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"Them bitches itches"
So how does a guy sort the wood from the trees when it comes to patches?. Talk to Androderm, and they say they are the best. Talk to Testoderm and, suprise surprise, they say the same as Androderm. The answer to this irksome conundrum may well be here, or at least you will have an unbiased opinion. Our friend Terry Quinn has the benefit of experiencing both sides of the coin and has put together his thoughts. Thanks a bunch Terry !


I've had an opportunity to use both the 5 mg/day Androderm testosterone patch, and the newer 5 mg/day Testoderm TTS patch. So I thought it might be helpful to some TC-Netters if I wrote up some information comparing them on the basis of one user (me). I'll discuss this in categories: Effectiveness, Appearance, Wearing Locations, Comfort, Adhesive characteristics and finally, Price.


I wanted to hit this first, because this is the most important characteristic . . . this is why you are doing this anyway. The most important thing I want to say is that you need to be aware that these are NOT identical products. Testoderm TTS is not a clone of Androderm. They do behave quite differently in how they deliver the testosterone. Therefore if you are having problems with one, it is worthwhile to try the other. Do not assume that just because one doesn't work, the other won't either.

REMEMBER: Any differences discussed below should be second in importance to how effective it is for you.

If you study the web site and the instructions in the packages, you'll find that the delivery rates are different. Androderm is very strong in its recommendation that a new patch be applied between 8:00 pm and midnight, to produce a maximum testosterone level in the morning, to simulate the natural testosterone cycle of high morning levels. One can infer from this that it takes 8 hours or so for the Androderm to build up the blood testosterone levels.
Testoderm is different. The manufacturer recommends application in the morning (although they aren't as strong about timing as Androderm, and say it is okay to apply at other times in the day if done regularly). From graphs on their web site, it appears that it rapidly dumps its testosterone into your system, because peak levels are reached within a couple of hours.
Key point: If you are comparing the effectiveness of these two products by having tests of blood testosterone levels, talk to your doctor about this time effect, and determine a strategy for when you want to check blood testosterone levels for comparison. I didn't realize this delivery timing difference, so I had blood testosterone readings in the morning for both products, but at first I applied both patches in the evening so that it would be an "equal" test. Unfortunately, that probably gave a lower reading for Testoderm than if I had applied it in the morning as recommended. But a further caution is in order here: Taking a morning reading with Testoderm will give you its highest reading for the day, which may or may not be the case for Androderm. I frankly don't know how to fairly compare them without multiple daily readings, which isn't practical, but certainly be aware of, and discuss with your doctor, this difference as you are comparing effectiveness for you.

As far as which does a better job generally, I don't know. My endocrinologist's nurse said that one other patient switched to Testoderm and got higher t-readings. I seem to get higher overall readings with Androderm, even after correcting for morning application of Testoderm. My urologist says that several of his patients switched to Testoderm, and I'm the only one who has gone back to Androderm. But that may also be due to other factors covered below.

Androderm is smaller than Testoderm TTS. The Androderm patch is oval, about 3 1/2 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide. They are now flesh colored (change made this last year). They also are no longer "crinkly" sounding as they were at one time. The patch has an obvious reservoir of gel in the middle, about a couple of millimeters thick.
The Testoderm TTS patch, also oval, is quite a bit larger than Androderm. I no longer have any to measure, but from recollection I would estimate they are about 4 1/2 inches long by 3 1/4 inches wide. (maybe someone using them now can confirm the size). They are clear with some white product description lettering on them. They are relatively thin overall, probably about the thickness of two layers of Saran wrap. Instead of a gel reservoir, you can see that there is a liquid film that is trapped between the two layers throughout the patch.

Both Androderm and Testoderm TTS permit wearing on the upper arms. Testoderm also allows the back and upper buttocks. Androderm allows the back, stomach, and upper half of your legs (front or back). I called Testoderm and asked them about use on the upper legs (my personal preference) and they said I could try it, but that they did not have clinical data to support this location.
A lot of people have experienced irritation with Androderm patches, including myself. I've found that their recommendation of 0.1% triamcinolene acetonide cream does help this a lot, but you still have to rotate the patch so you don't hit the same area twice in 7 days.
Testoderm TTS seems to have improved this irritation problem a lot. They will even allow you to use the same area every time, although I alternated side to side (arms) just to get a different spot every other day. Occasionally the Testoderm TTS did cause itching to me, but never to the extent that I needed the cream mentioned above.
I found I could wear the Testoderm patches on my arms, whereas earlier I had tried Androderm there and found it to feel cold and uncomfortable at that location (hence why I use my legs).
Unfortunately neither product has got this totally licked yet.
Androderm recommends putting on the patch and leaving it on all the time, including when swimming. They note that if you sweat, it might come off. They do. They recommend if this happens to either leave it off if after 12 noon, or put on a new patch if before then. I've found the patches to be pretty good in terms of adherence most cases, but sometimes I do have problems keeping them on. At other times the Androderm patches adhere very well, and when you remove them it is quite an ouch. Androderm patches leave some residue that takes effort to get off the skin (nail polish remover works). When you do clean it, however, it does come completely off.
Testoderm TTS uses a different adhesive. They claim it to be reusable, so they tell you to take the patch off when you swim or shower, and reapply in the same location when done. This (sort of) works, but it is a mixed blessing. In the one sense, you don't have the occasional problem of the Androderm patch coming off in the shower. But the flip side is that you have to hastle with it every day, and on more than one occasion I forgot to put it back on. The adhesive strip is pretty narrow at the outer edge, and sometimes it is harder to get the Testoderm patch to adhere well at first. After wearing for a while, sometimes (but not always) the testosterone solution itself adheres to the skin, so when you remove the patch, you not just pulling on the adhesive, but also pulling on the testosterone solution. Generally, however, they come off easier than Androderm. Since they don't grip as well, I occasionally had problems with the Testoderm "bunching up" and finding that I had to stop during the day and straighten it out (spread it back out). For this reason I was never able to wear it successfully on my upper buttocks. The pressure of my belt would cause it to bunch up into a ball about half the days I tried to wear it there, which proved to be a real nuisance.

Probably the thing that I disliked the most about Testoderm was trying to clean the adhesive off the skin after use. The big problem was that unlike the Androderm, which while hard to remove would at least come off pretty clean, the Testoderm adhesive would ball up into little glue balls that tended to get caught in your arm hair. I found myself spending time pulling those glueballs out like a monkey picks bugs off his body.


This will, of course, depend on your insurance plan, your pharmacy, etc. My employer has "network" agreements with drug stores, so these prices might be better than you can get. But they show that Testoderm TTS is priced similarly to Androderm.

30 day supply - Androderm 5mg/day $96.57 - Testoderm TTS 5mg/day $92.79

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