What is Testosterone Enanthate?

testosterone Heptanoate Also known as testosterone Heptanoate. It is an anabolic and androgenic steroid (AAS) drug used to treat low testosterone levels. Anabolic drugs work by building muscle, and androgens mean it enhances sexual characteristics normally associated with men.

This drug has been used in medical procedures since the 1950s. It is known by many brand names, including Androfil, Depandro, Testrin, and Testro, and is only available by prescription.

This article will explain how and why the drug is used. It also provides information on side effects and interactions with other medications, and answers questions about the cancer risks associated with using it.

Indications

Testosterone enanthate is both a synthetic drug derived from the testosterone hormone and a testosterone prodrug. This means it stimulates the body to produce its own testosterone. It has strong androgenic effects and moderate anabolic effects.

This drug can be used for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in cisgender (cis) men hypogonadismor decreased ability to make testosterone.

Reasons for this include:

  • Testicular damage, infection and cancer
  • Conditions such as Klinefelter syndrome and disorders of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland
  • Radiation and Chemotherapy

This drug may also be used in hormone therapy for transgender men.

Other uses include the treatment of delayed puberty in cis boys, In metastatic breast cancer, when it has spread to postmenopausal people.

The drug is also sometimes controversially used as an anti-aging treatment for older cis-males. Testosterone levels in cis-male men plummet after age 50, leading to a condition called andropause.

This video has been medically reviewed by Rochelle Collins, DO.

dose

Testosterone Enanthate is a clear or pale yellow liquid in 5 milliliter (ml) glass vials. It is injected into the buttock muscle every one to four weeks. To avoid large changes in hormone levels, and the accompanying mood swings, lower doses are usually used in shorter intervals.

The active drug is suspended in sesame oil for a sustained release period of two to three weeks.

Dosages may vary from person to person, but are generally used as follows:

  • Male hypogonadism: 50 to 400 milligrams (mg) every 2 to 4 weeks
  • Delayed puberty in men: 5 to 200 mg every 2 to 4 weeks for 4 to 6 months
  • Metastatic breast cancer: 200 to 400 mg every 2 to 4 weeks
  • Transsexual hormone therapy: 50 to 200 mg per week or 100 to 200 mg every two weeks

Although testosterone enanthate is sometimes associated with Testosterone Cypionate (depo testosterone), which is only approved for the treatment of hypogonadism.

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review

Testosterone Enanthate is a steroid with anabolic and androgenic properties. It is used to treat low testosterone levels or as hormone therapy for transgender people, among other uses. It is administered by intramuscular injection in the buttocks.

side effect

This drug is designed to alter hormone levels, and it has benefits and risks. Side effects can range from mild to intolerable.

The most serious side effects are related to testosterone abuse, which is a growing problem in the United States. This led the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change product warning labels in 2016.

common side effects

According to the FDA, the most common side effects associated with the use of testosterone enanthate include:

  • pain and swelling at the injection site
  • headache
  • Dizziness
  • mood changes, including aggression
  • depression or anxiety
  • increased or decreased libido
  • tingling all over the body
  • oily skin and acne
  • thinning hair
  • weight gain

The severity of side effects may improve in some people if the dose is reduced.

What are the effects of increasing testosterone levels?

Adverse reactions

Less common but potentially more serious side effects have been associated with long-term use or overuse of this drug. Some are related to its androgenic effects. Side effects can affect the heart and liver.

Call your healthcare professional if you experience any of the following while using testosterone enanthate:

  • male pattern baldness
  • Male-pattern hair growth (hirsutism) designated as female at birth
  • Gynecomastia (gynecomastia)
  • menstrual irregularities, including amenorrhea
  • clitoral enlargement
  • Prolonged painful erection of the penis (Priapism)
  • Difficulty or frequent urination at night in people with penises
  • Severe psychiatric symptoms, including major depression, paranoia, or psychosis

Some of the androgenic effects seen in those who were designated female at birth, such as an enlarged clitoris and a darkened voice, once occurred, were permanent.

Low sperm counts can reduce fertility in cis-males.

Testosterone use may increase the risk of certain diseases, especially in cis men.

They include:

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • congestive heart failure
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

People with severe untreated obstructive sleep apnea are at risk of sudden death while receiving testosterone therapy.

Severe liver damage may also occur. Symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin).

If you have signs of a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, call 911 or seek emergency care.

  • Signs of a heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, and pain in your left arm or jaw.
  • Stroke symptoms include severe headache, weakness on one side of the body, and difficulty speaking.

interactive

Some medications can interact with testosterone enanthate. Some may need to be changed or adjusted while you are taking this medicine.

Possible drug interactions include:

  • Anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) such as warfarin often increase the effect when used with testosterone. This increases the risk of bleeding.
  • Diabetes medication doses may need to be adjusted. This is because testosterone lowers blood sugar and insulin requirements.
  • People with heart, kidney, or liver disease need to use corticosteroids and testosterone with caution. Using them together may cause fluid retention (edema) and increase the risk of congestive heart failure.

Contraindications

In some cases, this medication should not be used under any circumstances. This includes testosterone use in untreated prostate or breast cancer and during pregnancy.

You should also avoid this medication if you are allergic to sesame oil or any of the ingredients of the medication.

Prostate Cancer Risk

TRT is known to improve urinary symptoms because benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) among those assigned male at birth.

The prostate is an organ assigned to be male at birth. Its role is to secrete prostatic fluid, one of the components of semen. BPH is a common disorder that restricts the flow of urine and can lead to bladder stones and decreased kidney function.

This may not be the case for men diagnosed with prostate cancer at birth. The link between testosterone use and prostate cancer remains highly debated, with reports of testosterone use in older men with untreated prostate cancer causing the cancer to spread. Other studies have not replicated this.

Despite the controversy, the FDA strongly recommends against the use of testosterone in cis-male men who have not been treated for prostate cancer.

Even for cis men without cancer, any rise in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the first three to six months of starting testosterone will mean the end of treatment until a full cancer investigation can be completed.

Taking Testosterone and the Risk of Prostate Cancer

male breast cancer risk

A 2006 study showed that men had an 11 percent increased risk of breast cancer during a 10-year period on TRT. The mechanism of this link is poorly understood and not verified.

For cis-males with untreated breast cancer, the FDA remains adamant that testosterone use poses a potential threat and should be avoided without exception. This is because testosterone is converted (aromatized) to naturally occurring estradiol.

pregnancy risk

Testosterone Enanthate should not be used in pregnant women. When given during pregnancy, testosterone can affect a female fetus. This condition causes physical characteristics normally associated with those assigned males at birth to appear in fetuses assigned to females.

Some symptoms may appear at birth, while others may only become apparent during adolescence or later in life.

They include:

  • Enlarged clitoris and external genitalia
  • Ovarian cyst in children
  • Excessive body or facial hair
  • larger bone structure
  • smaller breasts
  • Thinning hair similar to male pattern baldness
  • deeper voice

Pregnant women who experience virilization from testosterone use have a higher risk of virilization in their babies, which is the medical term for the condition.

If pregnancy is suspected, testosterone therapy must be discontinued. This is especially true in the first trimester. If pregnancy is confirmed, parents need to be informed of the potential harm to the baby.

The use of testosterone does not appear to pose any risk to a breastfed baby. The components of the drug are largely broken down before entering the blood, breast milk, or other bodily fluids. However, high levels of testosterone can affect milk production, so breastfeeding may not be possible.

Testosterone use by cis-males poses no risk to pregnancy, either during conception or during pregnancy.

generalize

Testosterone enanthate may offer potential benefits for cis-males with low testosterone levels. It can also be used to treat other conditions, including hormone therapy for transgender men.

But it also comes with many potential side effects and health risks. Some are quite serious, including a cis-male risk of heart attack and stroke. Drug interactions are also a potential problem, so if you’re considering a drug, be sure to tell your healthcare professional your full health history.

VigorTip words

Whether you are considering TRT or testosterone enanthate for other reasons, it is important to discuss all possibilities with your healthcare provider. This is the best way to ensure a positive outcome from your decision to use this drug.