Endogenous androgens are responsible for normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of secondary sex characteristics. These effects include growth and maturation of the prostate , seminal vesicles , penis , and scrotum ; development of male hair distribution, such as beard , pubic, chest, and axillary hair; laryngeal enlargement, vocal cord thickening, and alterations in body musculature and fat distribution. Drugs in this class also cause retention of nitrogen , sodium, potassium , and phosphorous, and decreased urinary excretion of calcium. Androgens have been reported to increase protein anabolism and decrease protein catabolism . Nitrogen balance is improved only when there is sufficient intake of calories and protein.
The manufacturers of certain testosterone products (., AndroGel and Striant) state that their products are contraindicated in patients with soybean, soy, or soya lecithin hypersensitivity because they are derived partially from soy plants. There is a risk of serious hypersensitivity reactions or anaphylaxis with the use of testosterone undecanoate (Aveed) oil for injection. These allergic reactions can occur after any injection of testosterone undecanoate during the course of therapy, including after the first dose. Observe patients in the healthcare setting for 30 minutes after an Aveed injection in order to provide appropriate medical treatment in the event of serious hypersensitivity reactions or anaphylaxis. The Aveed injection contains benzyl benzoate, the ester of benzyl alcohol and benzoic acid, and refined castor oil. Therefore, testosterone undecanoate use is contraindicated in patients with polyoxyethylated castor oil hypersensitivity, benzoic acid hypersensitivity, or benzyl alcohol hypersensitivity. Patients with suspected hypersensitivity reactions should not be re-treated with testosterone undecanoate injection.
The preservative benzyl alcohol has been associated with serious adverse events, including the "gasping syndrome", and death in pediatric patients. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product ordinarily deliver amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the "gasping syndrome", the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. The risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity depends on the quantity administered and the liver and kidneys' capacity to detoxify the chemical. Premature and low-birth weight infants may be more likely to develop toxicity.