Americans spend billions on prescription testosterone. It’s outstanding how testosterone can rake in so much money and attention. The reasons are simple.
A study shows prescription testosterone led to positive results. About 52% of the participants said it increased their energy. Another 42% said it boosted their libido. While 28% claimed they gained muscle mass. No wonder the US tops prescription testosterone globally at about 80% market share.
If you think you need testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), you won’t have to go far. Over 20 clinics and dozens of private medical practitioners offer TRT in Albuquerque. You may call us at the Injection and Infusion Clinic for more information about TRT at 505-445-4300.
Here’s what you need to know about TRT:
- When do I start testosterone replacement therapy?
- When do I stop testosterone replacement therapy?
- How is testosterone replacement therapy done?
- How much does testosterone replacement therapy cost?
- Which testosterone replacement therapy is best for me?
When do I start testosterone replacement therapy?
Medical practitioners recommend TRT for men with low testosterone, also called hypogonadism.
Before undergoing your TRT in Albuquerque, you can first take a quick symptom checker. The more “yes” answers, the higher is your probability of having low testosterone.
- Do I have a low sex drive?
- Do I have difficulty getting an erection?
- Do I have less semen compared to a few years ago?
- Do my testicles seem to be smaller than average?
- Am I losing hair or balding?
- Do I feel tired or have a low energy level all the time?
- Are my muscles decreasing in mass?
- Am I getting fat?
- Do I have mood swings? For example, do I quickly get irritated, depressed, or out of sync?
- Do I experience memory gaps?
It’s best to consult a medical practitioner if you are experiencing most of the common symptoms of low testosterone. Part of the assessment is a thorough health history, physical examination, and labs.
It’s crucial to tell a medical practitioner about your pre-existing health conditions. Elevated red blood cell count, sleep apnea, and heart problems disqualify you. If you don’t have any of these medical conditions, you have to undergo further tests.
The most critical test for testosterone deficiency is a total blood testosterone level. A medical practitioner draws samples of your blood twice. You have one sample drawn in the morning. To confirm the result, your healthcare provider draws the other blood sample before noon.
The normal testosterone level depends on your age. If you are 19 to 49 years old, your result should be 249 to 836 ng/dL. Or your result should be within 193 to 740 ng/dL if you’re 50 or more. A medical practitioner may recommend other labs before prescribing TRT for you.
When do I stop testosterone replacement therapy?
According to the American Urological Association, TRT is a life-long therapy. Medical experts say it’s true, especially if the cause of low testosterone is irreversible. Other specialists note that going cold turkey can result in a sudden drop in testosterone level. The consequences can be extreme discomfort or the risk of death.
But you may decide to stop TRT if you no longer want it. A medical practitioner tapers off your TRT for about four weeks. Once you’re out of the TRT, though, your symptoms of low testosterone eventually get back.
How is testosterone replacement therapy done?
Clinics in Albuquerque offer various forms of TRT, which you can browse. A medical practitioner prescribes TRT that suits you. It may depend on many factors. Primary consideration is given to your body’s response to TRT.
It also includes your capacity to pay the price and convenience. Some men choose the easiest route to administer TRT. There are eight ways to administer testosterone by mouth, on the skin or nose, and under the skin.
- Oral capsules: Oral TRT uses testosterone undecanoate or capsules. It’s not as effective as the other forms. It has to go through the digestive system before it gets absorbed by the body. But the latest study published in 2021 supports its safety.
The study was composed of men with low testosterone levels. The researchers monitored them while evaluating the drug’s safety and efficacy. The study reveals the participants in the first and second years had maintained testosterone levels. Most of all, they didn’t show any signs of liver toxicity.
You receive a starting dose of dose 40 mg once a day. You usually take oral testosterone after a meal.
A medical practitioner may adjust the dose depending on how your body reacts. It may be 160-240 mg spread out in two to four doses in a day. Taking more than one dose a day can be costly, too. The downside is that it’s also more expensive compared to the other forms.
- Buccal tablets: You place ttestosteronebetween the inner cheeks and gums near the molars. It has a controlled ,and sustained release applied twice. You put the tablet in the buccal in the morning and the evening.
The usual dose of one tablet is 30 mg. It should stick to the gums and make sure it stays there until the next dose. You should neither chew nor swallow the tablet.
