From time to time, a patient will ask me why I don’t mention prescription testosterone pills as an option.
It’s a fair question. For many diseases, treatment comes in the form of a pill. Injections have become less and less common as medicine has evolved. We simply don’t need to inject many modern medications.
However, testosterone is different. Testosterone is something our body produces naturally, not something that you receive from outside sources.
Even if you eat foods that “boost testosterone,” you’re still not getting testosterone from the foods themselves. Instead, you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs to produce more testosterone than it might otherwise.
So eating prescription testosterone pills forces your body to absorb the testosterone in an unnatural way—your body just isn’t set up for it.
Prescription Testosterone Pills Are Either Ineffective or Flat-Out Dangerous
Now, before we jump into this, I want to make a clear distinction.
When we talk about prescription testosterone pills, we’re talking about an oral medication, something you swallow. We’re not talking about pellets, which are implanted just under the skin and release testosterone or other hormones into your body over a period of time. We also don’t recommend pellets, but for different reasons.
Now that we’ve defined clearly what we’re talking about, let’s jump in. The problem with many oral testosterone medications is twofold.
First, most prescription testosterone pills are toxic to the liver. Obviously, this is a major issue. It’s no good getting your hormone levels under control if we damage your liver in the process.
For these same oral testosterone pills, the negative side effects actually go far beyond liver toxicity. Many also have some serious negative effects on your cholesterol levels.
Finally, and most importantly, some of these pills may actually contribute to the development of cancer! I don’t think I have to go into much more detail about why this is such an issue.
Now, there are several different prescription testosterone pills out there, and not all of them have these same terrible side effects.
The problem with these other pills is that they just don’t work.
Testosterone Injections Remain the Most Effective Form of Therapy
Of the remaining prescription testosterone pills on the market, most are simply not very effective. By the time they make it through your digestive system, they’ve lost a lot of their potency.
You see the same issue with many topical preparations of testosterone. I’ve written about this issue before for women, but the principle applies the same to men. It’s just difficult for your body to absorb these forms of the medication in a significant way.
That’s what makes testosterone injections such a superior form of therapy. By injecting the medication directly into the bloodstream, very little medication is lost along the way. Your body is able to absorb it almost completely.
We’ve found through our clinical experience that injections once a week are usually sufficient to achieve and maintain a therapeutic level of testosterone in the body.
Click here to learn more about low testosterone, what we mean when we use that phrase, and how it may apply to you.