Understand The Potential Risks And Consider Alternatives Before Boosting Your Hormones Indefinitely
Millions of American men use a prescription testosterone injection or gel as forms of testosterone replacement therapy to restore normal levels of the manly hormone. The ongoing pharmaceutical marketing blitz promises that low T treatment can make men feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional. However, legitimate safety concerns linger. For example, some older men on testosterone replacement therapy could face higher cardiac risks.
“Because of the marketing, men have been flooded with information about the potential benefit of fixing low testosterone, but not with the potential costs,” says Dr. Carl Pallais, an endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Men should be much more mindful of the possible long-term complications.”
Signs of low testosterone
Declining muscle and bone mass Increased body fat
How Does Masculinizing Hormone Therapy Work
You can take testosterone as injectables, pills, pellets, patches and gels. Your healthcare provider can recommend the type, dose and frequency thats right for you.
To lower the risk of complications and side effects, you may start with a low dose. As your body gets used to the therapy, your healthcare provider may increase your dosage. After achieving the desired results, youll take a lower dose for the rest of your life.
What Other Drugs Will Affect Testosterone
Certain drugs may interact with testosterone, including
- Blood thinners
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as oxyphenbutazone
Other prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products may also react with testosterone. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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What Are The Potential Negative Side Effects Associated With Testosterone Treatment
As with all medical treatments, TRT does carry some risk of unwanted effects in those who receive it. The risk to patients can be minimized by:
- Visiting a properly accredited hormone replacement therapy clinic with endocrinologists who specialize in TRT.
- Performing all necessary bloodwork prior to beginning therapy to check for any pre-existing conditions that might contraindicate therapy.
- Ongoing evaluation throughout the course of therapy.
Even with the appropriate precautions, there is still some unavoidable risk posed by TRT because each patient responds differently to treatment. Below, well cover the most common adverse effects of TRT in both men and women.
Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Some side effects of testosterone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- stomach discomfort or upset
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Testosterone Cypionate Key Takeaways
Testosterone cypionate is one of the most desirable options for restoring testosterone levels to a healthy range. In most cases, the side effects of testosterone cypionate are benign and manageable . In excessive doses, testosterone cypionate can be a dangerous drug to use, just like any other drug.When used properly, however, males can expect testosterone cypionate to increase libido, promote better erectile function, boost vitality, enhance energy, support muscle growth and fat loss, and provide cognitive benefits. Quite simply, testosterone cypionate use as part of TRT can help men feel happier, healthier, and more motivated.
Forms Of Testosterone Supplements
Testosterone replacement therapy is available in several forms. All can improve testosterone levels:
- Skin patch : Androderm is a skin patch worn on the arm or upper body. It’s applied once a day.
- Gels: AndroGel and Testim come in packets of clear testosterone gel. Testosterone is absorbed directly through the skin when you apply the gel once a day. AndroGel, Axiron, and Fortesta also come in a pump that delivers the amount of testosterone prescribed by your doctor. Natesto is a gel applied inside the nose.
- Mouth patch:Striant is a tablet that sticks to the upper gums above the incisor, the tooth just to the right or left of the two front teeth. Applied twice a day, it continuously releases testosterone into the blood through the oral tissues.
- Injections and implants: Testosterone can also be injected directly into the muscles, or implanted as pellets in the soft tissues. Your body slowly absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream.
Why not a simple testosterone pill? Oral testosterone is available. However, some experts believe oral testosterone can have negative effects on the liver. Using other methods, such as skin patches, gels, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections, bypasses the liver and gets testosterone into the blood directly.
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Dosage For Primary Hypogonadism
- Typical starting dosage: Your dosage depends on your age and diagnosis. Your doctor will decide a dosage based on your needs. In general, the dosage is 50400 mg injected into your muscle every 24 weeks.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor may adjust your dosage based on your testosterone blood levels, response to treatment, and side effects.
- Maximum dosage: 400 mg injected into your muscle every 2 weeks.
- Typical starting dosage: Your childs dosage depends on their age and diagnosis. Your doctor will decide a dosage based on your childs needs. In general, the dosage is 50400 mg injected into your childs muscle every 24 weeks.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor may adjust your childs dosage based on their testosterone blood levels, response to treatment, and side effects.
- Maximum dosage: 400 mg injected into your childs muscle every 2 weeks.
It hasnt been confirmed that testosterone cypionate is safe and effective for use in children younger than 12 years.