- Nasal gel: It’s applied inside the nose cavity two to three times a day. Based on a study, a specific brand of nasal gel restores testosterone levels. It’s safe and effective as a TRT for men with functional hypogonadism. However, it may cause mild discomfort. The top three most common side effects are colds, a runny nose, and nosebleeds.
- Transdermal cream: It’s user-friendly as you apply the cream on the skin of your scrotum. A study found this route is well tolerated. It achieves maximum testosterone concentration than other creams applied to the different parts of the body.
It’s a fast, pain-free, and easy way to increase your testosterone level. The downside, though, is it gets wiped off. You have to avoid some activities. To get maximum absorption, you have to delay working out, bathing, or having sex for about an hour after application.
- Transdermal patch: It’s applied on intact skin, which is absorbed by your body at a controlled rate. You place the patch on a clean, dry, and unbroken skin of your upper arm, thigh, back, or stomach. Don’t stick it on bony areas of your body, on your butt, or scrotum.
It comes in doses of 2 mg/day and 4 mg/day. The patch lasts for one week. You should rotate the site where you put it to avoid skin irritation. Like applying creams, you have to avoid certain activities. For the first three hours, you can’t shower, wash, or swim.
- Transdermal gel: The application is the same as the transdermal patch. Brands come in different formulations, like packets or pumps. You may apply it to the skin of the upper arm, inner thigh, or armpit every morning.
The downside is a gel can transfer to another person through skin-to-skin contact. Medical practitioners advise covering the area until it dries.
- Injection: It’s the usual route and cost-effective way of receiving TRT. Your healthcare provider injects the oil-based substance into your gluteal muscle or buttocks. It gradually goes into your bloodstream.
You get an initial injection dose of 200-250 mg of testosterone every 2-3 weeks. It’s short-acting. For younger men and older adults, the amount may be as little as 100 mg. The medical practitioner adjusts the quantity and frequency based on your body’s response.
Your testosterone level may not hit the desired target. A medical professional may increase the dose. In contrast, if your testosterone level over-shoots the target, the dose may be decreased.
Men using short-acting injections feel a boost of the effects after receiving a dose. Although, like at wave, the level goes down after it peaks. Another option is long-acting testosterone injections administered every three months.
But, there’s a downside. A study reveals long-acting TRT has lead to infertility. So, short-acting TRT is better for men with low testosterone who still want to have children.
- Implants or pellets: Testosterone pellets measure about 3 to 9 millimeters. Your healthcare provider implants the pellet under the skin near your hip. The procedure takes around 15 minutes. For three to six months, the testosterone releases slowly into your bloodstream.
Unlike other forms, pellets are long-acting. A pellet, as a foreign object your body can push or expel it. It can also cause infection.
How much does testosterone replacement therapy cost?
Is TRT expensive? Pharmacies in Albuquerque offer generic versions of testosterone at lower prices. Here are rough estimates for the monthly retail cost of branded testosterone:
- Oral capsules, taken twice daily, costs about $850 for 60 capsules.
- Buccal testosterone of two daily doses is not far behind at around $800 for 60 tablets.
- Transdermal gels, on the other hand, cost around $650 for 75 grams. Take note it may or may not last a month, depending on how much you apply.
- Patches are about $550 for 30 pieces.
- Nasal gel costs less at $350.
- Pellets are about $110. The price, based on $650 for TRT, lasts for about six months.
- Compounded not branded transdermal creams are about $60 to $160. Like gels, it may or may not last a month, depending on the amount you apply.
- Injections are relatively cheaper than other forms at around $30 to $120.
Which testosterone replacement therapy is best for me?
All testosterone forms have their pros and cons. Injections may last longer than the other modalities. However, the pellets are superior in performance because they are long-acting with slow release. You won’t experience the prick of an injection every time you get your dose. A steady release of the pellets spares you from the peaks and troughs of injections.
Transdermal forms like creams, gels, and patches keep testosterone levels stable. They’re easy to use, but it takes weeks for you to feel the effects.
There are many factors to be considered in choosing the best TRT for you. Each person is unique. Even the scientific community needs to investigate further the best dose, time, and route.
There’s a 2017 published study compared the various medications used in TRT for hypogonadism. The researchers compared 13 brands of different testosterone forms. The study reveals all forms improved testosterone levels.
The researchers recommended the top three options for TRT. Their opinion took into account patient compliance, efficacy, cost, and side effects. , Transdermal patches, injections, and transdermal gel are the options recommended.