Subcutaneous testosterone – is it effective?

I recently received a similar question about whether testosterone can be given subcutaneously? It has been assumed that preparations on oil or water require 2.5 – 3 cm intramuscular injection. Classically, testosterone is administered, for example, in various types of aetiology of hypogonadism. It is controversial – because in a healthy man testosterone preparations used in doping often cause hypogonadism (certainly blockade of the HPTA system). 

Bearded man showing his muscles 

Researchers tested whether testosterone preparations can be effectively and safely administered subcutaneously as an alternative to intramuscular injections. Sixty-three patients aged> 18 years were enrolled in the study, who decided to undergo subcutaneous (SC) therapy with testosterone to change their gender. Fifty-three patients were pre-menopausal. Patients were given testosterone cypionate or enanthate every week at the initial dose of 50 mg. If necessary, the dose was adjusted to obtain testosterone levels in the blood in the reference range for the male. 

The results of therapy 

In subsequent studies, McFarland J. et al. Proved that at weekly injections of 50-100 mg (on average 75 mg) of testosterone cypionate, the average levels of total and free testosterone were stable and remained within the normal range between injections. 


Compared with baseline pre-injection levels, serum concentrations increased significantly after 6 hours post-injection for both total total testosterone (increase from 497 ± 140 ng / dL to 656 ± 244 ng / dL) and free testosterone of 118 ± 46 pg / ml and after injection 151 ± 69 pg / ml. 

As you can see, the subcutaneous preparation of testosterone cypionate or enanthate may be effective. However, it is essential but … In doping, much higher doses than 50-100 mg per week are used. In addition, from numerous previous studies, we know that even with intramuscular injection there are some limitations in the amount of the given solution (in oil or water) to a given muscle lot, and this means that it can be similar with subcutaneous injection of testosterone. Once, subcutaneous implants with testosterone for up to six months were popular, but again this applies to HRT, i.e. very low doses of testosterone. Ultimately, it’s hard to judge whether subcutaneous testosterone will be effective in doping. 


You can read also: Testosterone – action, booster. Testosterone as doping