How To Take Testosterone Injection
Use Testosterone Injection exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Testosterone is injected under the skin or into a muscle, usually given every 2 to 4 weeks. Testosterone injections should be given only by a healthcare professional.
The length of treatment with testosterone injection will depend on the condition being treated.
Testosterone can raise your blood pressure, which could increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, or death. Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. You may need to stop using testosterone or start taking blood pressure medication.
You will need frequent blood tests.
Testosterone can affect bone growth in boys who are treated for delayed puberty. Bone development may need to be checked with x-rays every 6 months during treatment.
This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using testosterone.
Misuse of testosterone can cause dangerous or irreversible effects, such as enlarged breasts, small testicles, infertility, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, liver disease, bone growth problems, addiction, and mental effects such as aggression and violence. Stealing, selling, or giving away this medicine is against the law.
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What Can Be Done About It
Virtually every medical treatment can cause adverse reactions. All things considered, those side effects associated with testosterone replacement therapy are quite manageable. We know what to look for and how to intervene. With careful monitoring, it is entirely possible to treat and/or prevent significant problems these side effects may pose.
Ultimately it comes down to balance. Can we approach Low T treatment in such a way that allows for minimization of side effects while allowing for optimization of results? Absolutely!
What is necessary to achieve this is having providers that are open and honest about the benefits AND the risks associated with TRT. If you have questions, we would love the opportunity to talk with you and answer them. Please Contact Us to schedule a no-obligation consultation in our clinic. If you are suffering from Low T and are ready to improve the quality of your life, the dedicated providers at Testosterone Centers of Texas are ready to help you.
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Possible Side Effects Of Testosterone Therapy
WebMD lists a number of possible side effects from testosterone cypionate injections. The majority of these side effects are very rare when testosterone is used properly and estrogen levels are being addressed. In our effort to deliver the highest quality to you, we ask you to review the possible side effects and ask us any questions so we can ensure you understand how we are addressing these issues for you.
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What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Receiving Testosterone Injection
You should not be treated with this medicine if you are allergic to testosterone, or if you have:
- male breast cancer
- high red blood cell counts or
- liver or kidney disease.
Using testosterone may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer, liver problems, or heart problems . Ask your doctor about these risks.
Women using testosterone should not breastfeed.
Testosterone should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old. Some types of this medicine are not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How Does It Work
People of all genders produce the hormone testosterone, but your body produces less of it if youre DFAB. Instead, your body produces more estrogen, the hormone that causes secondary sex characteristics associated with traditional femininity, like rounded breasts and hips.
Masculinizing hormone therapy reduces the amount of estrogen your body makes and boosts your testosterone levels high enough to:
- Suppress secondary sex characteristics associated with being AFAB.
- Induce secondary sex characteristics associated with being AMAB.
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Physical Signs Of Too Much Testosterone
Its also possible for people receiving testosterone therapy to gain weight. Sometimes this happens because the body will convert extra testosterone into estrogen.
Men with higher levels of testosterone are more prone to develop acne, oily skin, and balding. High testosterone levels correlate with high DHT levels.
DHT is another sex hormone thats responsible for male characteristics. These characteristics include facial hair and a deep voice. When there is too much DHT in the body, acne can develop and a man can lose his hair.
Monitored Testosterone Therapy Is Important
Doctors can help ensure that youre not receiving too much testosterone during therapy. They can keep your testosterone, estrogen, and DHT levels balanced.
Your doctor or testosterone replacement therapist should check your blood levels. In doing so, you can decrease the risks of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, mood swings, and acne.
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Research Supports The Use Of Testosterone Therapy In Heart Failure As It Improves Heart Function:
Heart failure is a chronic clinical syndrome with a very poor prognosis. Despite being on optimal medical therapy, many patients still experience debilitating symptoms and poor quality of life. In recent years, there has been a great interest in anabolic hormone replacement therapy namely, growth hormone and testosterone as adjunctive therapy in patients with advanced heart failure. It has been observed that low levels of growth hormone and testosterone have been associated with increased mortality and morbidity in patients with heart failure. Animal studies and clinical trials have shown promising clinical improvement with hormonal supplementation.
Growth hormone has been shown to increase ventricular wall mass, decrease wall stress, increase cardiac contractility, and reduce peripheral vascular resistance, all of which might help to enhance cardiac function, resulting in improvement in clinical symptoms. Likewise, testosterone has been shown to improve hemodynamic parameters via a reduction in peripheral vascular resistance and increased coronary blood flow through vasodilation, thereby improving functional and symptomatic status. To date, growth hormone and testosterone therapy have shown some positive benefits, albeit with some concerns over adverse effects. However, large randomized controlled trials are still needed to assess the long-term safety and efficacy.
