Counseling Male Patients on Testosterone Replacement Therapy With Efficacy and Safety in Mind

Andrea G. Douglas, PharmD Candidate 2016; Joylaina Speaks, PharmD Candidate 2016; Jennifer Elliott, PharmD; Deirdre B. Fanning, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2015;40(8):25-30. 

In This Article

Role of the Pharmacist

There have been recent updates on testosterone product labeling and additional warnings concerning increased adverse outcomes. Pharmacists play a key role in managing TRT in a safe and effective manner, as they are in an accessible position within communities to counsel patients and answer questions. With proper counseling of patients on TRT dosage forms and side effects and reminders to have their test results monitored appropriately, TRT can be used to improve hypogonadism and optimally reach the goal of normal testosterone levels.

Pharmacists should emphasize the following counseling points when discussing TRT with a patient:

  • Keep away from women and children

  • Wash hands before and after application (gels, solutions)

  • Cover application area with a T-shirt (gels, solutions)

  • Have testosterone, hematocrit (HCT), and PSA levels checked annually once stable

  • Contact your physician immediately if you have severe reactions to the testosterone.

Pharmacists should always be aware of any other medications the patient is currently taking and possible drug interactions. Drug interactions noted in the products' package inserts include insulin, anticoagulants, and corticosteroids. Pharmacists are the last healthcare professional the patient may see before taking his TRT. Therefore, pharmacists play a vital role in the improvement of their patients' hypogonadism and the safety and efficacy of their therapy.