What Is Testosterone Cypionate? (Everything You Must Know)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 16, 2023
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

While we’re against steroid use here at TotalShape, we understand that some people require more drastic measures to up their testosterone.

In my experience as a fitness trainer for over a decade, testosterone cypionate has been one of the most common steroid hormones I’ve come across. Like many steroids, it has positives and negatives — both of which are worth knowing.

So, I took a month to research several clinical trials and case studies with a dietician to better grasp the effects of testosterone cypionate and whether using it is worth the risk.

Let’s get started.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone cypionate is a form of anabolic steroid and is used to treat men with low testosterone levels.
  • This anabolic steroid can also be used to treat delayed puberty in teenagers.
  • Testosterone cypionate has a half-life of about eight days, meaning the body metabolizes half of the dose in that time.
  • In my opinion, while testosterone cypionate can be beneficial for certain medical conditions, its use should be carefully monitored due to potential side effects and associated risks.

What Is Testosterone Cypionate?

Man holding a sample of Testosterone Cypionate

Since its 1951 debut, testosterone cypionate has tackled low testosterone in men [1]. Known as Duratest, Testoject LA, and Depo-Testosterone, it's a go-to hormone therapy, well-received by most.

According to WebMD, dosing is administered via injection or subcutaneously every 1–4 weeks, based on the treated condition [2].

It's a top choice among testosterone esters, like testosterone undecanoate, enanthate, and propionate. Clinicaltrials mention that in the U.S., it's common for both medical and enhancement purposes and vital in hormonal therapy for transgender men [3].

But remember, as a controlled steroid, using it for non-medical reasons is off-limits.

“It’s an injectable medication, a shot in your butt every 2 weeks. It gives you a hefty increase in testosterone levels very quickly.”

- Dr. Martin Gross, MD, Urologist

What Is Testosterone Cypionate Used For?

Testosterone cypionate is used to treat symptoms of hypogonadism in men and delayed puberty in teenagers.

The former condition is characterized by the inability to produce enough testosterone, thereby leading to decreased testosterone levels in men.

According to WebMD, low testosterone can cause poor concentration, erectile dysfunction, and mood swings [4].

In many cases, the causes of low testosterone levels also result in gynecomastia (male breasts), hair loss, reduced muscle size, reduced growth of the penis and testicles (in teenagers), anemia, and osteoporosis [5] [6].

The good news is that testosterone cypionate treats both types of hypogonadism:

  • Primary hypogonadism: This occurs when the testicles are unable to produce enough testosterone.
  • Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism: This occurs when there’s damage to part of the brain that tells the testicles to produce testosterone — the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

How Does Testosterone Cypionate Work?

Muscular man holding a syringe with both hands and pressing it

Testosterone cypionate supplements boost natural testosterone when your body can't make enough, especially in low testosterone cases. Typically injected in doses like 200 mg/ml, it fills the gap [7].

Normally, your body uses luteinizing hormone (LH) in the testes to produce testosterone. But factors like aging or obesity can hinder this, leading to a need for external testosterone sources.

That's where testosterone cypionate, a therapeutic steroid, steps in.

Here’s exactly how it works:

  • Based on your condition, your doctor will prescribe the quantity and duration of your testosterone cypionate dosage.
  • Once it’s injected, the enzymes in your body separate the testosterone from the cypionate ester [8].
  • The testosterone is then metabolized and begins to take effect.

This process ensures a sustained elevation of testosterone levels, mimicking natural hormonal rhythms.

Benefits

The National Library of Medicine mentions six benefits of testosterone cypionate injections, which are the same as the benefits of having normal to high testosterone:

  • Higher sex drive: Low sex drive (low libido) is usually a result of low T-levels — something testosterone cypionate therapy can fix [9].
  • Better concentration: The inability to concentrate (brain fog) is usually associated with low testosterone levels [10].
  • Higher sperm count: High T-levels are associated with improved erections and higher sperm count [11].
  • Regulates mood: The higher your testosterone, the better your overall mood.
  • Fights anemia: Testosterone deficiency is associated with anemia (low red blood cell count) in older men [12].
  • Increases muscle mass: High testosterone levels are correlated with better muscle protein synthesis, which means more muscle growth [13].

Related: Can Testosterone Cypionate Increase Muscle Gain

Disclaimer: Most of these benefits are a result of taking testosterone cypionate under proper medical supervision.

Advantages Over Other TRT Hormones

A male with good physique

Testosterone cypionate has a half-life of around eight days, which is higher than most other injections out there [14].

For those considering or curious about TRT, consulting with the Best Online TRT Clinics can provide additional insights.

What this means is that your body metabolizes half the testosterone cypionate in eight days.

With a comparatively longer half-life than other injections, you’ll only need to take testosterone cypionate once every week or two weeks, making it a more manageable form of TRT.

Side Effects and Precautions

Men with acne, shortness of breath, and about to vomit

Testosterone is often misused by people, mostly athletes who want to see fast results.

