Compare Testim vs. Testopel

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

Testim
(Testosterone Gel)

Testopel
(Testosterone Implant)

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.Treats low testosterone. The testosterone implant is a good option for long-term testosterone therapy, but it can be expensive, and it's really important that you get the right dose so your doctor doesn't have to remove pellets.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
TestimTestopel
  • Application site reactions 1%
  • Increase in hemoglobin (≥ 19 g/dl) 1%
  • Increase in hematocrit (≥ 58%) 1%
More Testim side effects »

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

More about Testopel side effects »
How it works
TestimTestopel
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.The testosterone implant 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
TestimTestopel
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Testosterone
Prescription only
Available as
TestimTestopel
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Implant pellet
Used for (click to learn more)
TestimTestopel
  • Low testosterone
  • Low testosterone
Risk factors for serious side effects
TestimTestopel
Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
TestimTestopel
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
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.
  • Can cause increased acne and changes in sex drive.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
TestimTestopel
  • 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.
  • Your doctor will give this shot to you every 3 months, so you don't have to worry about administering it yourself like some testosterone injections.
  • Unlike topical forms of testosterone, you don't have to worry about accidentally transferring this medication to another person's skin.
Downsides and risks
TestimTestopel
  • 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.
  • Not available in generic form, so it can be more expensive.
  • Your doctor has to calculate your dose for 3 months. If it ends up being too much, the doctor might have to remove some of the implant pellets.
  • The pellets can come out, although this is extremely rare.
  • Not available in generic form, so it can be more expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
TestimTestopel
  • 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.
  • Your doctor will give this you as a shot underneath your skin every 3 months.
  • Can cause nausea, vomiting and headache.
  • Can cause increased acne and changes in sex drive.
Learn more
More about TestimSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about TestopelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert