- Is an Allergic Reaction a Possible Side Effect of Testosterone Therapy?
- Besides Potential Allergic Reactions, What Are Some of the Side Effects of Testosterone?
- What Are Some of the Less Common Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy?
- Can You Take Too Much Testosterone?
- Is Testosterone Safe?
- What Should I Do If I Have an Allergic Reaction to Testosterone?
- What Do the Studies Say About Allergies and Testosterone?
People can be allergic to almost anything, and that includes testosterone. However, allergic reactions to testosterone are rare and usually restricted to inflammation, redness, or itchiness around the injections site.
Is an Allergic Reaction a Possible Side Effect of Testosterone Therapy?
Potential allergic reactions can be a possible side effect of testosterone injections. Some people have reported an allergic reaction to testosterone. For example, testosterone undecanoate may cause a serious allergic reaction or breathing issues following the injection. Symptoms can include breathing problems, dizziness, and skin rashes.
Besides Potential Allergic Reactions, What Are Some of the Side Effects of Testosterone?
Testosterone therapy is generally regarded as safe; however, like any prescription drug or medical procedure, testosterone has some potential side effects. In addition to the possibility of an allergic reaction to testosterone, some of the reported possible, though rare, side effects of testosterone injections include:
- Increase risk of blood clots
- Enlarged breasts
- Increased risk of sleep apnea
- Hair growth or premature puberty in girls or women who come into contact with gels or patches.
What Are Some of the Less Common Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy?
Some of the rare or uncommon symptoms of testosterone that have been reported by men and women include:
- Chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder
- Swelling in your ankles or feet, rapid weight gain
- Sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood
- Pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes in skin color
- Increased or ongoing erection of the penis
- Impotence, ejaculation problems, decreased amounts of semen, decrease in testicle size
- Painful or difficult urination
- Shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
- Stomach pain, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle pain or weakness, joint pain, confusion, and feeling tired or restless
Can You Take Too Much Testosterone?
You cannot technically “overdose” on testosterone, but misuse of testosterone can cause some very dangerous side effects, such as enlarged breasts, small testicles, infertility, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, liver disease, bone growth problems, addiction, and mental effects such as aggression and violence.
If you have used too much testosterone, stopping the medicine has been known to cause some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, tiredness, irritability, loss of appetite, sleep problems, or decreased libido.
However, almost all of these problems occur when people are using testosterone illegally, without a proper prescription or a doctor’s care.
When using testosterone as it is prescribed, it is a safe and effective way to treat low testosterone.
Most testosterone replacement patients have a very positive experience and run the course of their series of weekly testosterone injections with little or no side effects.
One way that our clinic tries to minimize any possible side effects of testosterone injections is by customizing your testosterone therapy treatment to your unique needs and lifestyle.
Is Testosterone Safe?
Testosterone is an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of low testosterone. Once the FDA approves a drug, that means it has determined that its use as indicated is “generally recognized as safe.” However, this is also why any FDA-approved drug, such as testosterone injections, must legally come with a list claiming any and all possible side effects.
The inserts you find in any medication and the long disclaimers in any drug advertisement listing those side effects are mainly there to protect the pharmaceutical company from liability if you have any side effects and should not be taken as any kind of indication that you will experience an allergic reaction to testosterone or any of its “potential” side effects.
What Should I Do If I Have an Allergic Reaction to Testosterone?
Serious allergic reactions to testosterone injections are rare. However, if you are having an anaphylactic reaction (trouble breathing), seek immediate medical attention. Also, get emergency medical help if you have any other signs of a severe allergic reaction to testosterone, such as hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of a blood clot in the lung after using testosterone.
Allergic reactions to testosterone requiring medical attention are rare. Most allergic reactions to testosterone involve mild inflammation, itching, or redness around the injection site. Such issues can usually be alleviated by switching your brand or dosage of testosterone or to another type of testosterone replacement therapy.
The best way to reduce the risk of allergic reactions or any unwanted side effects of testosterone therapy is to work with experienced doctors. You want to get your testosterone therapy from doctors who specialize in hormone replacement therapies for men and women.
What Do the Studies Say About Allergies and Testosterone?
Since allergic reactions to testosterone are rare and not all that serious if and when they do occur, they have not been extensively studied medically. There is research to indicate that reactions to “sex hormones” in general are possible, and that would include testosterone.
A 2017 paper published by the World Allergy Organization said, “Sex hormone allergy as a clinical syndrome has been known for almost a century. Due to the diversity of clinical presentation regarding symptoms and disease patterns, the optimal patient care represents an enormous interdisciplinary challenge. Frequently, hypersensitivity reactions affect more than one sex hormone…”
But, again, severe allergic reaction to testosterone is such a rare occurrence, and easily treatable or avoidable, testosterone allergies have not warranted extensive clinical study. In fact, there have been research studies to suggest that testosterone therapy could be a treatment for other allergies, such as seasonal allergies (hay fever) and asthma causing allergic reactions.
A 2017 case study found that testosterone given to a 50-year-old male for low testosterone had the ancillary effect of relieving his seasonal hay fever symptoms. The authors of the paper speculated that “testosterone therapy in this patient contributed to the resolution of his seasonal allergies due to its impact on the immune system through the suppression of natural killer cell proliferation and the stimulation of anti-inflammatory cytokine production, regulatory T cell differentiation, basal corticosterone levels, and possibly the regulatory impact of vitamin D on the immune system.”
Now that you know more about allergies and the other possible side effects of testosterone injections, why not contact us today and learn more about the many benefits of testosterone replacement therapy.
- Kathleen Twomey, Ibrahim Ismail-Sayed, Rebecca Bascom
- Nayahmka J. McGriff, Pharm.D., Gyorgy Csako, MD., Mahmoud Kabbani, MD., Long Diep, Pharm.D., George P. Chrousos, MD., and Frank Pucino, Pharm.D.
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