Consumer Reports said testosterone drugs such as Androgel 1.62 percent and Axiron, which increase a man's libido, are already associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events in men. TV commercials already warn children accidentally exposed to testosterone can experience early puberty, and women who accidentally touch the gel can experience acne and the growth of body hair.
However, Consumer Reports said careful reading of the medication's directions said AndroGel and other testosterone "gels can light your fire -- literally."
"We found this warning in the medication guide's fine print: 'Testosterone gel is flammable until dry. Let the gel dry before smoking or going near an open flame,'" Consumer Reports reported.
Other warnings culled from the package inserts include:
-- If you expect to have skin-to-skin contact with another person, first wash the application area well with soap and water.
-- If a woman or child makes contact with the testosterone gel application area, that area on the woman or child should be washed well with soap and water right away.
-- After the gel has dried, cover the application area with clothing. Keep the area covered until you have washed the application area well or have showered.
-- Do not apply testosterone gel to your penis or scrotum.
-- Wait 5 hours before showering or swimming. This will ensure that the greatest amount of testosterone gel is absorbed into your system.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's AndroGel Medication Guide is at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM188474.pdf.
The FDA's Axiron Medication Guide is at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM249396.pdf.