ARE TESTOSTERONE GELS SAFER THAN INJECTIBLE VERSIONS?
JAMA Internal Medicine
Researchers have evaluated 500,000 men in 3 different studies to see if there was a difference in topical gels versus injectable testosterone replacement. They found that some men get a large spike in testosterone levels right after an injection which caused a slightly higher risk of heart disease. There are risks in taking any medication, which is why I only prescribe testosterone in patients who are clearly symptomatic from “LOW T”. Testosterone DOES NOT cause prostate cancer and for every study that shows a relationship between testosterone and heart disease there a ten times as many that show a DECREASED risk.
The advantages of injectable testosterone is that it only has to be taken every 2 weeks and the patient is assured of absorbing it. It also costs about $4/injection and can be self-injected.
Topical testosterone gels are messy and absorption is variable. Once applied, you cannot come in contact with any women or children until you shower it off.
If you are lucky enough to have commercial insurance, there are coupon vouchers that cut the cost to $10/month. Medicare patients(and some commercial) are out of luck and if not covered could cost as much as $240/month.