T Nation

Androgel to SubQ TestCyp Injections


#1

I knew I was going to have to make the switch from Androgel to TestCyp injections since my new insurance is no help with the gel (and gels may not have been the best way to go in any case). I talked to my GP, and I now have a nice new 2000 mg/10 ml vial of TestCyp sitting in front of me. So far, so good.

After lots of reading here and on other forums, I've decided that I'm going to give SC injections a shot (bad pun). I'm thinking I'll try EOD injections, using 31 ga, 0.5 ml 5/16" BD Ultra Fine insulin syringes I bought online today from Allegro. I know the 31 ga will be slow, but I'm a pretty patient guy. To get to a starting dose of 100 mg/week with the 200 mg/ml TestCyp, I figure that's 0.15 ml per each EOD injection.

So here's where I need some advice. I'm using two 40.5 mg packets of Androgel per day now (equal to 4 pumps?), and I have about a 15 day supply remaining at that rate. Should I just stop the gel completely the day of my first injection... or, given the slow absorption rate of the TestCyp and the low EOD dose, should I taper down on the gel over a couple of weeks(?) while the injections come up to speed?

Your thoughts?

Thanks!
Dan


#2

I wouldn’t start at 100mg/week. I would start at a lower amount and work upwards until you’ve got the range you want to be in.


#3

Thanks for the input!

The 100 mg/week number came from two places…

1.) That was the GPs prescription for me (FWIW)… probably based on the “one size fits all” prescribing info.

2.) My current dosage of the Androgel is 81 mg/day. I’ve been using that followed a few minutes later by Phlogel Ultra, so I’m getting (wild ass guess) maybe 15% absorption? That would be about 85 mg/week… not so different from the 100 gm/week prescribed by the doc. The Androgel was sort of barely getting the job done, so the additional 15 gm/week(?) might not be a bad thing.

What “lower amount” would you suggest?

Recent labs (2 weeks ago) showed FT at 96.9, TT at 482, E2 (ultrasensitive) at 21 and SHGB at 28. LH is down to 0.3, so HCG is probably something I might want to talk to the doc about.


#4

I was getting the high 400s on 50mg/wk, mid 600s on 70mg/week, and low 800s on 100mg/week. I felt fine at all three points and could have stayed at 50mg/week if building muscle mass wasn’t my goal. I feel it worth knowing how little works, even if you abandon it for more later. Besides, it’ll always be best to titrate up to a maintenance dose than start at the maintenance dose that will never change. You’re already on test but like you said it’s a wild ass guess for anybody on gels. It’s what I would do but you certainly don’t have to listen to me.


#5

Ah, OK… thanks for the info!

Any thoughts on the actual process of switching from gel to TestCyp? Off the gel immediately as I begin SC injections, or wean off the gel over a couple of weeks as the injections start to kick in?


#6

I’m pretty sure you can just quit the gel and start injections the following day. There’s no need to taper off the gel because T Cyp will peak within 12hrs of admin.


#7

[quote]C27 H40 O3 wrote:
I’m pretty sure you can just quit the gel and start injections the following day. There’s no need to taper off the gel because T Cyp will peak within 12hrs of admin. [/quote]

I suppose that’s the basis of my question. Is that 12hr peak for IM, or for SC too? It seems like the consensus is that absorption for SC might take longer than for IM… so there could be an initial delay in SC producing T blood levels. I’m a little concerned that stopping the gel and starting the low-dose EOD SC injections might cause a “crash” of sorts while the “fat absorption pipeline” fills up over some period of time (a couple of weeks?). Hence my thoughts about weaning off the gel over that same period. Or would stopping the gel, administering an initial full “loading dose” (100 mg or whatever), and then starting the EOD schedule be a possibility?

OTOH, maybe I’m over-thinking this and should stop the gel and start the SC EOD injections… and just go with it


#8

[quote]goodoldan wrote:

[quote]C27 H40 O3 wrote:
I’m pretty sure you can just quit the gel and start injections the following day. There’s no need to taper off the gel because T Cyp will peak within 12hrs of admin. [/quote]

I suppose that’s the basis of my question. Is that 12hr peak for IM, or for SC too? It seems like the consensus is that absorption for SC might take longer than for IM… so there could be an initial delay in SC producing T blood levels. I’m a little concerned that stopping the gel and starting the low-dose EOD SC injections might cause a “crash” of sorts while the “fat absorption pipeline” fills up over some period of time (a couple of weeks?). Hence my thoughts about weaning off the gel over that same period. Or would stopping the gel, administering an initial full “loading dose” (100 mg or whatever), and then starting the EOD schedule be a possibility?

OTOH, maybe I’m over-thinking this and should stop the gel and start the SC EOD injections… and just go with it[/quote]

since you dont really KNOW how much of that gel you are absorbing, i would drop the gel completely when you inject. personally, i have E2 issues and would not risk a possible huge T spike and accompanying E2 spike. That seems to be how my body works.