Taking testosterone cypionate beyond what your doctor prescribes, or using it along with other anabolic steroids, can lead to serious long-term health problems.

That’s why we highly recommend taking only the top natural testosterone boosters for men. After carefully testing the best products on the market, we singled out these testosterone boosters as the most effective.

Common Side Effects

There are some of the most common adverse side effects of testosterone cypionate [15].

These can either be a result of use or misuse: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Skin color changes
  • Lower libido
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Oily skin
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Acne
  • Hair loss

More severe side effects include:

  • Trouble urinating or frequent urination
  • Breast swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes
  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Trouble speaking
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Pain in the groin or calf
  • Frequent/prolonged erections

If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

Precautions

If you take testosterone cypionate as a testosterone replacement therapy, you’ll need to monitor your progress and side effects.

Based on what I’ve noticed over the years, here are some precautions you need to take when taking testosterone cypionate injections:

  • You should take frequent laboratory or medical tests — such as blood tests, blood testosterone levels, red blood cell counts, liver function tests, blood cholesterol levels, and PSA tests — to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Testosterone cypionate can affect bone growth in children, so make sure you consider the side effects before putting your child through TRT for any reason.

“During the first year of treatment for low testosterone, men are usually seen every three months to check their blood and testosterone levels. If you’re healthy after one year, follow-up visits may be spaced out to every six months.”

- Dr. Ahmer Farooq, DO

Some Considerations

A syringe and a sample of vial

If you need a testosterone cypionate cycle, you might want to consider a few important things. Your doctor will explain these to you, but it doesn’t hurt to know them in advance.

Trust Your Healthcare Professional

Healthcare professionals know exactly how much testosterone cypionate to prescribe based on your condition. So, you want to follow their advice on the amount and frequency of dosage to the letter.

Drug Interactions

The effects of testosterone cypionate may alter depending on whether you’re taking any other medication. It may also interfere with the result of certain laboratory tests — like thyroid tests — and possibly produce false results.

Disclose all your current medication to your local physician before considering testosterone cypionate.

Overdosing

Overdosing is highly unlikely if you’re taking testosterone cypionate under professional medical care. However, inexperienced athletes who illegally use it could overdose if they don’t take precautions. 

If you or anyone you know overdoses on testosterone cypionate, call your local hospital or local poison control center.

FAQs

How Much Testosterone Cypionate Should You Take?

According to most physicians, you should take 1 cc (200 mg/ml) of testosterone cypionate every two weeks. However, some experienced clinicians treat patients with 200mg/ml of testosterone cypionate weekly or twice a week.

How Long Does It Take for the Effects of Testosterone Cypionate to Kick In?

It takes approximately two days for the effects of testosterone cypionate (a 200 mg/ml dose) to kick in. After about 12 days, the effects begin to level off and remain in the system for 21 days.

How Long Does It Take for Testosterone Cypionate to Leave Your System?

On average, it takes 44 days for testosterone cypionate to leave your system completely. This is based on a 200 mg/ml dose.

Can You Overdose on Testosterone Cypionate?

Yes, you can easily overdose on testosterone cypionate. This usually happens when users become addicted to steroids or accidentally take more than the prescribed amount. When this happens, the negative side effects of testosterone are heightened, along with other symptoms.

Who Should Not Take Testosterone Cypionate?

People allergic to testosterone, females (especially those breastfeeding or pregnant), and those with prostate or breast cancer should not take testosterone cypionate.

Are Testosterone Cypionate Injections Used for Performance Enhancement?

Yes, testosterone cypionate injections are used for performance enhancement by many athletes. Some of them take high doses of the hormone to gain an unfair advantage over other athletes, whereas others take it to get over plateaus in their athletic performance.


References:

  1. https://www.drugs.com/pro/testosterone-cypionate.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-5185/testosterone-cypionate-intramuscular/details
  3. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04321551
  4. https://www.webmd.com/men/how-low-testosterone-can-affect-your-sex-drive
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34283215/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472878/
  7. https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/luteinizing-hormone-lh-levels-test/
  8. https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB13943
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22552705/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330791/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649360/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433757/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2917954/
  14. https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/depo-testosterone/clinical-pharmacology
  15. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-5185/testosterone-cypionate-intramuscular/details
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

You May Also Like

Runners guide to Creatine use
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 15 hours ago
Is Creatine Good for Runners? (Benefits & Downsides)
The Calisthenics Diet Plan How to Get the Best Results Featured Image
By Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT 2 days ago
The Calisthenics Diet Plan: How to Get the Best Results
white powder
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 2 days ago
Should You Cycle Creatine? (And Why It Matters)
Bowflex vs PowerBlocks Dumbbells
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 2 days ago
Bowflex vs Powerblocks Dumbbells (2024) Which Is Better?
protein bar and shake
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 days ago
Protein Bars vs Shakes (2024 Updated) Which One is better?
egg white protein vs whey
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 days ago
Egg White Protein vs Whey: Which One Should You Pick?

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.