Androgel is a gel containing testosterone. It is administered through the skin for treatment of low testosterone levels. It belongs to a class of drugs called androgens. Other testosterone replacement products include Androderm , Axiron , Testim, and Fortesta. Testosterone is the major male sex hormone responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and secondary sex characteristics. These effects include development of the prostate, penis, and scrotum; distribution of facial, pubic, chest and axillary hair; development of a deep voice and alterations in muscle mass and fat distribution. Low production of testosterone leads to erectile dysfunction , reduced sexual desire, fatigue and loss of energy, depression , regression of secondary sexual characteristics, and weakening of bones ( osteoporosis ). Androgel and other testosterone replacement products supplement or replace natural production of testosterone and reverse symptoms of low testosterone levels. The FDA approved Androgel in February 2000.
While researching whether dihydrotestosterone (DHT) alone has an inhibiting effect on pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion, researchers discovered that 3 months of transdermal DHT cream resulted in lowered cholesterol. More specifically, they noted a moderate decrease in plasma cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, and a slight decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels. This suggests that topical DHT gel is relatively safe for androgen replacement therapy as far as atherogenicity is concerned.
Yet nonhormonal methods (beyond vasectomies and condoms) that seek to impede egg fertilization have yet to reach the same level of testing in men. Animal tests have been performed with a couple of products including a compound called H2-gamendazole, which keeps sperm from reaching maturity so they are not fully developed when they are ejaculated—causing men to essentially “shoot blanks.” Another nonhormonal product, called Vasalgel, is a polymer hydrogel that physically blocks sperm in the vas deferens so they cannot reach an egg. Researchers published promising results with Vasalgel in rabbits and monkeys earlier this year but its maker says it has no timeline for human clinical trials. Yet another product, Gendarussa, was created by researchers at Airlangga University in Indonesia. It prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg via a mechanism that remains unclear—and the Indonesian team has not published results from its phase I human trials—so it is hard for outsiders to assess the product’s success or science, Blithe and Colvard say. Gendarussa has, however, received clearance from the Indonesian equivalent of the . Food and Drug Administration to proceed with phase II trials, says Paul Feldblum, a senior epidemiologist in global health research at FHI 360, a human development organization that helped develop some protocols for the trial’s next phase. Gendarussa’s creators did not respond to a request for comment.