T Nation

AndroGel TRT Log


#1

Hello brothers – decided to start a log for future readers who may be considering Androgel as a treatment option.

To recap, I have been toying around with going on TRT or not for the last 6 to 8 months or so. I finally made the move when, even after running Clomid for a month, - my HPTA could not hold up. (I have a thread here called “HPTA restart or TRT Depending on outcome” if you wanted the back story.

About me:
~50 Y/0
Experienced weight lifter and athlete
6’1 / 200 lbs ~13% BF
Latest pre-TRT values a/o Jan 18th 2017:
-437 ng/dl Total T
-25 pg/ML. Estradiol
-7.5 ng/ DL Free T.

Everything else in normal or optimal range but showing some signs of hypothyroidism as well as sub-optimal kidney values (which could be from dehydration)

TRT Protocol
My doctor, who is also a close friend I have known for 35 years, said the simplest thing to do would be to take 3 pumps of AndroGel 1.62% per day, assess labs in 3 to 4 weeks to determine if I’m absorbing it correctly and then titrate the dose based on the latest labs, and adding hCG. I’m also taking .25 mg Arimidex every other day to control Estrogen as I have a very linear increase in estradiol with rising T.

Week 1
started feeling the benefits after about three or four days – just completed my first week – and feel amazing. Sleeping better, libido way up, more energy, tremendous clarity of focus and cognition – it’s like a veil has been lifted. Wish I started this sooner.

I will post back in a few weeks or so with the latest lab results.


#2

week 2. Still feeling great! Seems the best application is to apply the gel directly to my upper arms and shoulders and rub it in with my palms - then wipe off any excess on my flanks. I also felt a big difference when adding moisturizing lotion an hour after the application. There was a study performed on the by the manufacturer and it showed adding lotion or sunblock 1 hour after increased absorption rate 12-14%. That’s a lot. So far all positive reviews. I can tell my testes are starting to get softer but I expected that. Only issue now is that I still have very little energy at night - can’t keep my eyes open past 8:30 or so. This is likely a Thyroid issue and just saw an endo Friday and he is considering Synthroid depending on the results of recent labs and ultrasound. Will get bloods after 3 weeks to make sure I’m absorbing correctly and will post back. Doc wants to add HCG at some point. Also I want to mention that once again while on Test I had the best blood pressure I ever had since I was a runner in HS - 118/64.


#3

week 3

Just got bloods drawn today exactly 24 hours after my last application. I’m very curious as to how much the 60.75 grams / day (3 pumps of Androgel 1.62%) is doing for me. I’ve also been dosing Arimidex at .25 mg EOD.

So far I feel pretty good. I don’t have the testosterone buzz I had the first two weeks as much. Also, I am feeling a lot more tired late afternoon and at night - it’s almost impossible to keep my eyes open past 8:30 pm (I get up at 5 am daily and have a job requiring a lot of mental problem solving so being tired early evening is a routine occurrence but it seemed worse than usual the last week - could be thyroid).

Also, the blood test from the Endochronologist showed that I had low normal D3 and low normal B 12 – and the doctor suggested supplementing on both. The vitamin D Surprised me since I have been taking 2000 to 3000 IU daily for the past four years, after being diagnosed with low D in 2012. Despite taking this much religiously – it only bumped my values from 25 to 34.

Anyway, I will post back in a week to see what the lab values show for Test, E2 and a bunch more.


#4

And the results are in:

This is 3 weeks on Androgel 60.75 mg / day - with .25 Arimidex EOD plus supplementing with DHEA (50 mg EOD) Also Note that bloods were drawn exactly 24 hours AFTER daily application to measure the trough.

Total Test - 429 (Pre TRT was 437 ng/dl)
Free Test 69.9 (Pre TRT was 75)
E2 -15 (Pre TRT 25)
DHEA (353 mcg/dl) Pre TRT I was 298 (Range is 250-1100)
DHT 57 (range is 16-79 ng/DL) no pre TRT values.
Lipids were perfect and generally unchanged.

So - basically all the TRT did for me was keep my trough generally in line with my peak pre-trt. I can only assume (and hope) that my values during the day are much higher than 429. This is pretty F-ing lame. I was hoping for at least 600 in the trough.

