Depo-Testosterone, also known by its generic name testosterone cypionate, is the most common medication used in the United States to treat testosterone deficiency (low T) – usually in men, but often in women – by elevating circulating testosterone levels.
The process of supplementing natural testosterone levels with synthetic versions of the male sex hormone such as Depo-Testosterone is called testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT is one of the safest and most routinely practiced forms of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Millions of men around the globe have safely and effectively restored their androgen levels to healthy blood concentrations through the use of Depo-Testosterone.
Here is everything you should know about Depo-Testosterone, including whether it is right for you.
What Is Depo-Testosterone?
The pharmaceutical Pfizer – one of the longest-running, most important, and highly regarded firms in the world — produces Depo-Testosterone. The product was first introduced to the US market in 1951 and has remained a mainstay of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since then.
According to Pfizer’s Depo-Testosterone information page:
“Testosterone cypionate is a white or creamy white crystalline powder, odorless or nearly so and stable in air. It is insoluble in water, freely soluble in alcohol, chloroform, dioxane, ether, and soluble in vegetable oils. The chemical name for testosterone cypionate is androst-4-en-3-one, 17-(3-cyclopentyl-1-oxopropoxy)-, (17β)-. Its molecular formula is C27H40O3, and the molecular weight 412.61.“
A 100 mg/mL solution of Depo-Testosterone contains the following ingredients:
- Testosterone cypionate (100 mg)
- Benzyl benzoate (0.1 mL)
- Cottonseed oil (736 mg)
- Benzyl alcohol (as preservative) (9.45 mg)
As a synthetic form of naturally-occurring testosterone manufactured in the testes in men primarily (and in the ovaries and adrenal glands of women), Depo-Testosterone acts as an agonist of the various androgen receptors located throughout both the male and female body. Androgen receptors, or ARs, can be found in every major organ, including the brain, liver, and heart, among others:
“Given its widespread expression in many cells and tissues, the AR has a diverse range of biological actions including important roles in the development and maintenance of the reproductive, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, immune, neural and hemopoietic systems.”
Due to the presence of ARs throughout the body, Depo-Testosterone supplementation can exert enormous beneficial effects in patients with diagnosed testosterone deficiency, or “Low T.”
Physicians and other healthcare professionals primarily use Depo-Testosterone as their preferred tool to treat testosterone deficiency, particularly among men. As men age, they tend to lose testosterone year after year – typically experiencing a 1% drop annually following their peak T concentrations in their early 20s.
Even worse, the modern lifestyle — which bombards our bodies daily with T-lowering chemicals in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe – has resulted in a generational decline of substantial proportions. This means that the average man in 2021 has markedly lower T counts than his father or grandfathers. Consider the shocking findings of a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
“Recent years have seen a substantial, and as yet unrecognized, age-independent population-level decrease in T in American men, potentially attributable to birth cohort differences or to health or environmental effects not captured in observed data.”
The results indicate that bioavailable testosterone levels (the most important type for achieving medical benefits from the hormone) have fallen by nearly half in just the three decades studied. Public health officials have warned that, unless corrective action is taken at the population level, we can expect to see further declines. Women, like men, require testosterone for optimal physiological function, but in much lower quantities; the average woman has 10-20 times less circulating T than the average man.
Nonetheless, women may experience the harmful effects of testosterone deficiency, usually during or following menopause that typically occurs around age 45-55. The symptoms of low testosterone can include:
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Low libido (sexual desire)
- Limited energy (chronic fatigue)
- Poor mood
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increased fat, especially belly fat
- Loss of body hair
- Lack of motivation
If you believe that you might be suffering from low testosterone based on the above symptoms, as many Americans do, a quick and easy blood test can determine your T count as a way to diagnose any imbalance. Always consult with an experienced endocrinologist (hormone doctor) regarding your test results to make sure they are interpreted properly and the appropriate course of corrective action, if any, is taken.
For individuals affected by testosterone deficiency, the benefits of testosterone supplementation via Depo-Testosterone can include:
- Greater energy levels
- Enhanced sexual desire (libido)
- Harder, longer-lasting erections
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased bone density
- Heightened insulin sensitivity (important for patients battling diabetes or other metabolic disorders)
- Improved mood
- Enhanced cognition
- Decreased fat (especially the dangerous “visceral fat” variety that accumulates around the gut)
- Reduced or eliminated anxiety and depression
Potential Side Effects of Depo-Testosterone
Depo-Testosterone supplementation does carry some risks. However, these can be largely managed or eliminated altogether with the appropriate guidance and supervision of a medical professional.
