Compare Depo-Testosterone vs. Fortesta

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Depo-Testosterone
(Testosterone Cypionate Injection)

Fortesta
(Testosterone Gel)

Treats low testosterone. This testosterone injection only has to be given once or twice a month and you can do it at home, but someone has to help you inject.Treats low testosterone. This testosterone gel is a convenient topical form of hormone replacement that's less likely to rub off on other people you come into contact with, but it's not available as a generic yet.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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4.010204081632653Depo-Testosterone
Reviews for Depo-Testosterone (Testosterone Cypionate Injection)
48%
of people say Depo-Testosterone (Testosterone Cypionate Injection) is worth it
31%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects
Depo-TestosteroneFortesta

The Depo-Testosterone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Depo-Testosterone side effects »

The Fortesta FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Fortesta side effects »
How it works
Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
The testosterone injection works by adding or replacing the hormone testosterone in your body. Testosterone is responsible for causing and maintaining many of the changes in male bodies from puberty on.Testosterone gel works by adding or replacing the hormone testosterone in your body. Testosterone is responsible for causing and maintaining many of the changes in male bodies from puberty on.
Type of medication
Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Available as
Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
  • Injection
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for (click to learn more)
Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
  • Low testosterone
  • Low testosterone
Risk factors for serious side effects
Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
  • Male
  • Male
  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy)
  • Taking high doses of Depo-Testosterone (Testosterone Cypionate Injection)
  • Heart, liver or kidney disease
  • Inability to move
  • Cancer
      • Diabetes
      • On blood thinners
        Detailed Depo-Testosterone (Testosterone Cypionate Injection) risks & warnings »
        Coming soon.
        Pregnancy category
        Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
        XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

        Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

        See the FDA package insert
        XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

        Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        • There have been reports of people on Depo-Testosterone (Testosterone Cypionate Injection) who have developed high levels of calcium in the blood, which can be bad for the kidneys. This can happen if you are unable to move around or have cancer. If you notice a metallic taste in your mouth, muscle or joint pain or a bad headache, talk to your doctor, since they may have to stop the medication.
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • Can cause increased acne and changes in sex drive.
        • If you're a man taking Depo-Testosterone (Testosterone Cypionate Injection), you can see changes in your sex drive, including overstimulation and prolonged frequent erections. Talk to your doctor if this happens, since they might have to change the dose.
        No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        • If you're taking Depo-Testosterone (Testosterone Cypionate Injection), and you notice swelling in your legs, or a sudden increase in your weight, talk to your doctor. This can be a serious side effect involving your heart.
        No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
        • A first-choice treatment for low testosterone in men and delayed puberty in boys.
        • Available in generic.
        • Only has to be given once every 2 to 4 weeks.
        • The shot can be done at home.
        • You apply it to your thighs like a lotion.
        • Putting testosterone gel on your thights makes it less likely you'll transfer the medication to other people around you, compared to some other kinds of topical testosterone.
        Downsides and risks
        Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
        • Only available as a shot.
        • Has to be given by someone else since it has to be injected into your buttocks.
        • Not available in generic form, so it can be more expensive.
        • You have to wait at least 2 hours after applying testosterone gel before you can swim or bathe, otherwise your body won't absorb the full amount of the medication.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        Depo-TestosteroneFortesta
        • Your doctor will show you how to inject this correctly.
        • Can cause nausea, vomiting and headache.
        • Can cause increased acne and changes in sex drive.
        • Keep this medication locked up and away from children since it's a controlled substance.
        • Prime testosterone gel first by pumping 8 times before you use a new bottle.
        • Don't swim or bathe for at least 2 hours after you apply testosterone gel.
        • Wash your hands with soap and water, and cover the area with clothing as soon as the gel is dry so you don't spread it to other people.
        • If you think you'll have skin-to-skin contact at the area where you've placed testosterone gel, wash that area with soap and water then dry.
        • Don't use testosterone gel anywhere besides your front and inner thighs.
        Learn more
        More about Depo-TestosteroneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about FortestaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert