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What Is Testosterone Enanthate? (Everything You Must Know)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 29, 2023
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As a personal fitness coach, I have spent enough years in gyms around bodybuilders and performance athletes to have become very familiar with medical drugs like Testosterone Enanthate.

Unfortunately, these drugs are often used for the wrong reasons. And the results can often be serious side effects.

During a recent conversation with the team here at Total Shape, we decided to do some more in-depth research and have a conversation with a medical doctor to find out exactly what happens when you take this type of hormone drug.

Here’s what we found.

Quick Summary

  • Testosterone Enanthate is a drug used in hormone replacement therapy to treat delayed puberty, and low testosterone levels.
  • Consult your doctor before taking testosterone enanthate as it can cause blood pressure, or mood swings.
  • Some athletes take Testosterone Enanthate for muscle growth, and for endurance purposes.

What Is Testosterone Enanthate?

Holding a lot of supplement pills for testosterone

Testosterone Enanthate is a medical drug used in hormone replacement therapy.

Doctors prescribe it to boys for treating delayed puberty and men with low levels of endogenous testosterone [1].

It’s also used with women to treat breast cancer, especially in cases where cancer has spread and surgery is not an option.

This type of medical testosterone is classed as an esterified variant, and it’s provided as an injectable liquid.

Unlike other similar injectable versions, this is a slow-release type that can help to reduce sudden spikes during treatment [2].

The most common reason for men taking this drug is some form of male hypogonadism, where the testicles don’t produce sufficient amounts of the sex hormone.

“Low testosterone results from a problem in the testicles or the brain and can cause low libido, muscle loss, and/or depressed mood.”

- Mike Murray, RDN at

The important thing to keep in mind is that this drug can have a lot of severe side effects, and it should also not be taken by people with certain health conditions.

It’s always important to call your doctor and discuss taking such hormone injections and not source it from unauthorized places.

What Does It Do To The Body?

Testosterone Enanthate impacts all the same receptors in the body as naturally produced testosterone dose.

This is because scientists designed it to have a near-identical molecular structure [3].

It can influence many different body parts and processes, including sperm production, libido, hair growth and loss, muscle tissue, and even your overall mood.

One reason doctors often prescribe this type of drug is due to its slow-release properties [4].

This is achieved by binding the testosterone molecule to enanthate ester, and it’s where the drug’s name comes from.

Testosterone Enanthate For Bodybuilding

Man holding supplement container giving thumbs up

Testosterone Enanthate is a common drug in the bodybuilding scene. The reason for this is that studies have shown that it can impact muscle development within six weeks [5].

But the same research also highlights that there is a limit to what these testosterone injections can achieve in a shorter time frame.

Unfortunately, that has led many athletes and bodybuilders to believe that they can safely and effectively take this drug and achieve their desired physique and enhance athletic performance.

However, because of all the risks, including high blood pressure, I would always advise you to call your doctor before you consider taking a controlled drug.

More on this shortly.

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How Do You Take This Medication?

You take Testosterone Enanthate mainly as an injection. It is also available as a topical cream, but that is generally used for different purposes and most likely wouldn’t have any significant impact on muscle growth.

The drug is typically injected into the buttock muscle with repeat injections spaced out every 4-6 weeks.

According to the doctor I spoke with, the intervals and amounts have to be carefully calculated based on the patient’s current testosterone levels and overall health issues.

That’s why you should always call your doctor before considering taking such a drug.

What Are The Side Effects Of A Testosterone Injection?

Muscular person holding two syringes for testosterone injection

The side effects of a Testosterone Enanthate injection can range from increased blood pressure to chest pain and just soreness at the injection site.

Having had a quick look at the packaging information that comes with this drug, it does seem like the list of side effects is very long.

It also includes:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Mood Swings
  • Inflamed Male Sex Organs
  • Skin Reactions
  • Rashes
  • Swelling of Joints
  • Loss of Appetite

Overall, it seems like it’s not uncommon for people to have serious reactions, and doctors have to carefully manage such side effects and weigh them against the problems they are trying to solve.

How Long Can You Take Testosterone Enanthate?

Filling syringe with a liquid

Most adult males can take Testosterone Enanthate and other testosterone products for about 4-6 months [6].

This is assuming that you don’t have major side effects like consistent blood pressure increases.

There are also certain medical tests that doctors will repeat during the medication phase to monitor changes in T-levels.

Ultimately, a healthcare provider will likely stop administering these injections once patients have achieved the free T-levels needed to improve their health.

Unfortunately, there are many bodybuilders and performance athletes who end up taking it much longer and then cause serious side effects.

Who Should Avoid Taking This Drug?

People who have serious underlying health conditions like certain cancers, heart disease, or organ failure shouldn’t take Testosterone Enanthate.

Other underlying issues may include high blood pressure, sleep apnea, liver disease, enlarged prostate, blood clots, and kidney disease, and there is also a risk of other drug interactions.

There is no proven link to suggest that testosterone can lead to developing prostate cancer [7].

But it’s still not recommended for men with such cancer as it could speed up the growth.

I would also say that healthy bodybuilders and athletes shouldn’t consider taking this drug due to all the problems it can cause. There are much safer and comparably effective ways to boost testosterone.

What Happens When You Stop Taking Testosterone Enanthate?

Pouring pills on hand

When you stop taking Testosterone Enanthate, you can experience withdrawal symptoms, tiredness, decreased libido, and mood swings.

However, my doctor told me that these are not that common because this is a slow-release drug.

It’s not like you were getting large regular boosts every few days, to then completely lose the effect when you stop the testosterone injection therapy.

However, getting the timing and dosage right leading up to ending treatment is something that doctors carefully plan.

And that is why you have to call your doctor before even considering injecting this drug.


How Long Does It Take Testosterone Enanthate To Peak?

It takes about three days for Testosterone Enanthate to peak [8]. From there, it gradually decreases over about three weeks, and doctors monitor this effect to get the timing and dosage for repeat injections right.

Is Enanthate A Steroid?

Yes, Testosterone Enanthate is an anabolic steroid and a controlled substance. That means it should only be administered and carefully monitored by a medical doctor.

Take The Responsible Approach To Boosting Testosterone

With all the side effects of Testosterone Enanthate, ranging from rashes to serious chest pain, this is not the kind of drug that you should take without medical supervision.

And if you believe that low T-levels are undermining your fitness goals, then I recommend that you look into natural T-boosters to enhance athletic performance.

We have extensively tested many of these products to come up with a list of recommended testosterone boosters.

Our clients and readers have started seeing positive results within two months and have been able to transform their physiques significantly faster.


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