#9

No, the fat doesn’t absorb it. The difference between IM and SC will be inconsequential. It doesn’t sit around in the subcutaneous tissue extending the absorption rate by days and days. IM is FAST. Like 10-30 minutes fast. SC is fast as well, like 30 minutes to an hour. Any medication I can think of that I’ve ever delivered to a patient subcutaneously starts to work pretty quick. It takes a little longer than IM because subcutaneous tissue is far less vascularized than muscle but that doesn’t mean the testosterone doesn’t seep into the vasculature anyway. Keep in mind if there were NO vasculature to receive it, cells in the area would have already been dying.


#10

100mg T ester per week delivers around 70mg after the ester groups are cleaved off. That is 10mg/day, close to what is considered the production of a lean virile young man. What counts is free T or bio-available T. That depends on SHBG and that depends on estrogen levels. Your estrogen levels from transdermals will be higher than from injections. So many variables.

Suggest that you do your last gel in the morning and inject T that night. Testosterone esters in oil are a time release mechanism. Transdermals have very spiky FT levels. You will feel differences. Thinking that you can arrange to not feel anything different is unrealistic. You will feel the less peaky FT and will also feel the effects of less estradiol and that can take around a week to be felt.

Don’t over analyze, just go with the flow.

In the end, your outcome is largely controlled by estradiol and management of that. There are 7 good stickies in this forum and those should be your primary source of knowledge. There are other factors in your wellbeing, more than T and E2.


#11

Thanks to all for the good info!

KSman: That’s what I was looking for, and sounds like a good plan. I’ll do the last gel in the AM and then the first injection that night.

Dan


#12

Did my first SC injection tonight (first ever of any type) and it was as easy and painless as can be. It went a little slowly because it was my first time, but going forward I think it will actually take less time to do the injection than mess with gel packets, wait for the gel to dry, etc. Using the 31ga 5/16" BD Ultra Fine syringe, I felt practically nothing injecting the 0.15ml into my gut (straight in, no pinching skin)… just a very slight stinging from the T Cyp for a moment or two afterwards.

I had some apprehension about the prospect of IM injections, but if the SC route is this easy then I’m pretty happy.


#13

Because of the long half life (about a week for T-cyp) it will take about 3-4 weeks for T levels from injections to build up to their stable peak. During the first week or so your serum T levels from the small EOD injections will be rather low (unless you “front-load” with a larger injection and then continue ). That doesn’t mean you won’t feel fine, but if you need a bit of help during the first couple of weeks I don’t think it would do any harm to use some of the leftover transdermal.


#14

This image shows how the drug builds up

http://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-cab616ef8ddeb5833a399fd92e1add35?convert_to_webp=true

The horizontal axis would be number of weeks. The jagged graph would be if you injected weekly. The smooth graph is close to what you would get with EOD dosing.

So you can see during the first week you will still be quite low on T. After the first week your T levels will still only be at approximately half of what you will attain after 4 weeks.

It doesn’t mean you won’t feel good until then - some people feel quite good initially, maybe because the velocity at which T increases in the blood is high initially. It just depends on the person.


#15

KSMan -

I am in a similar situation as goodoldan. When you recommended doing the last does of gel in the morning and then start the subQ that night, is it best then to stay on the subQ injections at night from that point forward? Or is switching to morning ok? Is one or the other time of day optimal? I was planning to inject E3D in the morning.

Thanks!


#16

[quote]seekonk wrote:
This image shows how the drug builds up

http://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-cab616ef8ddeb5833a399fd92e1add35?convert_to_webp=true

The horizontal axis would be number of weeks. The jagged graph would be if you injected weekly. The smooth graph is close to what you would get with EOD dosing.

So you can see during the first week you will still be quite low on T. After the first week your T levels will still only be at approximately half of what you will attain after 4 weeks.

It doesn’t mean you won’t feel good until then - some people feel quite good initially, maybe because the velocity at which T increases in the blood is high initially. It just depends on the person. [/quote]

Just to prove how anal I’ve become about all this, I resorted to Excel and created a spreadsheet that calculates the decay rate for each injection (based on a half-life of 8 days for TestCyp) and compares daily values for both an EOD dosing schedule (with pre-loading) and the “standard” 100 mg/wk once weekly injection regimen with no pre-loading. The chart above illustrates the data from the spreadsheet. As noted elsewhere in this thread, the actual testosterone delivered after the ester is removed will be about 70% of the values shown.

My total weekly dose will still be about 100 mg (105 mg, actually), with EOD SC injections of 30 mg each. My “pre-loading” schedule as shown during the first week on the chart looks like this (to be followed by 30 mg EOD thereafter)…

Day 1: 30 mg
Day 2: 50 mg
Day 3: 50 mg
Day 4: No Injection
Day 5: 50 mg
Day 6: No Injection
Day 7: 50 mg