What Are The Health Effects Of Low Testosterone
Testosterone is critical for a number of biological functions, most notably for the reproductive health of both men and women, but also for metabolism, mood regulation, and cardiovascular optimization. Below, well describe the most concerning effects of decreased testosterone levels in men and women, respectively.
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Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy In Men
Many men find that the side effects are often worse at the start of treatment. They usually settle down after a few weeks or months.
The side effects you might have depend on the type of hormone therapy that you are having.
Some side effects are common to all hormone therapies. Some vary from drug to drug. You might not have all of these side effects.
What Are The Benefits Of Masculinizing Hormone Therapy
Masculinizing hormone therapy can improve your overall well-being by helping to align your physical body with your gender.
Depending on your treatment goals, masculinizing hormone therapy can:
- Allow you to experience gender congruence, a feeling of comfort in your gendered body.
- Improve your psychological well-being and mental health.
- Increase your sexual satisfaction.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Testosterone Injection
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers right away if you have a tight feeling in your throat, a sudden urge to cough, or if you feel light-headed or short of breath during or shortly after receiving the injection.
You will be watched closely for at least 30 minutes to make sure you do not have a reaction to the injection.
Women receiving testosterone may develop male characteristics, which could be irreversible if treatment is continued. Call your doctor at once if you notice any of these signs of excess testosterone:
- changes in your menstrual periods
- male-pattern hair growth
- hoarse or deepened voice or
- enlarged clitoris.
- high red blood cell counts
- increased PSA or
- pain, bruising, bleeding, redness, or a hard lump where the medicine was injected.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What Is Testosterone Injection
Testosterone is a naturally occurring sex hormone produced in a man’s testicles. Small amounts of testosterone are also produced in a woman’s ovaries and adrenal system.
Testosterone injection is used in men and boys to treat conditions caused by a lack of this hormone, such as delayed puberty, impotence, or other hormonal imbalances. Testosterone injection is not for use in treating low testosterone without certain medical conditions or due to getting older.
Testosterone enanthate is used in women to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be treated with surgery.
Testosterone will not enhance athletic performance and should not be used for that purpose.
Testosterone injection may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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Do I Have To Come To The Office To Get My T
No. However, if you are giving this medication to yourself at home, we will review proper use in the clinic and if you have any questions or concerns, it is important to contact us as soon as possible.
THE SEATTLE TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY DOCTORS AT INNOVATIVE MENS CLINIC ARE EXPERTS AT BALANCING OPTIMAL T LEVELS
Always check the vial of testosterone for particles or color change before each use. If particles or color changes occur, do not use and contact us. All needles should be disposed of in a sharps container that can be purchased at and returned to most pharmacies . Unused medication should be disposed of properly .
Your Testosterone Will Be Lower In The Long Run
Right now, you might be wondering, If Im giving my body testosterone, how will it eventually decrease?
Heres the thing: Your body is like a Zen master, it always seeks balance. If youre loading up your system with synthetic testosterone, your body will shut down its natural production of testosterone in order to compensate.
If you start screwing around with your natural hormone levels at a young age, you could do irreparable damage, ensuring lower levels of natural test. The symptoms of low test? Fatigue, mood swings, and estrogen-based effects such as man boobs. Sound fun or what?
Best case scenario Youll need a hell of a lot of post-cycle therapy. The studies mentioned above showed that it took about a year for everything to get back to full working order when men stopped taking testosterone injections.
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The Side Effects Of High Testosterone Levels In Men And Women
The ultimate goal of testosterone replacement therapy is to create a healthy level of testosterone in your body.
Unsurprisingly, this feat can, at times, be complicated.
While one form of therapy could be successful for a certain patient, that same form may create adverse side effects in another. It boils down to finding the treatment path that works best for you.
Typically, testosterone replacement therapy counteracts naturally low levels of testosterone in your body. But its important to remember that the opposite, high testosterone levels, could also cause unwanted side effects.
Though both genders are susceptible, some effects are reserved for one gender or the other.
Here are several of the most common side effects of high testosterone levels.
Pain From Tumour Flare
Pain caused by a secondary prostate cancer can temporarily worsen when you start hormone treatment. This is called tumour flare.
Your doctor should always prescribe another hormone therapy when you start leuprorelin or goserelin injections. This other hormone therapy helps to prevent tumour flare from causing bone pain. If the pain carries on, your doctor can prescribe drugs called bisphosphonates to treat it.
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