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What Are the Side Effects of Taking Testosterone Pills?

Reviewed on 8/26/2020

What Is Testosterone?

Low testosterone can cause a variety of symptoms including fatigue and sexual problems. Testosterone pills can also cause shrinking testicles, enlarged breasts, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, among other symptoms.
Low testosterone in men can cause a variety of symptoms including fatigue and sexual problems. Testosterone pills can treat this, but may cause shrinking testicles, enlarged breasts, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, among other symptoms.

Testosterone is a type of androgen, which is a hormone the body makes naturally. Androgens such as testosterone are often called "male hormones," but both men and women have androgens though men normally have much higher levels of androgens than women.

What Are Testosterone Pills Used For?

In men, testosterone pills are used to treat symptoms of low testosterone (sometimes called low T), such as:

After a year or more of low T, symptoms can include:

  • Loss of muscle
  • Loss of bone strength
  • Loss of facial or body hair
  • Enlarged breast tissue (gynecomastia)

Low testosterone in men can be caused by: 

In women, use of testosterone pills (androgen therapy) is limited. Some uses for testosterone in women may include:

  • Sexual dysfunction

Other uses in women that have not been proven include: 

QUESTION

Testosterone is a chemical found only in men. See Answer

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Testosterone Pills?

Side effects of testosterone pills in men may include:

Side effects of testosterone pills in women may include:

  • Acne
  • Increased male-pattern hair growth (hirsutism)
  • Scalp hair loss
  • Deepened voice
  • Liver problems 
  • Decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentrations (the “good” cholesterol), which could have a negative impact on cardiovascular risk
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Decreased breast size
  • Clitoromegaly (abnormal enlargement of clitoris)
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Possible increased risk of breast cancer (needs more investigation)

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Reviewed on 8/26/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference







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