Why is this medication prescribed?
Testosterone nasal gel, also known by the brand name Natesto, is prescribed for men who have low testosterone levels, a condition known as hypogonadism. Low testosterone levels can lead to symptoms such as decreased energy, reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, depressed mood, and decreased muscle mass and bone density. Testosterone nasal gel is used to supplement testosterone levels in the body, helping to alleviate these symptoms.
How should this medicine be used?
Here’s how testosterone nasal gel should be used:
- Administration: Testosterone nasal gel is administered intranasally, meaning it is applied directly into the nostrils.
- Dosage: The typical dosage is one pump (5.5 mg of testosterone) into each nostril three times a day, for a total of 33 mg per day. However, your healthcare provider may adjust the dosage based on your individual needs and testosterone levels.
- Application: Before applying the gel, blow your nose gently to clear the nostrils. Then, using the provided pump, administer one spray into each nostril. Ensure that the nozzle is inserted into the nostril and tilted slightly outward to avoid spraying directly onto the nasal septum.
- Avoiding Contamination: To prevent contamination, do not allow the nozzle of the pump to touch any surfaces, including your hands or nostrils. If contact occurs, clean the nozzle thoroughly before using it again.
- Rotation: Rotate the application site between nostrils with each dose to prevent irritation.
- Avoiding Nasal Inhalation: After applying the gel, avoid inhaling deeply through your nose for a short period to minimize the risk of inhaling the medication into the lungs.
- Wash Hands: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after applying the gel to prevent accidental transfer to others.
- Consistency: Try to administer the doses at the same times each day to maintain consistent blood levels of testosterone.
- Follow Doctor’s Instructions: Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the dosage and frequency of administration. Do not alter the dosage or frequency without consulting your doctor.
It’s essential to use testosterone nasal gel exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider to achieve the desired therapeutic effects and minimize the risk of side effects. If you have any questions or concerns about using testosterone nasal gel, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
Other uses for this medicine
While testosterone nasal gel is primarily used to treat low testosterone levels in men, there may be off-label uses for this medication. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before using testosterone nasal gel for any purpose other than what it’s prescribed for. Off-label use without medical supervision can be unsafe and ineffective.
What special precautions should I follow?
As for special precautions to follow when using testosterone nasal gel:
- Use as Directed: Only use testosterone nasal gel as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or frequency of administration.
- Medical Monitoring: Your healthcare provider will likely monitor your testosterone levels periodically to ensure that the treatment is effective and that your hormone levels remain within a safe range.
- Potential Side Effects: Be aware of potential side effects associated with testosterone therapy, such as acne, fluid retention, mood changes, and changes in libido. Report any concerning symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.
- Cardiovascular Risk: Testosterone therapy has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, particularly in older men and those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. Discuss your cardiovascular risk factors with your healthcare provider before starting testosterone therapy.
- Prostate Health: Testosterone therapy may exacerbate prostate enlargement or increase the risk of prostate cancer in some men. Regular prostate examinations and monitoring are typically recommended during testosterone therapy.
- Avoiding Transfer: Take precautions to prevent the transfer of testosterone gel to others, especially women and children, as exposure to testosterone can have masculinizing effects and may cause adverse reactions.
Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and recommendations regarding the use of testosterone nasal gel to ensure safe and effective treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare provider.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
There are typically no special dietary instructions specific to testosterone nasal gel. However, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is essential for overall health and well-being. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats 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 nasal gel, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Testosterone nasal gel, like any medication, can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects associated with testosterone nasal gel (Natesto) may include:
- Nasal Discomfort: This can include irritation, itching, or discomfort in the nasal passages where the gel is applied.
- Nosebleeds: Some individuals may experience occasional nosebleeds as a result of using testosterone nasal gel.
- Headache: Headaches are a common side effect reported by some users of testosterone nasal gel.
- Nasal Congestion or Runny Nose: Some individuals may experience nasal congestion or a runny nose as a result of using the gel.
- Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: In some cases, using testosterone nasal gel may increase the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.
- Increased Red Blood Cell Count: Testosterone therapy can stimulate the production of red blood cells, which may increase the risk of polycythemia (an elevated red blood cell count). This can potentially increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.
- Acne or Skin Reactions: Some individuals may experience acne or skin reactions, such as itching or rash, at the application site.
- Mood Changes: Changes in mood, including irritability, mood swings, or aggression, have been reported as possible side effects of testosterone therapy.
- Changes in Libido: Testosterone therapy can affect libido (sex drive) in some individuals, either increasing or decreasing it.
- Fluid Retention: Some individuals may experience fluid retention, leading to swelling in the ankles, feet, or hands.
- Gynecomastia: Testosterone therapy can cause breast tissue enlargement (gynecomastia) in some men.
- Sleep Apnea: Testosterone therapy may exacerbate or worsen sleep apnea in individuals with this condition.
- Prostate Effects: There is a theoretical risk that testosterone therapy could worsen benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or increase the risk of prostate cancer, although studies have not conclusively demonstrated a causal relationship.
It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience side effects not listed here. Additionally, the severity and frequency of side effects can vary among individuals. If you experience any concerning or persistent side effects while using testosterone nasal gel, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Storage and disposal of testosterone nasal gel:
- Storage: Store testosterone nasal gel at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep the container tightly closed when not in use.
- Keep Out of Reach of Children: Store testosterone nasal gel in a location that is out of reach of children and pets, as accidental ingestion can be harmful.
- Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired testosterone nasal gel properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush it down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so.
In case of emergency/overdose
- Seek Medical Help: In case of accidental ingestion or overdose of testosterone nasal gel, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center right away. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by medical professionals.
- Symptom Management: If you or someone else experiences symptoms of overdose, such as nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, or other adverse effects, follow medical advice for symptom management and treatment.
What other information should I know?
- Follow Prescribing Instructions: Always use testosterone nasal gel as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or frequency of administration unless instructed to do so.
- Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may monitor your testosterone levels periodically to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and adjust the dosage if necessary.
- Inform Healthcare Providers: Make sure to inform all healthcare providers involved in your care, including specialists and dentists, about your use of testosterone nasal gel. This includes disclosing any other medications, supplements, or treatments you are currently using.
- Avoid Transfer: Take precautions to prevent the transfer of testosterone gel to others, especially women and children, as exposure to testosterone can have masculinizing effects and may cause adverse reactions.
- Follow-Up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to treatment and address any concerns or side effects.
- Report Side Effects: If you experience any side effects or adverse reactions while using testosterone nasal gel, report them to your healthcare provider promptly for evaluation and guidance.
By following these guidelines and staying informed about the proper storage, disposal, and actions to take in case of emergency or overdose, you can ensure the safe and effective use of testosterone nasal gel as prescribed by your healthcare provider.