(Subcutaneous Testosterone Implant)
Testopel is a popular yet unique form of testosterone in that it is not injected, rubbed on like gel nor taken orally. Testopel is a small rice size pellet that is inserted into the body subcutaneously through a small surgical procedure. Rapidly this has become a popular form of testosterone in the treatment of low levels due to its very infrequent need for administration. Manufactured by Bartor Pharmaceuticals, generic versions are available, but subcutaneous implant pellets still remain less popular in the U.S. than compared to Europe.
Functions & Traits:
Testopel is a solid pellet that is cylindrical in shape and is comprised of the primary male androgen testosterone. Other than binders that are used to hold the pellet together, there are no other ingredients. Administration is performed by making a small incision and placing the pellet(s) directly under the skin. Once administered, the testosterone will slowly release over a lengthy extended period of time. In most cases, administration only has to be performed once every 4-6 months.
Like most testosterone medications, Testopel represents a perfect replica of naturally produced testosterone. Once the hormone is released, the human body will not be able to distinguish it from the testosterone it naturally produces making it an excellent remedy for low levels. Low testosterone is something no man wants to suffer from, and while many do, many do unnecessarily. By administering Testopel or other testosterone medications, you can easily reverse your symptoms and dramatically improve your health, wellbeing and overall disposition. Symptoms of low testosterone can include:
- Changes in body composition – fat gain despite no change to diet and exercise – loss of muscle mass, despite no changes to diet and exercise – loss of strength, despite no changes to diet and exercise.
- Changes in sexual performance/desire – erectile dysfunction, partial or full, the inability to obtain or maintain an erection – decreased libido, a decrease in your desire for sexual activity, may result in a total loss of desire or partial.
- Fatigue – less energy, a more difficult time recovering from daily task, requiring more rest in areas that normally required less – a feeling of lethargy.
- Diminished mental capacity – loss of memory – feeling less sharp – sometimes more confused – mental fogginess – difficulty concentrating.
- Diminished mental wellbeing – feelings of depression – irritability – a lack of drive or will.
- Many men who have low testosterone also report bouts of insomnia. They’re tired but still cannot sleep well. Often they have a difficult time going to sleep or staying asleep. Many men with low testosterone also have a much more difficult time coping with and managing stress.
Fortunately, for the man with low testosterone, Testopel or other testosterone medications can remedy each and every last symptom caused by a low level condition. It doesn’t occur overnight with any testosterone medication, you will need to display some patience, but many men report feeling just as good as they did in their twenties, and in some cases, even better.
All medications carry possible side effects. This is not unique to testosterone or any other hormone or medication. The side effects of Testopel, however, while possible are easily controlled and avoidable with proper therapy. It’s also extremely important to note that possible side effects means just that, possible. It does not mean guaranteed. This is important to note as some physicians who do not understand testosterone often imply side effects are set in stone, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The primary side effects of Testopel as with all testosterone medications will surround excess estrogen. Testosterone has the ability to convert to estrogen through the aromatase enzyme. As men, we need estrogen, it is an essential hormone, but just as low testosterone is problematic, high estrogen is problematic; in fact, even low estrogen is problematic. The key to successful treatment is balancing these two hormones, testosterone and estrogen. However, if estrogen levels go beyond the optimal range, this can promote water retention and high blood pressure when water retention becomes severe. Equally important, it can also promote gynecomastia, the growth of male breast tissue.
In order to protect from the estrogenic side effects of Testopel, many men will need to use an Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) like Anastrozole. An AI will inhibit the aromatase process, thereby reducing serum estrogen levels. What doesn’t exist cannot cause a problem. However, we must be careful with our AI dose. Not all men need an AI. If your estradiol levels are not high and you are not showing elevated level symptoms, you will not want to use an AI. The use of an AI where it’s not needed will drive serum estrogen levels below the optimal range, which can cause erectile dysfunction, loss of libido and decrease energy levels among a host of other issues. Approximately 25-30% of all men using Testopel or any type of testosterone will not need an AI.
While estrogen is easy to control, the side effects of Testopel can also include those of an androgenic nature. Androgenic side effects are due to the testosterone hormone’s ability to be metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which will convert the hormone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Increases in DHT can promote hair loss, acne and body hair growth. However, the androgenic side effects are highly dependent on genetic predispositions. For example, hair loss can only occur if you’re predisposed to male pattern baldness. Acne is something that’s generally only a risk to those who are naturally acne sensitive. However, therapeutic doses rarely result in androgenic side effects in most men. Rarely should any of these issues occur with proper care and protocols that optimize hormonal levels.
The side effects of Testopel can also include decreased HDL cholesterol, especially when used with an AI. Alone Testopel should not have a significant impact on lipids, but data has shown testosterone and an AI can reduce HDL cholesterol by as much as 20%. However, there should not be any negative affect on cholesterol if the individual makes a small effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Limiting saturated fats and simple sugars and consuming plenty of omega fatty acids will be more than enough for most men.
The final side effect of Testopel surrounds natural testosterone suppression. When exogenous testosterone is supplied, natural testosterone production stops. The body has no reason to manufacture its own testosterone when it’s getting what it needs from an outside source. For the low testosterone patient, this should not be a concern; after all, he doesn’t have the ability to make enough testosterone on his own to begin with. The good news is if HCG is used in conjunction with testosterone, natural testosterone production will remain online giving the individual about a 20% boost in total testosterone, not to mention all the other benefits of HCG.
Important note – HCG only works in this regard if you are a secondary hypogonadism patient. It will not work for a man who suffers from primary hypogonadism.
Dosing & Administration:
In order to use Testopel or any subcutaneous testosterone pellet, this will require a small outpatient surgical procedure. In most cases, 4-6 pellets will be inserted and will remain in the body for 4-6 months. This will result in the patient receiving 340-450mg of active free testosterone, which should remedy most any low level condition. When comparing this to other forms of testosterone it doesn’t sound like very much; however, keep in mind there are no esters, it is simply pure testosterone that dissolves slowly overtime. This is an excellent way to treat low testosterone, the only true downside being the small procedure 2-3 times per year. Some men also report a slight discomfort at the inserted area as they can feel it when they sit down, but it should not be painful.