Testosterone is an important sex hormone which is responsible for development of the reproductive organs in males. They are also responsible for development of secondary sexual characteristics like increased muscle and bone mass, deepening of voice, growth of beard and mustache in males, etc. Testosterone also controls the fertility, mood and energy levels of a male and is important for libido and enhances sex drive.
Testosterone is a naturally occurring steroid hormone which is produced by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys and the sex glands (i.e. testes in males and ovaries in females). Testosterone injections are given to individuals who suffer from testosterone deficiency, as a part of hormone replacement therapy. However, long term use of testosterone is associated with certain side effects.
Side Effects Of Testosterone Injections In Men
Testosterone injections are meant to manage testosterone deficiency especially among males, but may be occasionally required in females especially after surgical removal of the ovaries.Some of the side effects associated with testosterone injections include,
- Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to testosterone injections. The symptoms associated with allergic reaction can include nausea, vomiting, skin rash along with severe itching. The skin rash may often be limited to the site of injection but in severe cases spread to the entire body.
- Interference with medications: It should be noted that testosterone injections tend to interfere with the effectiveness and efficacy of certain other medications. These medications include oral glycemic drugs, anti-clot medications and medications used to control hypertension including beta-blockers.
- Enlargement of the Prostate: Another side effect commonly experienced among patients taking testosterone injection includes enlargement of the prostate gland. Testosterone injections are therefore not recommended for patients with prostate or breast cancer. Some patients may experience mild pain and discomfort around the testicles.
Long Term Effects Of Testosterone Injections
Some of the more serious and long term side effects of testosterone injections include,
- Hepatitis: This is one of the most dreadful side effects of testosterone injections. The condition is characterized by formation of blood filled cysts in the liver and spleen. Studies have shown that testosterone therapy can increase the risk of development of hepatic cancer, jaundice and liver abnormalities.
- Testosterone injections can also result in fluctuation in levels of cholesterol. One of the functions of testosterone is to produce cholesterol which in turn results in narrowing of blood vessels contributing to hypertension and atherosclerosis.
- Gynecomastia is another common side effect associated with the use of testosterone injections.
Negative Effects Of Testosterone Injections
Some of the negative side effects associated with testosterone injections include,
- Suppression of spermatogenesis: Excessive use of external testosterone can result in impaired growth and development of the spermatozoa. Elevated levels of testosterone result in inhibition of the production of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which can impact the production of sperms.
- Testosterone injections can result in cognitive and behavioral modifications in an individual. This is attributed to the sudden change in energy levels caused due to testosterone. Some of the common symptoms observed include mood swings, loss of memory and concentration and confusion.
- Other negative effects of testosterone injections include loss of appetite, baldness, tingling numbness and increased thirst. In individuals suffering from diabetes mellitus, testosterone injections may also result in hypoglycemic attacks and sudden drop in blood sugar levels.