Testosterone propionate is a derivative of naturally produced testosterone. One of the brand names of the drug is Testoviron-Depot. It can be used in the body to replace depleted levels of testosterone and to help with other issues. Testosterone propionate is one of 4 types of testosterone that can be used for injections.
Testosterone propionate is quite different from the other forms, so that should be kept in mind. There are other things that should be known about testosterone propionate including how it works, what it is used for, things you should be aware of, how to use it, the side effects, and more. Keep reading to learn all of these things about testosterone propionate so that you can decide if it is right for you with the help of your doctor.
Testosterone propionate, testosterone enanthate, and testosterone cypionate are the 3 main versions of injectable testosterone. Testosterone enanthate and cypionate are longer acting, meaning they can stay in the body for up to one week with a single injection.
Testosterone propionate is different because it is a short acting medication and needs to be re-injected every 2 to 3 days. The levels of this are the highest in only a few hours after being administered and are slowly decreased after that. This makes it more difficult to stay on top of because you have to inject it multiple times a week. It also has a higher chance that it will break down into estrogen through a process called aromatization. This can lead to the potential of the opposite of the desired effect.
Because of all of this, testosterone propionate is prescribed the least amount of all of the versions and needs to have careful consideration taken when it is prescribed.
Testosterone in the Body
Testosterone propionate acts like the hormone testosterone would in the body. Testosterone is the main male androgen, or sex hormone, and is made by the testicles. It is responsible for many functions in the body related to reproduction, sexual functioning, and other areas as well.
Testosterone’s jobs in the reproductive system include sexual maturation with enlargement of sex organs and development of secondary sex characteristics, the ability to maintain an erection, the production of sperm, and regulation of the sex drive or libido.
In addition to the reproductive system, testosterone also stimulates the production of red blood cells, bone growth, muscle growth, and the decrease in body fat. All of these roles and responsibilities are important to keep in mind when understanding the function and side effects of this medication.
What Are the Uses?
One of the main uses of the drug is for adolescents that have not gone through puberty at an appropriate time, called delayed puberty.
Another use of testosterone therapy is for men with hypogonadism, or the inability for the testicles to make enough testosterone. This can be due to issues of the testicles or of the pituitary gland that signals to the testicles to make testosterone.
The final indication for use is to improve the quality of life for women with breast cancer that cannot be operated on.
Things To Be Aware Of
Before taking testosterone propionate there are some things you should take into consideration. It should not be given to most women, newborns, young children, to those with allergic reactions to the drug, if you have an existing or previous tumor in the liver, and if you have tumors in the prostate or the male breast glands.
People with a risk of high blood calcium levels should also take caution when taking this because high levels of calcium, called hypercalemia, can cause a wide range of problems. These problems include irregular heart beat, weakened bones, gastrointestinal issues, tired kidneys, feeling thirsty, and even cause brain issues such as feeling confused, tired, or even depressed.
Another major thing to consider is that there are no proven positive effects for people who do not have low levels of testosterone. This means that if you are a healthy individual and taking testosterone you should not be taking it to increase muscle mass or increase your ability to perform in athletics or other areas of life. Taking high levels of testosterone can have negative impacts on your body and mind, so always take testosterone by the discretion of your healthcare provider.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also not be using androgens of any type, including testosterone propionate. This is because it can impact their anatomy and physiology, as well as the fetus that is inside of them. This is especially true if they are in the first trimester, or first 12 weeks of their pregnancy as it could cause very harmful effects to the fetus. Some effects that are seen in the female fetus are enlargement of the clitoris, and formation of a scrotal like structure with the 2 labia. Women should avoid interaction with all types of testosterone products including injections, patches, and topical creams and gels.
How Do You Use It?
Testosterone propionate does have a pill form, but it is very rarely used. The injections into the gluteal muscle of the buttocks is most common. The drug will come in a vial or ampule. A vial is a vacuum sealed container with a rubber stopper that can be penetrated by a needle to draw up the medicine. An ampule is a small glass container, where the glass needs to be snapped at a weak point in the glass to be opened. It should be noted that an ampule can only be used once, then it should be discarded. Also note that the fluid inside the vial or ampule is mixed with an oil that makes the color appear clear to a pale yellowish, this is normal.
To use an ampule you will need to use a protective cover to snap the neck of the ampule away from you. To draw up the medication you will connect a filter needle to a syringe. The filter needle is used to prevent any fine glass particles that could have broken into the liquid from being injected. Insert the filter needle into the liquid and draw up the appropriate dose. You will then change the needle to a regular needle and inject the liquid into the gluteal muscle.
The process for a vial is slightly different. There is no need for a filter needle and you can use the same needle that was used to draw up to inject the medication. Start by popping the lid off of the vial and wiping off the rubber stopper with alcohol. Connect the needle to the syringe. Pull air into the syringe in the amount that you will need for the medication. Insert the needle into the vial and inject the air; this breaks the vacuum seal and prevents the vial from breaking. Finally, flip the vial over, remove the correct amount of medication, and withdraw the needle. After making sure there are no air bubbles in the needle, you can inject the medication into the gluteal muscle.
Which Medications Are Not Compatible?
Most medications have at least one drug that they interact with. These interactions can increase the effects of one or both drugs, decrease the effects of one or both drugs, or cause unwanted side effects to the user. In the case of testosterone propionate there are a few drugs that should not be taken with it or at least carefully monitored by your healthcare provider.
One of these drugs are drugs that thin the blood and prevent it from clotting. This is because testosterone itself can reduce the ability of the blood to clot, so when taken together there is an increased risk for bleeding.
Drugs that alter insulin production or drugs for diabetes can interact with testosterone to lower the blood glucose levels to very low levels.
Other testosterone or androgen drugs can cause issues when taken together because the levels of testosterone in the body could get too high.
Taking with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or corticosteroids could increase the risk of swelling in the body from water retention, and should be used with special caution, especially in patients with liver or heart diseases.
If you are taking any medication, always be sure to tell your doctor so that they can ensure there are no adverse interactions that could occur.
Testosterone propionate is a medication that is not used very often because there are other drugs with fewer side effects and greater ease of use. That being said, it can still be very helpful in certain people who struggle with hormone imbalance of testosterone and need additional help.