Compare Depo-Testosterone vs. Testim

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

Depo-Testosterone
(Testosterone Cypionate Injection)

Testim
(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 comes in convenient daily doses, but you have to be careful about skin-to-skin contact with other people.
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Reviews & ratings
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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-TestosteroneTestim

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

More about Depo-Testosterone side effects »
  • Application site reactions 1%
  • Increase in hemoglobin (≥ 19 g/dl) 1%
  • Increase in hematocrit (≥ 58%) 1%
More Testim side effects »
How it works
Depo-TestosteroneTestim
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-TestosteroneTestim
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Available as
Depo-TestosteroneTestim
  • Injection
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for (click to learn more)
Depo-TestosteroneTestim
  • Low testosterone
  • Low testosterone
Risk factors for serious side effects
Depo-TestosteroneTestim
  • 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-TestosteroneTestim
        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-TestosteroneTestim
        • 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 shoulders and upper arms like a lotion, so it's easy to use.
        • Available in individual daily doses, so it's more convenient than some alternatives.
        Downsides and risks
        Depo-TestosteroneTestim
        • 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 let the skin dry after you've put on testosterone gel, and you have to wear clothes over the area to prevent the medication from spreading onto other people.
        • 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-TestosteroneTestim
        • 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.
        • Use the entire contents of one tube each day and apply to your shoulders and upper arms. Don't put it anywhere else.
        • Don't swim or bathe for at least 2 hours after you apply testosterone gel.
        • Cover the area with clothing as soon as it's dry so you don't spread it to other people, and wash your hands with soap and water.
        • 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.
        Learn more
        More about Depo-TestosteroneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about TestimSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert