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AndroGel 1.62, Testim, Fortesta, Cypionate Shots vs. Bioidentical Compounding

Discussion in 'Male Health & HRT' started by ManOnMission, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    Well, here is my story... I've been on bioidentical compounded equivalent of Androgel 1.62% (the active ingredient isthesame as Androgel, the absorption may vary because the base is different) for 3 months. Its applied using a topiclick to the shoulders. I've been applying 40.5 mg (one forth gram) per day and I have gone from 203 to only 235

    Here are my test results from 2 weeks ago.. (I'm just including those that were either too high or too low):
    Estradiol= 69 (reference 0-54) HIGH
    Liver ALT/SGPT= 103 (reference 9-72) HIGH
    AST/SGOT= 60 (reference 14-59) HIGH
    Testosterone TOTAL: 238 (reference 250-1100) LOW
    Free Testosterone: 52.6 (reference 35-155) Normal

    I've been doing research on AndroGel 1.62, Testim, Fortesta, Cypionate Shots. I can get all the previous mentioned in a Bioidentical Compounding version for a lot cheaper than the brand names. at the same time, I am wondering in my case ..


    Is it that I am using cheaper versions that aren't being affective or could it be something else not allowing my T levels to rise? (such as absorption levels, conversion to estrogen, etc...)
     
  2. letstalk

    letstalk New Member

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    You should get the sensitive estradiol assay first of all. I've read that otherwise, the numbers are meaningless in men.

    Next, 40.5mg is not that much actually. I am about to make a post on this forum about what I read regarding this last night. I, too, am on androgel 1.62.

    If money is a big concern, TC injections are by far the cheapest option. However, there are pro's and con's of gels and injections. It depends on the person ultimately and what they want.

    Finally, some people simply do not do well on gels regardless of the dose. I cannot say that is your case really because you are only on a starting dose. You should increase the dose and get checked in 2 weeks. On gels, your blood levels are stable much faster compared to injections.

    But perhaps the most important thing not even mentioned is, how do you feel mentally and physically?
     
  3. WhatTheF

    WhatTheF New Member

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    Agree with LT that 40.5mg is a rather lower dose...took 81mg to get me up to 850 TT (my doc started me on 40.5 initially as well and my e2 went relatively high at that time). After upping my dosage, my e2 actually went down and DHT launched. Everyone is different, but the problem that arises is that the "starting" dose can reduce endogenous production, i.e. anything that is added exogenously may be reduced endogenously for a close to net zero TT effect. Maybe a potential way to tell if not absorbing (as opposed to having reduced endogenous production) would be to note if there was an initial uptick in energy, well being, libido, etc. for the first few days. This might indicate that absorption may not be a problem, but rather some HPTA down regulation. Just something to maybe consider/explore with your care provider. I could see where upping a dosage might yield improvement.
     
  4. letstalk

    letstalk New Member

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    In my rookie opinion, I would think a decent way to see if absorption is a problem would be to compare a new LH/FSH to your baseline. If you had something at baseline and nothing now, then you may be led to believe you are absorbing the gel, but it's simply not working well after that point.
     
  5. WhatTheF

    WhatTheF New Member

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    Agreed LT...an even better approach
     
  6. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    I took blood work again yesterday morning between 8-9am (they told me all blood work had to be done at this time).will get bloodwork back on Tuesday.

    **What are your thoughts on bioidentical compounding?? This is where a pharmacy duplicates Andogel, Testim, etc... From what I can tell, all these are the same with the exception of the base (creme, gel, alcohol base gel, etc...) and the concentration of testosterone per application.*** I can get

    I've been doing 40.5 mg of T per day for 3 months and I don't feel any better. I'm wondering if T is being converted to Estrogen since my Estradiol is high (69... norm is 0-54)

    Has anyone found that taking Vitamin C 1-3 grams per day and Zinc 50 mg per day does any good?

    Any more advice is greatly appreciated... thanks for the feedback so far!
     
  7. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    January 13:

    FSH, Serum was ***5.9***
    Luteinizing Hormone$serum **4.1**
     
  8. letstalk

    letstalk New Member

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    If you've been on that testosterone cream for months when those numbers were taken then you definitely have an absorption problem. Those are very normal numbers, telling me that your brain is still telling your balls to make it's normal production.

    Only other thing I could ask for is the ranges... but it seems like you use a pretty standard test judging by your original post.
     
  9. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    I started 3 months ago using 40.5 mg of T creme per day. The test I did on January 13, 2012 came back with FSH Serum of 5.9 (ref: 1.4-18.1 is acceptable range) and LH of 4.1 (2-6 is acceptable range).

