There are several different kinds of testosterone therapy available today that can be delivered via patches, gels, injection, and even gum. Choice of therapy depends on the patient's preference for a particular delivery system, the side effects, and the cost, according to an article published online by the Mayo Clinic called, "Testosterone therapy: The answer for aging men?" (www.mayoclinic.com/health/testosterone-therapy/MC00030).
Types of testosterone replacement include:
? Oral (Android, Testred, Virilon)?The recommended dose for adult men is 120 mg to 160 mg, divided into 2 daily doses for 2 to 3 weeks. Oral testosterone therapy is not recommended for long-term treatment due to adverse effects, including an unfavorable cholesterol profile, increased risk of blood clots, and heart and liver problems.
? Injection (Delatestryl, Depo-Testosterone)?Intramuscular testosterone injection has been found to a safe and effective method for providing supplemental testosterone. Injections are given every 2 weeks. The recommended dose for adult men is 25 mg to 50 mg injected 2 or 3 times a week.
? Gel (AndroGel, Testim)?Testosterone gel is applied to a patient's skin on the lower abdomen, upper arm, or shoulder. The recommended starting dose for adult men is 5 g applied once daily.
? Patch (Androderm)?This testosterone patch is applied each night to a patient's back, abdomen, upper arm, or thigh. The site of the application is rotated to maintain 7-day intervals between applications to the same site to reduce skin reactions. The recommend dose for adults and teenagers aged ≥15 years is 2.5 mg to 7.5 mg (1 to 3 patches) applied once daily.
? Gum (Striant)?The gum is a small, putty-like substance that delivers testosterone directly into the bloodstream by adhering to a patient's buccal cavity. Side effects can include gum irritation or pain, bitter taste, or headache; however, clinical research has found that this form of delivery may deliver a steadier dose of testosterone throughout the day compared with other delivery methods. The recommended dose is 1 buccal system applied to the gum twice daily, in the morning and evening, about 12 hours apart. Each delivery system contains 30 mg of testosterone.