Injectable testosterone therapy is prescribed on a very individualized basis. Therefore dosages of testosterone injections will vary. The most common form of injectable testosterone therapy contains testosterone cypionate which is the oil-soluble 17 (beta)-cyclopentylpropionate ester of the androgenic hormone testosterone. This is commonly referred to as “DEPO-Testosterone” or merely “DEPO.
This form of injectable testosterone is usually prescribed in vials of 100 mg/mL solution or 200 mg/mL solution.
Each mL of the 100 mg/mL solution contains:
Testosterone cypionate……………..100 mg
Benzyl benzoate……………..0.1 mL
Cottonseed oil……………..736 mg
Benzyl alcohol (as preservative)……………..9.45 mg
Each mL of the 200 mg/mL solution contains:
Testosterone cypionate……………..200 mg
Benzyl benzoate……………..0.2 mL
Cottonseed oil……………..560 mg
Benzyl alcohol (as preservative)……………..9.45 mg
Testosterone injections are for intramuscular use only. Your dosage and monthly regimen of injectable testosterone will be prescribed based on your age, sex, weight, and individual symptoms.
Administration of Injectable Testosterone
It is very important that you learn where to give your testosterone injections.
Testosterone is given via intramuscular injection. Intramuscular (IM) injections are given deep into the muscles. The very vascular muscles of your arm, your thigh, or the “glutes” are the most common injection sites. The needles used to deliver low testosterone treatments are very thin, much like the ones diabetics use to deliver insulin. Once you learn how to give yourself your testosterone injections, you will find them easy to do, and quite painless.
How Are Testosterone Injections Administered?
Your approved dosage of testosterone therapy should be administered like any other intramuscular injection. Intramuscular shots are given at a 90 degree angle. The needle size used for IM injections is usually 22-23 Gauge, 1-1.5 inches in length.
Basically, there are four steps to giving yourself an intramuscular injection of testosterone.
Step 1: Setting Up for the Injection
Find a clean and comfortable work area that you will use each time you administer your testosterone injections. Make sure your injectable testosterone is at room temperature. Look in the vial, and check for any discoloration or particles in the fluid. Check the expiration date on the vial. Do not use a vial of injectable testosterone with anything floating in the suspension, or that is discolored or is expired. Wash your hands very well. Clean hands is the best way avoid an infection at the injection site.
Step 2: Selecting and Preparing the Testosterone Injection Site
Again, injectable testosterone has to be given in the deep muscle. Most users of injectable testosterone choose the thigh, as it is one of the easier injection sites to use. Generally speaking, the areas with more muscle and less subcutaneous fat, tend to be the least painful injection sites for testosterone. However, wherever you choose to give your testosterone injections, it is best to rotate, or alternate sites every other injection or so, to avoid pain, inflammation and other possible complications of your testosterone injections.
Step 3: Preparing the Testosterone Injection Dose
Take the cap off the vial. Clean the rubber stopper with one of alcohol swabs included in your injectable testosterone kit. Typical needle size to give testosterone injections is a gauge of between 22 and 25. Some testosterone users suggest that you should use one needle to draw the testosterone dose into the syringe, discard that needle, and then use another to give yourself the actual testosterone injection. The rationale behind this is that the tip of the needle could get blunted pushing through the stopper of the testosterone vial, and therefore possibly cause a more painful injection. There is nothing wrong with this practice, however, there is also little evidence to suggest that it is true.
Step 4: Giving the Testosterone Injection
Place the vial on your clean flat working surface. Insert the needle straight down through the center of the rubber stopper. Keeping the needle in the vial, turn the vial upside down. With the needle still in the vial, check for air bubbles. If there are air bubbles, gently tap the syringe with your fingers until the air bubbles rise to the top of the syringe. Then slowly push the plunger up to force the air bubbles out of the syringe without removing the needle from the bottle. Pull the injectable testosterone into the syringe, only to the line that corresponds to your prescribed dosage.
Clean the injection site skin with an alcohol swab; let it air dry. Stick the needle into the muscle at a 90 degree angle with one quick and firm motion. Pull back slightly on the plunger of the syringe to check for blood, if you see blood, DO NOT proceed with the injection. If there is no blood in the needle, you can complete the injection by pushing the medication slowly into the muscle.
Does Administering Injectable Testosterone Hurt?
When done correctly, testosterone injections should not hurt. And yet many men report discomfort when giving testosterone injections. Here are a few ways to give testosterone injections and reduce the potential for pain. Where to give testosterone injections is the most important thing to consider when trying to keep testosterone injections as painless as possible. Selection of your testosterone injection site is critical to minimizing discomfort.
Testosterone injections should be given deeply into vascular muscle tissue. The deltoids, the vastus lateralis, and gluteal muscles are the most common intramuscular (IM) injection sites. Those are your arm, thigh, and buttocks respectively. Some of these sites, are more prone to pain then others. Generally speaking, the areas with more muscle and less subcutaneous fat, tend to be the least painful injection sites for testosterone.
However, wherever you choose to give your testosterone injections, it is best to rotate, or alternate sites every other injection or so to avoid pain, inflammation and other possible complications of your testosterone injections.
Other Things to Consider When Administering Injectable Testosterone
Other than how to administer injectable testosterone therapy, there are a few other things you need to consider about testosterone shots, such as:
Needle size in terms of length and gauge
The volume of your dose
Your particular injection technique
To massage or not to massage
If it is possible to split your testosterone injections into more frequent smaller dosages, less volume in each testosterone injection, can result in less pain.
As far as technique, to minimize pain of your testosterone injection, keep the needle straight, and the faster you inject usually means less pain.
Because there are different types of testosterone in the various brands of testosterone injections, and there is some variation on how they work, some should be massaged in after they are injected, and some should not be. Consult the literature that comes with your testosterone injection kit or ask your prescriber if your particular type needs to be massaged in or not.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect From Testosterone Injections?
While taking your injectable testosterone therapy correctly will minimize discomfort, and maximize results, there are a few other things you need to understand about the results of testosterone injections.
Number one, injectable testosterone therapy is most successful when it is prescribed for your particular individual needs, lifestyle and metabolism. As such, that means that no two testosterone therapy patients will have an identical experience. Your results will be tailored to meet your unique goals and lifestyle.
The other thing you need to understand about injectable testosterone therapy is that while you will see results, you will not suddenly have the physique of Superman after your first injection. The whole reason why testosterone injections are to be taken over the course of a few months, is that their effects are cumulative, and take time to be achieved.
Are There Any Risks to Injectable Testosterone?
If you follow the tips and techniques stated above of how and where to administer your injectable testosterone therapy, your injections should be relatively painless, and risk free.
Like any kind of therapy or medical treatment, however, injectable testosterone therapy does have some potential side effects. However, the many positive benefits you will get from testosterone therapy far outweigh any potential risks.
If you have been diagnosed with low testosterone, and do not begin taking your testosterone injections as prescribed, your testosterone will only continue to decline, and your symptoms to worsen.
On the other hand, if you work with your doctor to achieve the many positive and lasting benefits of testosterone therapy, you will have made a good decision!
What you can expect from injectable testosterone therapy is:
Increased ability to burn fat and build muscle
Healthier skin and bones
If you need injectable testosterone therapy, and you do not take your testosterone injections, all you can expect is a life filled with more weakness and depression.