Depo Testosterone Injections – Dosage, Cost and Side Effects

young shirtless athletic man holding a 5ml syringe filled up with injection fluids

Depo testosterone (sometimes hyphenated as depo-testosterone) is a drug that’s generally used to help support male growth. This means that it’s beneficial for helping to boost muscle growth (what many people use it for exclusively) as well as the growth of facial hair, the deepening of the voice, and the development of sexual energy and ability.

The depo testosterone cost is low, and it is readily available from doctors in both generic and brand varieties. Many forms of depo testosterone are highly covered by insurance, further reducing its cost and making it more appealing to the average individual.

Depo testosterone is quite popular, however, not everyone is aware of how it works, its benefits, and the potential dangers associated with it. In this article we aim to provide information about these topics so you can decide whether or not depo testosterone is a good fit for you.

Table of contents

What is depo-testosterone?

Depo testosterone cypionate, also referred to as testosterone cypionate or simply depo-testosterone, is an androgenic drug that’s often prescribed to help improve male growth or manage issues related to testosterone.

Androgens are male hormones, and many of these are produced in the human body. However, not everyone produces enough of these hormones and must use a drug like Depo-testosterone to correct the difference.

Depo-testosterone is generally used by injection. In technical terms, depo testosterone contains testosterone cypionate, an ester of testosterone. As the 17-beta cyclopentylpropionate ester of testosterone, Depo-testosterone becomes oil soluble, which can be useful in certain medical applications.

The substance itself is a creamy white powder when it’s isolated. It can’t be dissolved in water, but it dissolves easily in alcohol, vegetable oil and some other solvents.

Medically, it’s available in two different dosages: 100 mg/mL and 200 mg mL.

How depo-testosterone works and what it’s used for

Needle with liquid dropping

As we mentioned above, depo-testosterone is an androgen. These substances are useful for normal physical and mental development, particularly in the areas of physical strength, muscle growth, emotional health, and sexual health.

In people who don’t naturally produce enough of their own testosterone, androgens can be used medically for many different reasons.

  • Androgens can be used to replace hormones in the case that the person is not able to produce enough on their own, such as in the case of hypogonadism or old age.
  • Androgens can be used to promote the onset of puberty androgen in boys who are late bloomers, though there is some debate as to the ethics behind this.
  • Androgens can be useful for helping to treat breast cancer in females.

There are some other conditions that doctors may also recommend using androgens for.

Depo-testosterone dosage

If you’re going to be sourcing your depo-testosterone legally, as is always the safest choice, then you will have a choice between two strengths of the androgen: 100 mg/mL and 200 mg/mL. Each one has slightly different ingredients:

100 mg/mL dose of depo-testosterone:

  • 100 mg of testosterone cypionate
  • 0.1 ml of benzyl benzoate
  • 736 mg of cottonseed oil
  • 9.45 mg of benzyl alcohol to preserve the substance

200mg/mL dose of depo-testosterone:

  • 200 mg of testosterone cypionate
  • 0.2 ml of benzyl benzoate
  • 560 mg of cottonseed oil
  • 9.45 mg of benzyl alcohol

Before anyone injects depo-testosterone it’s important to ensure that you actually need the substance. Doctors will generally make sure that you have hypogonadism, a condition that prevents men from producing enough testosterone, or some other problem that lowers testosterone levels before prescribing DEPO-testosterone.

Even if you’ll be using it on your own, it’s important that you measure serum testosterone levels in the morning on two separate days to ensure that you actually have low testosterone levels. Using androgens like this can cause a huge number of side effects if you already have a healthy testosterone level.

Your doctor will generally decide on your dosage based on your age, your size, your gender, and the degree of deficiency that you are experiencing.

  • If you struggle with hypogonadism, dosages between 50-400 mg are recommended every 2-4 weeks.
  • If you are hoping to help fight breast cancer, you will likely receive a dosage of somewhere between 200 mg to 400 mg every two weeks.
  • If you are using it to spur the onset of testosterone in a youth, injections of no more than 100 mg should be given once every 4-6 weeks.

Health benefits of depo-testosterone injections

There are lots of benefits that you might experience if you begin using depo-testosterone. These benefits are likely to be more pronounced if you actually have hypogonadism or some similar condition. Benefits may still be seen in people with healthy testosterone levels, though the risk of side effects greatly increases.

  • Increased sex drive. One of the most telling symptoms of low testosterone is a decrease in sex drive. Men with low T are often uninterested in sexual activity or otherwise struggle to maintain their arousal.
  • Increased sexual function. Some men with low T may still have a sex drive but won’t be able to maintain an erection or the stamina to actually perform well. Boosting testosterone levels with a substance like depo-testosterone can help to restore sexual function to a healthy level.
  • Increased energy and motivation. If you have low testosterone levels then you might experience a lack of energy and motivation. Restoring testosterone levels to an optimal level can help to prevent this.
  • Improved muscle and bone health. One of the main reasons that men use testosterone is to help enhance their physical strength. This is because testosterone helps improve muscle density and growth as well as the health of our bones. Conversely, people with low T have a hard time maintaining muscle levels.

Depo-testosterone side effects and dangers

Unfortunately, depo-testosterone is not without its side effects. As with most androgenic substances, the side effects are often more pronounced and dangerous if you already have a healthy amount of testosterone in your body.

