Can You Overdose On Testosterone Drugs? (The Answer)

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD
Published by Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD | Medical Doctor
Last updated: February 15, 2024
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The unfortunate reality is that there are way too many bodybuilders and athletes who self-administer anabolic steroids for physical and performance gains.

And while there are many side effects even when you take testosterone injections as prescribed by a doctor, it can get even more serious when the dosage is way too high.

As a doctor, I dedicated several hours to researching scientific literature to understand the medical implications of this topic thoroughly.

What I found is that testosterone overdoses are not quite as straightforward as people believe.

Quick Summary

  • Overdosing on testosterone drugs is possible, leading to a spectrum of side effects from minor skin reactions to severe organ damage and neurotoxicity.
  • Symptoms of testosterone overdose range from minor skin issues to serious complications like organ failure and neurotoxicity.
  • According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, testosterone abuse can lead to neurotoxicity rather than death, highlighting the complexity of its overdose effects.
  • In my opinion exploring natural testosterone boosters and lifestyle changes is a safer and more sustainable approach than risking the dangers of hormone therapy drug abuse.

What Will Happen If You Take Too Much Testosterone?

Man holding testosterone

If you take too much testosterone, you can develop a range of light and severe side effects. Many of these might even become very difficult or impossible to reverse [1].

Some of the effects can be minor, like skin rashes and reddening. But in severe cases, such an overdose can lead to organ failure.

According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), testosterone, when abused for athletic or aesthetic purposes, does not result in death but instead in neurotoxicity. This is due to concentrations of testosterone being highly unlikely, even for those abusing the drug [2].

However, even with a very high testosterone dosage, it typically doesn’t cause immediate issues. What doctors refer to here is a chronic overdose [3].

How Do You Figure Out How Much Testosterone To Take?

Man holding testosterone bottle

A doctor can figure out how much testosterone you should take by first checking your testosterone levels.

This involves a simple blood test that will indicate both total and free testosterone levels [4].

This will give an indication of how far away your current levels are from an ideal level, and a certain amount of injected testosterone can make up the difference.

It’s then also important to repeat the blood test regularly to monitor how the drug is working, and based on those results, a doctor may recommend changing the dosage or timing.

The important thing to note is that this isn’t something you should try and work out yourself.

“Usually, you'll get a total testosterone test as a screening test. This measures both free and attached testosterone. To diagnose certain conditions, doctors sometimes look only at free testosterone levels.”

- Sabrina Felson, MD at WebMD.com

Symptoms Of Taking Too Much

There are several symptoms of taking too much testosterone, especially when it comes to chronic overdoses [5].

Here are just a few to look out for:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in Skin Color
  • Swollen Joint
  • Liver and Kidney Problems
  • Increased Blood Calcium Levels
  • Enlarged Breasts (Gynecomastia)
  • Enlarged Prostate

Keep in mind that whether it’s a single overdose or a chronic overdose that you’re dealing with, you should always immediately talk to your doctor.

Are There Safer Alternatives?

Different alternatives for testosterone supplement

My investigation demonstrated that there are safer alternatives to hormone therapy drugs, including lifestyle modifications and natural testosterone boosters.

First of all, you should always make sure that you have a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise routine [6].

This can have quite a significant impact on your body's ability to produce testosterone.

And then, you should consider taking a daily T-booster supplement. These are based on natural ingredients like vitamins, minerals, and herbs that have a proven link to testosterone production.

They don’t work as fast as medical drugs, but you can achieve noticeable and consistent improvements in less than two months.

FAQs

Can You Overdose On Testosterone Cream?

No, you can’t overdose on testosterone cream, but it’s still not a good idea to apply more than recommended. These creams typically contain quite a small amount of testosterone, but using too much may lead to skin irritations.

Can a Testosterone Overdose Kill You?

Yes, an overdose of testosterone can kill you after a long abuse. It’s less common to cause sudden cardiac issues, including heart attacks, but long-term overdosing may lead to organ failure that can lead to death.


References:

  1. https://www.rxwiki.com/testosterone
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10057866/
  3. https://drugabuse.com/stimulants/steroids/overdose/
  4. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/testosterone-test
  5. https://www.rxwiki.com/testosterone
  6. https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-and-testosterone
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