-scrotal patch was developed. Testoderm TTS patches are available in two doses: 4.0 and 6.0 mg/patch. As with Androderm, the actual amount of testosterone in these patches is greater than the listed dose because much of the testosterone will not be absorbed.
Testoderm TTS patches are usually applied on the back, abdomen, thighs, or upper arms. Since the patch is covered ( like in the case of Androderm) you don’t have to worry about transferring the testosterone through skin contact with a partner. Dosages will vary between 4.0 and 12 mg daily requiring one or more patches. Again, after a starting dose, your testosterone level will need to be re-checked by your doctor a month after to determine the right dose for you.
Anecdotally Testoderm TTS seems to increase DHT levels more than most other options in the market, although a study showed constant testosterone/DHT ratios, meaning that both values increased in the same proportion.
For information on testosterone patient assistance programs (Androgel, Testim, Fortesta, Axiron, testosterone cypionate): Click here
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