Some of the most pronounced side effects include:

  • Undesirable changes to libido. If your libido is already at a healthy level before you begin using depo testosterone, you may find that it becomes too high or too low after starting your routine.
  • Nausea and digestive upset.
  • Headaches.
  • Issues with sexual terminology. Depo-testosterone can cause gynecomastia – the enlargement of male breasts. It can also cause oligospermia, a decrease in sperm count and fertility.
  • Emotional issues. Depression, anxiety, and mood instability are all common problems among people using testosterone or androgenic substances.
  • Excessive urination and frequent erections.
  • Male pattern baldness.
  • Acne.

Precautions

In addition to some of the side effects that depo-testosterone can cause, there are a number of things to be cautious of. Androgens can exacerbate a number of conditions and even cause some. If you experience any of the following or already struggle with similar conditions, be sure to inform your doctor beforehand so that they can tailor your dosage properly or give you a different drug.

  • Androgens can cause fluid retention, which also means that you will be retaining important substances like sodium, water, potassium, and calcium. It will be important to make the proper dietary changes to ensure that you can maintain a balance in these areas. People who are immobilized may experience a condition known as hypercalcemia.
  • Androgens can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems like strokes. They can also increase the risk of developing thrombosis.
  • If you’ve been a geriatric patient then using an androgen like this could make you more liable to develop prostatic carcinoma or hypertrophy.
  • Long-term use of androgens can increase the risk of potentially fatal conditions such as peliosis hepatis.
  • Androgens can cause liver problems and increase the risk of developing jaundice.
  • Patients who have problems with blood clotting or who are anticoagulant therapy may experience problems with bleeding while they are using androgens.
  • Androgens can cause allergic reactions which can cause standard allergy symptoms like rashes or respiratory discomfort.
  • You can become infected at the injection site if you do not properly care for it afterward.
  • Diabetics should be aware that androgens can lower blood sugar and can change the amount of insulin that’s required.

The main thing to recognize is that the long-term safety of this type of therapy has not been properly addressed by medical science. If you’re going to be using depo-testosterone, avoid using it at high doses for extended periods of time.

Depo testosterone drug interactions

In addition to being cautious when using depo-testosterone, it’s important to be aware of any potential drug interactions that could result from your using it. Using depo-testosterone with the following drugs could lead to dangerous or unpleasant side effects.

  • Androgens can make you more sensitive to anticoagulant medication.
  • Oxyphenbutazone should not be used in combination with androgens.

Other medicines that could possibly interact with depo-testosterone include Acenocoumarol, Anisindione, Bupropion, Dicumarol, Fluvastatin, Lovastatin, Paclitaxel, Phenindione, Phenprocoumon, and Warfarin.

If you take other medication, it can always be useful to do a quick google search asking whether or not your particular medicine could interact with an androgenic substance.

Natural alternatives you should consider (diet, exercise, supplements like Testo-Max)

Range of bodybuilding equipment

If you’re considering depo testosterone bodybuilding benefits or hoping to use it for medical purposes, you may be concerned about the side effects and interactions. Before using a drug like this, you might want to check out some natural alternatives that can help restore testosterone levels.

  • Diet. Diet is hugely important for maintaining testosterone levels, and if you have a bad diet this could be the culprit leading to your low testosterone. Vitamins and minerals like the B complex, vitamin D, zinc, and cholesterol (that’s right – cholesterol is actually vital for synthesizing testosterone) will help to ensure that you can maintain an ideal level of testosterone.
  • Exercise. Exercise is one way to boost testosterone levels, though it is much more effective when combined with a healthy diet and a proper sleep schedule.
  • Herbal supplements. There are lots of herbs that have been shown to be useful for boosting testosterone levels or providing similar benefits as elevated testosterone levels. These herbs might not pack as much of a punch as some chemical androgens but they will benefit you with a much less serious risk of side effects.
  • Pre-made supplements are great for helping to boost testosterone levels while providing well-balanced benefits. Furthermore, they save you from having to pick-and-choose your own testosterone herbs and vitamins.

Products like Anvarol or Testo-Max can be great for boosting T levels and simulating the effects of high testosterone levels without jacking up levels too high. Anvarol includes BCAAs and ATP – a form of energy used by the cells – to help people cut fat, whereas Testo-Max mixes a number of testosterone-boosting herbs, vitamins and minerals together.

Conclusion

Depo-testosterone is a drug that’s used to help fight symptoms of low testosterone, breast cancer, or to accelerate the onset of puberty in males.

The drug is not without its side effects, and can actually be dangerous if used improperly. There are many natural ways that you can boost testosterone without needing to rely on synthetics.

Hopefully this article has outlined the pros and cons of using depo testosterone so you can decide whether or not you’d like to include this drug in your regimen.

Links to Scientific Studies Used

Progression of puberty after initiation of androgen therapy in patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784868/

Effects of Testosterone on Muscle Strength, Physical Function, Body Composition, and Quality of Life in Intermediate-Frail and Frail Elderly Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study
https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/95/2/639/2596855

Sex Hormone Effects on Body Fluid Regulation
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849969/

Androgens and cardiovascular disease.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12788802

Testosterone-Associated Dietary Pattern Predicts Low Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadism
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266690/

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