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For those who struggle to take pills and don’t want the hassle of injecting testosterone, testosterone gels like Axiron seem like an appealing choice.
This FDA approved prescription medication is designed to be conveniently applied through the skin, so you can get the testosterone you need without the extra fuss.
According to advertisements, Axiron is the “only underarm testosterone treatment.” Many men are intrigued by this unique approach, as many testosterone gels must be applied to the inner thigh or shoulders in order to be effective.
However, just because a testosterone prescription comes doctor recommended doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.
Let’s examine Axiron closely to see if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
What Is Axiron?
Axiron is transdermal supplement containing synthetic testosterone. Much like other androgen gels, it is administered through the skin. However, Axiron is unique in that it can be applied to the armpit for optimum absorption.
Once applied, Axiron’s other ingredients (ethanol and isopropyl alcohol) evaporate and leave testosterone on your skin. Over time, the testosterone is absorbed and is released into your blood stream.
Clinical trials show 7 out of 10 men who responded to Axiron treatment experienced normal testosterone levels within 2 weeks of use. 
Safety Concerns and Side Effects
Axiron comes highly recommended and has a great deal of potential for improving testosterone levels. If your doctor recommends Axiron, it’s because he or she feels the benefits outweigh the risks.
However, Axiron users should be aware that this prescription medication comes with a long list of negative side effects ranging from mild to severe.
Common Side Effects
Typical side effects include but are not limited to the following:
• Skin irritation or redness at the application site
• Increased red blood cell count
• Increased blood level of prostate specific antigen (used to screen prostate cancer)
• More frequent or longer lasting erections than normal
Serious Side Effects
If you experience any of the following effects, stop using Axiron and seek medical help immediately:
• Signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate can get worse while using Axiron. These include increased nighttime urination, difficulty urinating, strong urges to urinate immediately, etc.
• Although your doctor should check for prostate problems before you start, prostate cancer risk may increase.
• Large Axiron doses may lower sperm count
• Swelling of ankles, feet, or body
• Enlarged or painful breasts
• Difficulty breathing during sleep (sleep apnea)
• Blood clots in the legs (pain, swelling or redness in legs)
Accidental Exposure Warning
Axiron can be transferred from your body to others if they come into contact with the Axiron application area. Signs of puberty (such as pubic hair) have happened in young children accidentally exposed to testosterone through skin-to-skin contact with testosterone gel users.
Women and children should avoid contact with unwashed or unclothed Axiron areas. If accidentally exposed, women and children should immediately wash well with soap and water.
Should you see any signs of premature puberty or changes in body hair and acne in women and children, stop using Axiron and consult your doctor immediately.
Tips to Reduce Accidental Testosterone Exposure
• Apply Axiron only as directed (only to armpits)
• Wash hands with soap and water immediately after application
• Cover the application area after Axiron has dried and keep the area covered until you have washed the area well.
• If you expect another person to have direct skin-to-skin contact with your armpits, wash well with soap and water.
Insulin, corticosteroids, and medicines that decrease blood clotting interact negatively with testosterone supplements such as Axiron. Inform your doctor of any medicines you taking, both prescription and non-prescription, as well as vitamins and herbal supplements.
Axiron is flammable until dry. Allow application to dry before smoking or going near an open flame.
When to Contact the FDA
Prescription drug users are encouraged report negative side effects to the FDA. You can do this by calling 1-800-FDA-1088 or by going to FDA.gov/medwatch.
Is Axiron Legal?
Like other testosterone replacement therapies, Axiron is a controlled substance (CIII) because it contains testosterone. It is legal when obtained via doctor’s prescription but it is illegal to purchase or distribute Axiron in any other circumstance.
Never give Axiron to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you. Selling or giving away Axiron not only puts others’ health and safety at risk but is against the law.
How to Use Axiron
Axiron is easy to use but should only be applied as directed by a medical professional. Your doctor will determine your dosage and give additional application instructions. If you are uncertain about any of the steps in the application process, ask your doctor to clarify before using Axiron.
• 30 mg – applied 1 (once daily). Swipe once on one underarm only (right or left).
• 60 mg – applied 2 (once daily). Swipe once on both underarms.
• 90 mg – applied 3 (once daily). Swipe once on both underarms. Wait for first application to dry. Then, swipe again once on either the right or the left underarm.
• 120 mg – applied 4 (once daily). Swipe once on both underarms. Wait for first application to dry. Then, swipe again on both underarms.
One pump is the equivalent to one application.
Before Using Axiron for the First Time
When opening a new Axiron bottle, you will need to prime the pump. This should only be done the first time you use it.
