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Тestosterone undecanoate (TU) is the newest medication to treat the symptoms of hypogonadism in men. However, new does not necessarily mean better. TU is available as an injection given by a doctor or as oral capsules taken twice a day at home. The review below looks at testosterone undecanoate risks and side effects, detailing the differences between the oral and injectable forms of the medication.
Injectable testosterone undecanoate goes by the brand name AVEED. The oral form is JATENZO. These medications are not interchangeable and have slightly different uses. Doctors prescribe JATENZO to treat men who have low testosterone levels due to extenuating medical conditions such as Klinefelter syndrome or damage to the pituitary gland.
In general, testosterone undecanoate side effects and risks are the same as with the many other forms of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). We will outline the unexpected risks, as well as common and rare side effects in the sections below.
It is also essential to point out that both the oral and injectable forms of testosterone undecanoate carry specific warnings not seen with other products. For those reasons, as well as the higher costs associated with these treatments, our doctors do not prescribe TU.
The balancing of any hormone level, including testosterone, is a complex therapy that falls under the umbrella of endocrinology. Turning to a hormone specialist is crucial as by increasing or altering one hormone, you can impact many others. That is especially true for testosterone, which can alter estrogen, dihydrotestosterone, cortisol, and growth hormone levels.
At our hormone clinic, men and women receive complimentary, confidential consultations by phone with one of our experienced and knowledgeable medical advisors. We offer low-cost diagnostic testing, affordable treatment options, and even check pharmaceutical assistance programs to help those who qualify receive assistance with their out-of-pocket medication expenses.
Through an understanding of the side effects of testosterone undecanoate, it is then possible to make an educated decision about what treatment is the right choice.
Testosterone Undecanoate Unexpected Risks of Usage
When discussing unexpected risks of usage for other forms of TRT, we often focus on the illegal purchasing of the medication. That is not the case when speaking of testosterone undecanoate risks. Although all types of TRT are controlled drugs, injectable AVEED is not something readily available online, even from unregulated websites the way some other testosterone products are. It is a highly controlled substance and not available for home use. Due to the risk factors we will cover here, AVEED administration occurs in a medical setting.
AVEED has two primary issues of concern:
- Anaphylaxis – Severe Allergic Reactions
Some people may experience a severe allergic reaction shortly after receiving the TU injection. The effects of this hypersensitivity may range from mild to life-threatening and can occur in direct response to the first dose or many treatments down the road. Allergic reactions can make it difficult to breathe, and hospitalization may be necessary.
- Pulmonary Oil Microembolism – POME
POME is a potentially severe lung problem that could occur if tiny oil droplets make their way to the lungs. Symptoms of POME include:
- Urge to cough
- Chest pain
- Tightening of the throat
Due to these dangerous risks, testosterone undecanoate injections are only administered by a medical professional in a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic setting. Patients must remain there for 30 minutes following the treatment so that immediate help is available in case of a severe reaction.
The risk of unexpected testosterone undecanoate side effects is different with JATENZO. Patients who receive this medication require close monitoring for high blood pressure. If blood pressure levels increase during treatment with JATENZO testosterone undecanoate, it may be necessary to start BP medication to control the increase. Individuals who experience elevated blood pressure levels are at risk for developing cardiovascular events that could include heart attack or stroke, both fatal and non-fatal. For those whose BP levels are uncontrollable while taking JATENZO, it may be necessary to stop using testosterone undecanoate.
JATANZO can also increase red blood cell count too high, furthering the risk of blood clots, which could result in a stroke or heart attack. Increased hemoglobin and red blood cell count monitoring is necessary while using JATANZO.
Common Side Effects of Testosterone Undecanoate
The majority of the injectable testosterone undecanoate side effects are similar to those of other forms of TRT. We begin by highlighting all similar reactions that can occur with any type of testosterone therapy first, including Aveed (JANTENZO will be discussed separately below):
- Fluid retention resulting in foot, ankle, and leg swelling
- Changes in urinary flow, urgency, or frequency
- Breast tenderness or enlargement (gynecomastia)
- Feeling tired or lethargic
- Insomnia or other sleep difficulties
- Worsening of sleep apnea
- Weight changes
- Mood swings
- Depression or irritability
- Adult acne
- Oily skin
- Increased prostate specific antigen PSA levels
- Elevated estrogen levels
- Reduced sperm count and infertility
- Changes in libido
- Prolonged or frequent ejections
- Changes in hair growth
Injection site pain, redness, bruising, irritation, and swelling apply only to injectable forms of testosterone therapy.
As we turn to testosterone undecanoate risks and side effects from JATANZO, we find the following most common reactions:
- Elevated red blood cell count
- Enlarged prostate
- High blood pressure
- Foot, ankle, and leg swelling
- Reduced sperm count
- More frequent or longer-lasting erections
Most mild side effects of testosterone undecanoate will likely go away on their own. However, if they become bothersome or do not go away, that is the time to report these reactions to the prescribing physician.
Rare Side Effects
We next look at the rare testosterone undecanoate side effects that occur with less frequency than those already mentioned. If any of these reactions occur, it is imperative to contact the doctor. In extreme situations, seek immediate medical help.
Here, we will focus on each of the two types of testosterone undecanoate AVEED and JATANZO:
Rare side effects of injectable testosterone undecanoate – AVEED
- Liver problems, including yellowing of the eyes or skin, vomiting, dark urine, nausea, abdominal pain to the right of the stomach
- Blood clot in the legs (pain, redness, or swelling in the leg) or lungs (chest pain or difficulty breathing)
- Increased prostate cancer risk
- Kidney problems
- POME (see unexpected risk section above)
- Skin rash or reactions
- Back pain
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Abuse-related side effects of testosterone therapy
- Hostility and aggression
- Body and facial hair growth
- Testicular atrophy
- Transient ischemic attacks
- Cerebrovascular incident
- Congestive heart failure
- Major depression
The following are rare or severe testosterone undecanoate side effects associated with JATANZO:
- Changes in mood
- Painful or enlarged breasts
- Worsening of sleep apnea
- Liver problems (see AVEED above)
- Decreased sperm count
- Blood clots in the lungs or legs
- Urinary changes (increase, trouble starting, urgency, inability, weak flow)
- PSA increase
Due to the potential for some life-threatening reactions, our doctors believe that the testosterone undecanoate risks outweigh the benefits of treatment, especially when there are so many other options available.
To discuss your treatment options, please contact our hormone clinic for a free consultation.