Compare Axiron vs. Fortesta

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Axiron
(Testosterone Topical Solution)

Fortesta
(Testosterone Gel)

Treats low testosterone. This testosterone topical solution is a convenient topical form of hormone replacement that's less likely to rub off on other people you come into contact with, but it's not available as a generic yet.Treats low testosterone. This testosterone gel is a convenient topical form of hormone replacement that's less likely to rub off on other people you come into contact with, but it's not available as a generic yet.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
AxironFortesta

The Axiron FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Axiron side effects »

The Fortesta FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Fortesta side effects »
How it works
AxironFortesta
Testosterone topical solution works by adding or replacing the hormone testosterone in your body. Testosterone is responsible for causing and maintaining many of the changes in male bodies from puberty on.Testosterone gel works by adding or replacing the hormone testosterone in your body. Testosterone is responsible for causing and maintaining many of the changes in male bodies from puberty on.
Type of medication
AxironFortesta
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Available as
AxironFortesta
  • Topical
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for (click to learn more)
AxironFortesta
  • Low testosterone
  • Low testosterone
Risk factors for serious side effects
AxironFortesta
Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
AxironFortesta
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

See the FDA package insert
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
AxironFortesta
  • You're less likely with this formulation to transfer testosterone topical solution to another person since this is applied to the armpits -- unlike some other forms of topical testosterone.
  • You can use your regular deodorant or antiperspirant, but just make sure to apply that first before using testosterone topical solution.
  • You apply it to your thighs like a lotion.
  • Putting testosterone gel on your thights makes it less likely you'll transfer the medication to other people around you, compared to some other kinds of topical testosterone.
Downsides and risks
AxironFortesta
  • Only available as brand name.
  • You have to wait at least 2 hours after applying testosterone topical solution before you can swim or bathe, otherwise your body won't absorb the entire amount.
  • Not available in generic form, so it can be more expensive.
  • You have to wait at least 2 hours after applying testosterone gel before you can swim or bathe, otherwise your body won't absorb the full amount of the medication.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AxironFortesta
  • Prime testosterone topical solution first by pumping 3 times before you use a new bottle.
  • If you use deodorant or antiperspirant, apply that first before using testosterone topical solution.
  • Don't swim or bathe for at least 2 hours after you put on testosterone topical solution so that it has time to absorb.
  • Cover the area with clothing as soon as it's dry so you don't spread it to other people.
  • If you think you'll have skin-to-skin contact at the area where you've placed testosterone topical solution, wash that area with soap and water then dry.
  • Don't use testosterone topical solution anywhere besides your armpits.
  • Prime testosterone gel first by pumping 8 times before you use a new bottle.
  • Don't swim or bathe for at least 2 hours after you apply testosterone gel.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and cover the area with clothing as soon as the gel is dry so you don't spread it to other people.
  • If you think you'll have skin-to-skin contact at the area where you've placed testosterone gel, wash that area with soap and water then dry.
  • Don't use testosterone gel anywhere besides your front and inner thighs.
Learn more
More about AxironSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about FortestaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert