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Androderm Warnings and Precautions

People who have certain types of cancer or problems with their heart, liver, or kidneys may not be able to safely use Androderm. Other precautions include warnings of potential complications this drug may cause, such as liver problems, blood clots, and fluid retention. Also, you should not use these patches if you have certain allergies or have breast or prostate cancer.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Androderm® (testosterone patch) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Androderm

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this patch include the following:
  • Like other testosterone medications, Androderm may increase the risk for an enlarged prostate gland and stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells. Your healthcare provider may evaluate you for prostate cancer before you start Androderm and periodically during treatment.
  • You should know that this medication might cause breast enlargement in men.


  • Androderm can cause virilization (the development of male characteristics) in women. Transfer of testosterone (the active ingredient in Androderm) to a female partner or child is unlikely, because the back of the patch contains a special occlusive film. However, it is important to report the development of male characteristics, such as changes in hair distribution, significant acne, or voice deepening.
  • There have been reports of skin burns in people who wore patches similar to the Androderm patch during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Talk to your healthcare provider before any MRI procedure. You may need to remove your Androderm patch.
  • Skin irritations, including severe skin burns and blisters, have been reported with Androderm use. Placing the patch on bony parts of the body, or areas that may be subject to prolonged pressure during sleeping or sitting, appears to increase the risk for burns.

Mild skin irritation may be treated with hydrocortisone cream. If your skin irritation is more bothersome, your healthcare provide may prescribe triamcinolone 0.1% cream. Ointments should not be used.

  • Drugs similar to Androderm have been reported to cause potentially serious liver problems, including liver cancer. Although Androderm is not known to produce these problems, all potential risks cannot be ruled out.
  • Androderm may increase the number of red blood cells in your blood, which can cause blood clots and increase the risk for other serious problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. Your healthcare provider will do periodic blood tests to monitor your red blood cells.
  • Androderm may cause fluid retention (edema), especially in people with underlying heart, kidney, or liver disease. If you develop edema while using this patch, you may need to stop using Androderm. Your healthcare provider may also need to give you medicine to help remove the extra fluid from your body.
  • Your healthcare provider will need to do periodic blood tests, to check your liver function, cholesterol, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level during treatment. Make sure to keep all of your healthcare appointments.
  • Androderm is a pregnancy Category X medication. This means it is not safe for use during pregnancy (see Androderm and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if Androderm passes through breast milk. If you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the patch (see Androderm and Breastfeeding).
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