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Depo-Testosterone is a prescription medicine licensed to treat low testosterone levels in men. It comes as an injection that is given in a muscle every two to four weeks in most cases. Because this medicine contains testosterone in a special oil formulation, testosterone is slowly absorbed from the oil into the bloodstream. Side effects may include pain and inflammation at the injection site.

What Is Depo-Testosterone?

Depo®-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate) is a prescription injection approved to treat low testosterone levels in men due to various causes. Because it is an anabolic steroid, it is classified as a controlled substance in the United States. This means that special laws and regulations control its sale and use.
 
(Click Depo-Testosterone Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

Depo-Testosterone is made by Pfizer Inc.
 

How Does Depo-Testosterone Work?

Depo-Testosterone contains the hormone testosterone in a special oil formulation that is injected into a muscle. Testosterone is slowly absorbed from the oil into the bloodstream after the injection, allowing for injections just once every two to four weeks in most cases. It works by increasing testosterone to a normal level.
 
Depo-Testosterone must be injected, as taking it by mouth would have little effect on testosterone levels. When medications are taken by mouth, they must first pass through the liver before they reach the bloodstream. The liver metabolizes testosterone extensively before it has a chance to reach the bloodstream, and adequate blood levels of the medication usually cannot be achieved. However, when testosterone is injected into a muscle, it bypasses the liver, allowing significant amounts of the hormone to reach the bloodstream.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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