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Androgel and Gynecomastia
Jun 13, 2008

Hello Dr. Henry,

My HIV dr. placed me on Androgel about 5 years ago because my testosterone levels were very low and I had no energy. While the Androgel has been a lifesafer, it has resulted in gynecomastia. At least, I assume that is the culprit. I've just had surgery to remove the excess tissue and I'm wondering if I should stop using the Androgel. I certainly don't want the tissue to grow back. Perhaps I could cut down to a couple of gel packs a week? What do you think?

Thanks! Alex

Response from Dr. Henry

To my knowledge there is little published information pertinent to your situation so most of the advice is empiric (educated guess work). We need more data about the long term benefits and problems associated with hormone replacement in men including the reversibility when dosing is decreased or stopped. When stopping long term use of Androgel most often the low levels of testosterone return (underlying problem/situation not reversed) so same symptoms/status also return (such as low energy, decreased libido). Common sense would suggest that decreasing dose of supplemental testosterone will likely decrease the degree of gynecomastia in some patients but I have only observed that in several patients so don't how predictable that outcome would be. KH

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