NZ Formulary

Testosterone (patch)


What does it do?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone. It is used when the levels of testosterone in your body are too low.

How should you use it?

Apply the patch at night to a clean, dry area of skin (such as the back, tummy, upper arms or thighs) as directed. When you remove the patch, apply the new one in a different place to prevent irritating your skin. Do not cut the patch.

What if you forget a dose?

If you forget to change the patch, remove the old patch and apply a new one as soon as possible.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

Important information continues on next page.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain

Prolonged erection (longer than four hours)

Tell your doctor immediately

Mood changes, headache

Head hair loss, more body and facial hair


Sore or enlarged breasts

More or less interest in sex

Swollen feet or legs

Stomach upset

In women: changes in periods, voice deepening

Red or itchy skin where patch has been applied

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, liver or prostate problems; or if you have ever had breast cancer, a blood clot or a stroke.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You will need regular blood tests while you are taking testosterone to check your blood and your prostate (for men), and to make sure you are taking the right dose.
  • Some procedures (e.g. MRI scan) may overheat the patch and burn your skin. Discuss with your health professional before your procedure.