Gently press the pump 3 times into a sink or toilet. Do not use any of the medication that comes out during priming. Immediately wash away testosterone in the sink (or flush the toilet) to avoid accidental exposure to others.
Axiron works best when applied at about the same time each morning. Most recommend applying Axiron after showing or bathing, so the underarms are clean.
Make sure the skin is not broken or irritated before applying the gel.
You do not have to shave your underarms in order to apply Axiron. However, the skin should be clean, dry, and unbroken.
If you use deodorant or antiperspirant, apply at least 2 minutes before Axiron application. This avoids accidental testosterone transfer onto the deodorant.
If you accidentally put antiperspirant or deodorant on after applying Axiron, safely throw away the deodorant in your household trash.
Hold the nozzle over the applicator cup and gently press the pump once. The applicator cup will not be full, though it is designed to hold only 1 pump.
Avoid splashing Axiron in the eyes. In case of contact with the eyes, flush thoroughly with water. Should irritation persist, seek medication advice immediately.
Do Not apply Axiron to any other body part. This includes the stomach, penis, scrotum, shoulders, or upper arms.
Immediately wash hands with soap and water to avoid accidental testosterone exposure to others.
Rinse the applicator cup with room-temperature running water. Pat cup dry with tissue and throw away the tissue.
Turn the nozzle so that it points away from the label. Place applicator cup and cap back on the bottle. Store it safely out of the reach of children.
Child-resistant packaging is available from the manufacturers. Simply call 1-877-9-Axiron (1-877-929-4766) for more information.
Also, wait at least 2 hours after applying Axiron before showering, bathing, or swimming. Getting the area wet before this will remove most of the applied medication.
Axiron Instructions While Traveling
If traveling by air, you may be questioned about Axiron from security personnel.
Do not pack Axiron in your checked baggage as it may be subject to temperature extremes and powerful x-rays during the handling and inspection process. There is not data available on the effect the x-rays may have on the testosterone stability.
Carry the medication in your carry-on baggage with the original pharmacy label attached to the bottle or box.
Check with your airline or travel agent prior to traveling for any additional restrictions.
Who Can Use Axiron?
Axiron is designed specifically for men who have low or no testosterone.
It should not be used by women (nursing, pregnant, or otherwise) or by anyone under 18 years old.
You should not use Axiron if you have or might have prostate cancer.
Consult your doctor if you any of the following problems before using Axiron:
• Urinary problems due to an enlarged prostate
• Heart problems
• Kidney or liver problems
• Difficulty breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea)
• Any other medical conditions
Where to Buy Axiron
Axiron is available by prescription only. If you wish to purchase it, you must go through your doctor and pharmacist first.
30 Day Trial Voucher
If your doctor thinks Axiron is right for you, you’re welcome to try a 30 day free trial. Simply fill out a form provided at Axiron.com.
If after 30 days you and your doctor decide Axiron is not the best choice, the manufacturers will pay for one month’s supply of the testosterone treatment of your choice as prescribed by your doctor.
Voucher is only valid at participating pharmacies.
Saving Money with Axiron Prescriptions
An Axiron co-pay card is available to eligible patients. Patients with this card will pay no more than $25 per month. The card is valid for 11 refills. All you have to do is present the activated card along with complete and signed prescription to your pharmacy. To learn more about the Axiron co-pay card, call 1-877-9-AXIRON.
Patients are not eligible if prescription is paid in part or full by any government funded program such as Medicare, Medicare part D, Medicaid, Medigap, etc.
Who Makes Axiron?
Axiron is made and distributed by Eli Lilly & Company, a company based in Indianapolis, IN.
According to the Better Business Bureau, Eli Lilly & Company has been accredited with the BBB since 1924 (though it was originally founded in 1876) and makes a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints.
In the last 3 years, only 5 complaints have been filed with the company, all of which received prompt and adequate response. Considering the company makes over $20 billion in revenue each year, just 5 complaints with the BBB is an amazing track record.
Should You Ask Your Doctor About Axiron?
Axiron is FDA-approved, comes highly recommended, and is made by some of the most popular manufacturers in the industry. Consequently, it would be easy to assume Axiron is a great way to improve testosterone levels without relying on injections or pills.
However, Axiron might not work for everyone, and some users experience severe and long-lasting negative side effects. Not everyone can acquire a prescription, so it might not be the best choice to suit your individual needs.
To find out if Axiron is right for you, ask your doctor.
 “Newly published study showed Axiron (testosterone) topical solution restored testosterone levels to normal range in hypogonadal men.” Drugs.com. June 28, 2011. Available from: http://www.drugs.com/clinical_trials/newly-published-study-showed-axiron-testosterone-topical-solution-restored-testosterone-levels-12056.html