Some of the rare but documented potential side effects of Depo-Testosterone can include:
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Disrupted liver function
- Blood coagulation
- Lowered sperm count
Ongoing testing and monitoring throughout testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can, again, significantly mitigate these risks while maximizing the potential benefits of Depo-Testosterone.
Who Manufactures Depo-Testosterone?
Pfizer manufactures Depo-Testosterone. In addition to Pfizer’s Depo-Testosterone, several pharmaceutical firms offer their own testosterone formulations. Some of the most popular brand names of commercially available testosterone cypionate that Depo-Testosterone competes with include:
- Dep Andro
- Malogen CYP
Of these, Depo-Testosterone is the oldest, most frequently prescribed, and arguably most respected brand of testosterone cypionate due to its extensive history of clinical vetting (since 1951) and widespread successful application in therapy.
Depo-Testosterone Prescription Information
Like many hormones, Depo-Testosterone is a controlled substance. In the United States, it is classified as a Schedule III drug under federal law. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the federal bureau tasked with regulating controlled substances, this categorization:
“Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.”
Essentially, this means that, although there is relatively little risk of abuse compared to drugs in Schedule I and Schedule II, the substances included here, such as Depo-Testosterone, do carry some risk to users. Accordingly, patients receiving Depo-Testosterone for TRT must obtain a legal prescription from a licensed medical provider before beginning therapy.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) frequently pursues criminal prosecutions against both users and sellers of illegal testosterone supplements on the black market:
“The possession or sale of anabolic steroids without a valid prescription is illegal. Simple possession of illicitly obtained anabolic steroids carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a minimum $1,000 fine if this is an individual’s first drug offense.”
In addition to providing legal protection, obtaining a prescription from a licensed doctor for Depo-Testosterone and sourcing it from a licensed pharmacy protects patients from potentially dangerous, unregulated products from the Third World.
According to information from the World Health Organization, up to 1 in 10 medical supplies sourced from the Third World may be substandard or fake.
“This means that people are taking medicines that fail to treat or prevent disease. Not only is this a waste of money for individuals and health systems that purchase these products, but substandard or falsified medical products can cause serious illness or even death.”
By relying on expert medical guidance and legally obtaining your medications from licensed providers, you can protect yourself and ensure you are receiving high-quality, effective, and safe Depo-Testosterone free of harmful additives or contaminants.
The cost of Depo-Testosterone can vary considerably, with the best deals found on the internet. Generic versions of Depo-Testosterone are less expensive than branded ones. According to market research:
“The cost for Depo-Testosterone intramuscular solution (cypionate 200 mg/mL) is around $31 for a supply of 1 milliliter(s), depending on the pharmacy you visit.”
Depo-Testosterone is just one brand of the pharmaceutical drug testosterone cypionate. If you are looking for the best price, look for generic “testosterone cypionate”; a high-quality generic can be just as effective and is likely to be much friendlier to your budget. A standard 10ml of 100mg/ml solution of testosterone cypionate generally retails for the prices in the chart below next to popular US pharmacies:
|Retailer||Cost (10ml of 100mg/ml)|
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I had suffered from anxiety and depression (suicidal grade) since I was a boy. I first began taking anti-depressants at age 12. My doctor had a chart in her office about low T, it listed 10 symptoms. I had all 10. I asked her to prescribe it. So, she did all of the required tests. I was within the average range. 7 years later same results, I am now 48. Finally in January of 2014, I said that I would chance any side effect. My tests had come back normal yet again. But, she did prescribe it. I woke up on day 14 with NO depression or anxiety. What can I say, 48 years of existing and my brain chemistry is now great. My energy level is incredible and depression simply doesn't happen.
I am a 43 year old that works out 5 times a week for 1-1.5 hours each time. Woke up one morning about 3 months ago and felt like somebody turned off a switch in my body, no real desire for sex but after a lot of foreplay able to somewhat achieve an erection but not really hard. Went to Dr and testosterone of 188. Started on Depo Testosterone by IM injection in gluteus and 4 hours after first dose was able to achieve an erection that I would describe at times as almost a little painful due to how hard I was and able to perform 4 times that day with wife.