Testosterone Cypionate Safety Information: Dosage, Side Effects, and More
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone, or androgen, is the male sex hormone, naturally produced by the male body. It is necessary for normal sexual development, muscle growth, bone health, and genital development. However, some men cannot produce enough testosterone to keep the body properly supplied. In those cases, doctors may prescribe a testosterone replacement.
One such treatment is testosterone cypionate, an injectable form of the hormone. Learn about testosterone cypionate and how it treats low testosterone levels.
Testosterone cypionate is a testosterone-replacement treatment in the form of an injectable medication. Your doctor or a healthcare provider will inject the medicine into a muscle in your buttocks. In some cases, patients are able to give themselves these injections. This can prevent frequent trips to a doctors’ office for regular injections. If you’re interested in administering the injections at home, ask your doctor if this is a possibility for you.
Why Is Testosterone Cypionate Needed?
Sometimes, a man’s body does not produce enough testosterone to maintain important functions, like muscle and bone growth and sexual function. In some cases, the body stops making the hormone entirely. In such circumstances, your doctor may prescribe testosterone cypionate to help replace some of the natural testosterone you’re lacking.
Other reasons testosterone cypionate might be prescribed include:
- stimulating the beginning of puberty in boys with delayed puberty
- treating particular kinds of breast cancer in women
What Consists of a Dose?
The amount of medicine you need depends on the severity of the condition that is being treated. It also depends on how frequently you’re receiving an injection.
If you miss an injection, do not double your next scheduled dose. Instead, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it’s very close to your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose, and stick with your scheduled dose plan.
How Often Are Treatments Needed?
Most men benefit from an injection every few weeks. Some may need an injection more frequently. Others may be able to put several weeks between injections. How often you get an injection depends on the severity of the condition being treated, your personal health history, and your current levels of testosterone in your blood. After a few months of treatment, your doctor may want to adjust your frequency of treatment. Your doctor may request regular blood tests to monitor your levels.
Proper usage of testosterone cypionate is very important. This medicine has unintended side effects for people who aren’t meant to inject the hormone. Here are a few important things to remember:
- take this medicine only as prescribed by your doctor or healthcare provider
- do not take the medicine if it appears discolored or has specks floating in it
- be sure to inject the medicine in your muscle, not a vein. Ask your doctor for guidance in giving yourself injections if you begin at-home treatment
- do not stop taking testosterone injections without your doctor’s knowledge
Side Effects of Testosterone Cypionate
Men taking testosterone cypionate may experience the following side effects:
- nausea and vomiting
- increased or decreased sexual interest
- changes in skin complexion
- hair loss
- increase in water retention
In rare cases, some men experience more serious side effects. These include:
- mood swings
- difficulty sleeping
- abdominal pain
- trouble urinating
- breast swelling or tenderness
- prolonged or frequent erections
- heart failure
Who Should Not Take Testosterone Cypionate
Your doctor may suggest you avoid taking testosterone cypionate or any testosterone replacements if any of the following conditions apply to you:
- you are diabetic
- you have or have had breast cancer
- you have or have had prostate cancer
- you have a history of enlarged prostate
- you have a serious, diagnosed cardiac, hepatic, or renal disease
- you have a history of sensitivity to testosterone replacements
Testosterone replacement can have negative health effects on people in your life if the medicine is not used properly. Exposure to androgen hormones during pregnancy may affect a fetus’s development, and mothers who are nursing may pass androgens to children through the milk. This can cause premature sexual development. Children exposed to testosterone may experience premature sexual development also.
Consult With Your Doctor
It’s important to communicate with your doctor about how the testosterone cypionate injections make you feel, how they affect your symptoms, and how your body is responding. Be sure to make regular appointments with your doctor so he or she can check your progress. Your doctor may need to conduct regular blood tests and a physical exam to assess your treatment plan, start another treatment, or stop all treatment entirely. Together, the two of you will be able to find a treatment plan that helps you live a healthy life.
- Androgen (Oral Route, Parenteral Route, Subcutaneous Route, Topical Application Route, Transdermal Route). (2012, 1 July). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved December 9, 2013 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602081.
- DEPO-TESTOSTERONE (testosterone cypionate) injection, solution. (2010, Feb). DailyMed, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved December 9, 2013 from http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=837570cb-8a33-4129-ad41-bead378d9987.