How is Testosterone Given?
In most other centers testosterone injections are not generally discussed as a first line treatment option when starting testosterone replacement. There are many androgen preparations on the market such as; gels (Androgel and Testim), creams, pills (Andriol), pellets and patches. The marketing efforts of pharmaceutical companies are quite effective at influencing doctor’s prescribing habits away from the older and more effective (testosterone shots/injections).
Testosterone Injections ARE A Superior Form of Treatment
What’s sad to say is that they are all inferior to the much older technology of testosterone injection, IM (intramuscular) when treating low testosterone.
Because of good marketing, there are many alternatives that have very poor absorption, leading to less efficacy and worse outcomes.
What’s the point? Why use a less invasive method if it’s barely going to work? Why use them if there are unwanted and dangerous side effects? Testosterone injections allow for higher and more stable testosterone levels and are 5-10 times cheaper!
Testosterone Shots Increase Absorption
All the other testosterone formulations are self-limiting in how much testosterone can be absorbed. They may be enough to get you to the low-to-mid-range of normal. For a lot of men, mid-range is not enough to increase energy, libido, and mood to a satisfactory level. What you want is to be in the high normal range.
Testosterone injection dosages can also be adjusted much easier compared to the other formulations.
Testosterone Creams and Gels
Many other centers will want to prescribe testosterone gel and testosterone creams like Androgel, Testim, and compounded formulations. The pharmaceutical companies are marketing these products quite heavily, and as you probably already know, doctors like prescribing the latest “greatest” thing. With Androgel and Testim you have to worry about transfer to women and children when in close contact. This is a very unhealthy practice as you can imagine! Not to mention they run around $400 a month at the higher dosages! Absorption rates vary from very good, to extremely poor. It’s a crap shoot.
Testosterone pills (Andriol) are another formulation to treat low testosterone levels in men. They have horrendous absorption rates, need to be taken with large amounts of dietary fats, and are quite expensive.
Testosterone Patch and Pellets
Testosterone pellets and the testosterone patch (Androderm and Testoderm) are not used very widely anymore due to their low absorption rates and difficulty of use. The patches need to be applied on the scrotum (OUCH!) and they don’t tend to stay on very well and there is a tendency to develop rashes. The testosterone pellets, which need to be inserted under the skin, have always had poor absorption rates and fell out of favor quite quickly.
The Bottom Line
The most reliable and least expensive delivery source is the IM injection. At the New Jersey Virility Center we only use the intramuscular administration method, testosterone injections.