What Is Testosterone Enanthate? (Everything You Must Know)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: April 1, 2024
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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

  • To effectively use Testosterone Enanthate, it's primarily prescribed for hormone replacement therapy in cases of delayed puberty in boys and low testosterone levels in men.
  • Testosterone Enanthate is widely used in bodybuilding for muscle growth and endurance, despite potential risks.
  • Testosterone Enanthate can impact muscle development within six weeks.
  • In my view, while Testosterone Enanthate can be effective, it's crucial to consult a doctor due to its potential side effects and health risks.
  • We recommend you to look into natural T-boosters to enhance athletic performance.

What Is Testosterone Enanthate?

Holding a lot of supplement pills for testosterone

Testosterone Enanthate, a hormone replacement therapy drug, is prescribed by doctors on Drugs.Com for boys with delayed puberty and men with low testosterone levels [1].

It's also used to treat breast cancer in women when surgery isn't an option.

This injectable liquid is an esterified variant, offering slow-release benefits to minimize spikes during treatment, as noted by DrugBank [2].

It's commonly used for male hypogonadism, a condition where the testicles produce insufficient sex hormones.

“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 Examine.com

What Does It Do To The Body?

Testosterone Enanthate affects the body just like natural testosterone, as it's designed with a nearly identical molecular structure, per the National Institute of Health [3].

It impacts various bodily functions, including sperm production, libido, hair growth, muscle tissue, and mood.

ScienceDirect highlights its prescription for slow-release properties, achieved by binding testosterone to the enanthate ester, which also gives the drug its name [4].

Testosterone Enanthate For Bodybuilding

Man holding supplement container giving thumbs up

As a fitness coach, I've seen Testosterone Enanthate's popularity in bodybuilding. NIH research shows it boosts muscle development within six weeks [5].

However, this research also indicates limits to its short-term effectiveness.

Many athletes and bodybuilders wrongly think they can use it safely for quick physique and performance gains.

But, given the risks like high blood pressure, I strongly recommend consulting a doctor before considering such controlled drugs.

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How Do You Take This Medication?

Testosterone Enanthate is primarily taken as an injection, though it's also available as a topical cream, less effective for muscle growth.

It's usually injected into the buttock muscle, with doses every 4-6 weeks.

A doctor I consulted emphasized that dosing intervals and amounts must be tailored to the patient's testosterone levels and health.

Always consult your doctor before considering this 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

GoodRX states that most adult males can use Testosterone Enanthate and similar products for 4-6 months, barring major side effects like consistent blood pressure increases [6].

Doctors conduct tests during treatment to monitor T-level changes.

Treatment usually stops once the desired free T-levels for health improvement are reached.

However, many bodybuilders and athletes take it longer, risking serious side effects.

Who Should Avoid Taking This Drug?

People with serious health conditions like certain cancers, heart disease, or organ failure should avoid Testosterone Enanthate.

This also applies to those with high blood pressure, sleep apnea, liver or kidney disease, enlarged prostate, or blood clots, and there's a risk of drug interactions.

Moffitt Cancer Center notes there's no proven link between testosterone and prostate cancer development, but it's not advised for men with prostate cancer due to potential growth acceleration [7].

Healthy bodybuilders and athletes should also steer clear due to potential risks, as there are safer, equally effective ways to boost testosterone.

What Happens When You Stop Taking Testosterone Enanthate?

Pouring pills on hand

Stopping Testosterone Enanthate can lead to withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, decreased libido, and mood swings.

Yet, my doctor mentioned these aren't very common due to its slow-release nature. It doesn't cause abrupt changes like frequent high-dose treatments.

Doctors meticulously plan the timing and dosage before ending treatment.

That's why consulting your doctor before starting this therapy is crucial.

Comparison with Other Testosterone Derivatives

Testosterone enanthate stands out with its longer half-life, requiring fewer injections for user convenience.

  • Testosterone cypionate, another variant, has similar traits but a slightly different release pattern. In contrast, short-acting forms like testosterone propionate offer quick effects but need more frequent doses.

Longer-acting types ensure stable testosterone levels for consistent anabolic effects, while short-acting ones yield faster results.

  • However, they may cause side effects like estrogen conversion, water retention, and reduced natural testosterone production.

Choosing a derivative depends on personal preference, tolerance for injection frequency, and treatment objectives. https://totalshape.com/supplements/best-testosterone-boosters-for-men/


How Long Does It Take Testosterone Enanthate To Peak?

It takes about three days for Testosterone Enanthate to peak. 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.


  1. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/testosterone-enanthate.html
  2. https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB13944
  3. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Testosterone-enanthate
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/testosterone-enantate
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17530941/
  6. https://www.goodrx.com/testosterone-enanthate/what-is
  7. https://www.moffitt.org/cancers/prostate-cancer/faqs/can-testosterone-replacement-therapy-increase-the-risk-of-prostate-cancer/
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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

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