If there is any silver lining - my doc gave me a script for 3 packs of 40.5 grams per day (121.5 g) which is essentially double the dose I was taking. I’m going to at least go up to 81 Grams / day in hopes that my T increases proportionally. Need to watch DHT - hitting bottom end of upper quadarant on less of a dose.

I can definitely do better than this naturally (and have even had natural test score of 660 ng/dl two years ago) - but I actually had more symptoms then than I do now.

Overall, I feel pretty good during the day - but crash a bit in the afternoon and at night - but not sure if that’s all related to testosterone.

What do you think fellas - time for shots or increase the gel dose. (I just got 9 boxes of Androgel packs (90 day supply) from the Insurance Co pharmacy - so switching right away is going to be hard - unless I go with a TRT clinic like Defy medical - who I already consulted with and were ready to get me started with injections but I was already going down another path with Androgel with my current doc).

Thoughts would be appreciated.


#5

Testosterone levels drop during the day (as you know, you measured the lowest point) - they peak in the morning and drop lower as the day goes on (IIRC). Your lowest point isn’t too bad, and doesn’t say much about the peak. Also, T levels can still flucuate day to day. If you are feeling the positive effects, MAYBE it’s placebo, maybe it’s working.
You could try getting your blood work done about 2 hours after application, to see the peak


#6

The T levels on Androgel should reach steady state - and from the literature - the peak should only be about 200 ng.DL above the trough. I have hit higher T values naturally (albeit at my natural peak vs the androgel trough).

So - I spoke to the doc - he suggested taking the full 81Grams of Androgel (up from the 60.75 G I had been using) PLUS - adding HCG. He wanted 500 IU EOD - but from previous experience that was a bit much and was hard to control E2. 500 IU HCG solo had me at 960 ng/dl Test level - so I assume 350 EOD should add roughly 500 ng/dl plus bumping the Test 20% should give me another 500 or so in the trough - I’ll get bloods in another month or so and see. I can say that this new protocol (HCG plus increased androgel) has had a very noticeable and positive effect on my general sense of well being and engery level - even after just a a few days.


#7

Ok bros - just got bloods back after about a month on my revised protocol and the results were great!

Total T 1077ng/dl (and this was the trough, with bloods taken 24 hours after the last application). So it’s likely 20-30% higher during the day.

The doc called me to tell me the news so I don’t have the other values but he said everything else (lipids, PSA, E2 all looked “good” and my Free Test was at the very top of normal.

This was from 300 HCG Eod, .5 Arimidex E3D and 81 grams of Androgel 1.62% (4 pumps).

Based on the above I see no reason to switch to shots at least for now.

Besides, I hate shots (and this is from a guy who would inject roids in the 80’s with a 1.5 inch 21 gauge needle with no problem back then).

Feeling great overall. Next step is to get thyroid checked with the Endo later this Spring, since I was showing some Hashimotos- but I have no symptoms now.

I’m also taking DHEA, and B12 and Selenium.

All good so far!


#8

I have always heard that if Androgel absorbs well for you and you have an unlimited budget it can be the best of all treatments. Do you have a take off on the costs of your protocol? Pre and post insurance


#9

Sure. The key for me was using my Insurance mail order pharmacy - which requires 3 months of product at a time. The co-pay is the same regardless of how many bottles. In my case -'I pay $70 for three months worth of 40 gram Androgel packets (I apply 2 per day). I actually like the packets better than the pump since they are easier to carry when I travel. The Arimidex is $30 for a 3 month supply as well so that’s $100 per quarter.
What gets expensive is the HCG. My insurance does not cover this so I pay $120/10,000 IU bottle which lasts about 8-10 weeks. I found a compounding pharmacy that will do it for $55/vial so I’ll try that when I run out.

So- currently I’m paying $90/ month for everything - including HCG.


#10

By the way - they key was adding HCG. On 60 grams of Androgel (3 pumps) my Test was only 425 or so. I was not a great absorber but I figured out a protocol based on lab results from running Androgel and HCG solo - and my doctor was cool enough to let me run with that.


#11

It looks like insurance is more friendly to Androgel than testosterone injections as a percentage. You are using $1300 worth of it every 90 days vs less than $200 for an equivalent in Testosterone cypionate. But your insurgence makes your treatment a very viable option. And mens clinics change more than you are spending for Testosterone cypionate


#12

I wish I had a doctor like yours. They are hard to find. Most would have givdn you the first proscription (maybe not even that you were not that low) and when it failed should have said, oh well do without