Why is this medication prescribed?
Testosterone buccal is prescribed for individuals who have low testosterone levels, a condition known as hypogonadism. This medication is typically recommended when testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is necessary to address symptoms related to low testosterone, such as decreased libido, fatigue, muscle weakness, and mood changes.
The buccal form of testosterone is designed to be absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth, specifically the inner cheek area (buccal mucosa). It comes in the form of a small tablet that is placed between the cheek and gum, where it gradually dissolves and releases testosterone into the bloodstream.
How should this medicine be used?
Testosterone buccal should be used exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional. It’s important to follow the dosing instructions provided by the prescribing doctor or pharmacist. Here are general guidelines for using testosterone buccal:
- Wash Hands: Before handling the medication, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to minimize the risk of contamination.
- Prepare the Buccal Area: Use a clean, dry finger to gently push the tablet out of the blister pack. Then, place the tablet on your fingertip and apply it to the inside of your cheek, between your upper gum and cheek. Rotate the application site with each dose to prevent irritation.
- Allow Tablet to Dissolve: Keep the tablet in place and allow it to dissolve completely. Avoid chewing, sucking, or swallowing the tablet, as it is designed to be absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth.
- Avoid Eating and Drinking: While the tablet is dissolving, avoid eating or drinking anything, as this may interfere with absorption.
- Follow Dosing Schedule: Take the medication according to the prescribed dosing schedule. Typically, testosterone buccal is taken two times a day, in the morning and evening, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may periodically monitor your testosterone levels and adjust your dosage as needed to achieve optimal results.
- Storage: Store the medication in its original packaging at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
- Missed Dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
It’s important to communicate with your healthcare provider if you experience any unexpected side effects or have concerns about using testosterone buccal. They can provide guidance and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
Other uses for this medicine
Some potential off-label uses of testosterone buccal include:
- Treatment of delayed puberty in adolescent boys with hypogonadism.
- Management of certain types of anemia, such as aplastic anemia or anemia associated with chronic kidney disease.
- Supportive therapy for transgender individuals undergoing masculinizing hormone therapy.
What special precautions should I follow?
Special precautions should be taken when using testosterone buccal. Here are some key points to consider:
- Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have, especially if you have a history of prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, sleep apnea, or other medical conditions.
- Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as testosterone buccal may interact with certain drugs, including blood thinners, corticosteroids, insulin, and certain antifungal medications.
- Prostate Health Monitoring: Regularly monitor your prostate health while using testosterone buccal, as it may increase the risk of developing prostate issues, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer. Your healthcare provider may recommend periodic prostate exams and PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood tests.
- Cardiovascular Health: Testosterone therapy may increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke, especially in older men with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Discuss any cardiovascular risk factors with your healthcare provider before starting testosterone buccal therapy.
- Blood Tests: Your healthcare provider will likely monitor your testosterone levels and other blood parameters periodically to ensure the therapy is effective and safe.
- Adverse Effects: Be aware of potential side effects of testosterone buccal, including but not limited to acne, hair loss, mood changes, fluid retention, and changes in cholesterol levels. Report any unusual symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Testosterone buccal is not intended for use in women, especially pregnant or breastfeeding women, as it may cause masculinization of the fetus or infant. Keep the medication out of reach of children.
Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and recommendations regarding the use of testosterone buccal and discuss any concerns or questions you may have about its use or potential side effects.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Regarding dietary instructions, there are generally no specific dietary restrictions associated with testosterone buccal. However, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet can support overall health and may complement testosterone therapy.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you forget to take a dose of testosterone buccal, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you’re unsure about what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Testosterone buccal, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Some common side effects of testosterone buccal may include:
- Irritation at Application Site: This can include redness, soreness, or ulceration where the tablet is placed in the mouth.
- Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches as a side effect of testosterone buccal.
- Dry Mouth: The medication may cause a feeling of dryness in the mouth.
- Taste Changes: Some people may notice a change in taste while the tablet is dissolving in the mouth.
- Gum or Tooth Problems: Testosterone buccal may lead to gum or tooth-related issues in some cases.
- Increased Red Blood Cell Count: Testosterone can stimulate the production of red blood cells, which may increase the risk of developing a condition called polycythemia. This can cause symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and fatigue.
- Fluid Retention: Some individuals may experience fluid retention, leading to swelling in the ankles or feet.
- Acne: Testosterone can stimulate oil production in the skin, leading to an increase in acne in some individuals.
- Mood Changes: Changes in mood, including irritability or mood swings, can occur with testosterone therapy.
- Sleep Apnea: Testosterone therapy may worsen sleep apnea or increase the risk of developing it, particularly in individuals who already have underlying sleep-related breathing disorders.
- Decreased Testicular Size: Prolonged testosterone therapy can lead to shrinkage of the testicles due to decreased production of natural testosterone by the body.
- Increased Risk of Blood Clots: There may be a slight increase in the risk of developing blood clots, particularly in individuals with pre-existing risk factors.
It’s essential to discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider before starting testosterone buccal therapy. They can help you weigh the benefits and risks of treatment and address any concerns you may have. Additionally, if you experience any severe or persistent side effects while using testosterone buccal, seek medical attention promptly.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Storage and disposal of testosterone buccal:
- Storage: Keep testosterone buccal tablets in their original blister pack until ready to use. Store them at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Avoid storing them in the bathroom, where moisture levels are high. Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
- Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired testosterone buccal tablets according to your healthcare provider’s instructions or local guidelines. Do not flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so. Instead, consult with your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility on how to properly dispose of medications.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of emergency or overdose of testosterone buccal, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Blurred vision
- Rapid heartbeat
It’s important to note that testosterone buccal overdose is rare due to the controlled release of the hormone through the buccal mucosa. However, if you suspect an overdose or experience any severe symptoms after using testosterone buccal, do not hesitate to seek medical help.
What other information should I know?
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully regarding dosing and administration.
- Attend all scheduled appointments for monitoring testosterone levels and overall health.
- Do not share testosterone buccal tablets with others, even if they have similar symptoms, as it may not be safe or appropriate for them.
- Inform any healthcare provider treating you that you are using testosterone buccal, especially if you undergo surgery or receive emergency medical treatment.
- Keep a list of all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking and share it with your healthcare provider to prevent potential drug interactions.
If you have any questions or concerns about testosterone buccal or its use, do not hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.