    On 9/14 last year:
    TSH: 1.24 (ref: .49-4.67)
    Total T: 204
     
  10. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    How do you come to the conclusion it may be an absorption problem? I don't understand... (I'm a noobe!)

    Also, The pharmacist said it may be a case of testosterone being converted into estrogen.. my Estradiol is at 69 (0-54 is the range)She suggested the doctor may add an aromataseinhibitor (such as progesterone, or Chrysin) to the Testosterone which blocksthe conversion to estrogen. She also suggested 40.5 mg of T per day was a pretty low amount (starter) amount. I'm 6'1 245.. not sure if this comes into play or not
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  11. bgnb

    bgnb Active Member

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    progesterone or chrysin are not the place to start ...

    you need to look at SHBG which may be very high
    and look at your thyroid ... absorption problems can come from that source.
     
  12. letstalk

    letstalk New Member

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    When your body "sees" a high level of androgens (testosterone in our case) it will tell the brain "whoa we have too much testosterone, time to signal the testes to slow down!"

    So, the signals that are involved in telling your body/testes to make testosterone are LH and FSH. If these numbers start normal and then become are very, very low then you can presume your body is absorbing the test cream. However, your body seems to have a very normal LH and FSH level, so it looks like your brain is still telling your testes to make testosterone. Therefore, you seem to be running on your normal testosterone levels and the cream is not having a significant effect.

    I wouldn't bother with an anti aromatase (yet) because it does not look like this cream is being absorbed. If it were me, I would try something else. I wouldn't even bother considering upping the dose on this particular compounded cream. If your insurance covers it, perhaps try androgel or testim. Otherwise, there are no absorbtion issues with injects. But there are certainly pros and cons to each method.
     
  13. WhatTheF

    WhatTheF New Member

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    Because your FSH and LH appear to be in normal range while already on a 40mg daily dose of gel.

    The FSH and LH appear to indicate that your HPTA axis may not be suppressed, with low T numbers this can be an indicator that you may not be absorbing the gel.

    Did you feel better at all when you initially began (first week) using the gel? This could be another "anecdotal" indication of absorption.
     
  14. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    As far as "skin" absorption, if I move from a creme to a gel or non alcohol gel, would that make a difference?
     
  15. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    progesterone or chrysin are not the place to start ...

    you need to look at SHBG which may be very high
    and look at your thyroid ... absorption problems can come from that source.


    This is interesting..I was referring to the creme not being absorbed thru the skin.... Could the creme be absorbed thru the skin but my Test just not taking?

    Did you feel better at all when you initially began (first week) using the gel? This could be another "anecdotal" indication of absorption.

    I actually don't remember..it was 3 months ago. I think I felt a little better, may have been placebo..all i know now is I feel like crap.. If I felt better for 1 week, but now feel like crap does that mean absoprtion is bad or what does that mean?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  16. letstalk

    letstalk New Member

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    There are simply so many variables nobody can tell you for sure. Your best bet is to try it if you really want to find out. On gels, tesosterone levels are stable very quickly, so you could get blood tested in just 2 weeks. Injects you typically wait 1 month.

    You might not FEEL a ton better in 2 weeks, but you will be able to tell if it is being absorbed better.

    At that point, you could adjust your dose up or down as necessary.
     
  17. WhatTheF

    WhatTheF New Member

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    Just another potential indicator of absorption. If you felt "good" for about a week, that may indicate that you absorbed (at least initially). ...of somewhat limited value, I probably shouldn't have mentioned it.

    Back to the initial point...I agree with others that the current dose seems low.
     
  18. ManOnMission

    ManOnMission New Member

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    Shots vs. Gel.... If I am calculating this right, the most mg that they will give you is 200 mg per week (800 mg per month). Gel will typically go up to 81 mg per day on Androgel 1.62, which is 2430 mg per month, 3 times as much T. why is that? Is there a lot of lost T with gels?
     
  19. WhatTheF

    WhatTheF New Member

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    I believe that generally accepted average absorption percentage for gels is around 10%, so 10% of 81 mg would be about 8mg per day absorbed. YMMV...
     
  20. letstalk

    letstalk New Member

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    You can't compare the amount of injectable to gels... it's totally different. Most people are probably on somewhere around 100mg of test injectable per week. But a "starting" dose of gel is around 3 times that but for many people, probably most, this only gets them low normal.

    Transdermal vs injectable are two totally different beasts.
     

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