What is the best delivery method for testosterone in men?

Dear Nelson:

I was wondering what your opinion, Nelson, is self
injecting testosterone a better way to administer
testosterone, or do you recommend the gels? I also see
where you have mentioned appliedpharmacyrx. Would they
also be able to supply Deca (Nandrolone)? I feel like
I can bulk up better when I am a taking this as well.
What are your thoughts about this? Thanks for all the
good work that you do for the HIV community.

The choice of testosterone delivery methods depends on: 1- How disciplined one may be for daily application, 2- How well and how sustained the method takes you above 500 nanograms per deciliter of total testosterone in your blood, 3- How much testosterone gets aromatized to estrogen in your body (estrogen can cause water retention and increased breast size), 4- How much testosterone is metabolized into DHT (dehydrotestosterone, the culprit for acne, hair loss).

Some guys like injections of 100 mg a week or 200 mg every two weeks. I have used this method for years with good results, but the ups and down are a lot more noticeable than using more sustained daily methods. Some love the “peak” caused by the injections.

I have tried Androgel and Testim (both 1% testosterone gels) in the past and they have been OK for me. Testim has a smell that many dislike, but the company claims 30% better absorption than Androgel. Androgel came up with a cool pump that you can use to increase the daily dose if needed. The folks from Androgel are coming up with a 2.5% testosterone version soon. Some guys never reach levels above 500 nanograms with either gel and get better results with a more concentrated gel from compounding pharmacies (you can order 5 or 10% gels at a cheap cost from them). I think Androgel and Testim are a rip off when it comes to price, though, and their patient assistance programs do not seem to be working that well.

2007 was an interesting year for me when it comes to testosterone. I tried Nebido, a 1000 mg shot of testosterone undecanoate (not yet approved in the US) that keeps your testosterone above 500 nanograms for 3 months. It worked beautifully for me. I did not need naps, my sex drive was pretty good and constant for weeks, my appetite was great, and my mood was excellent. After that I tried Testopel pellets and got 12 pellets inserted under the skin of my left gluteous maximus. After a month, my testosterone has gone up from 300 to 800 nanograms and I feel great. I am watching to see if 12 pellets will take me to 120 days of good testosterone levels, as claimed by the maker. So far, they are not noticeable to the naked eye and I am very happy with them. The key will be if it gets insurance and Medicare reimbursement.

Before you start testosterone, make sure your doctor tests your blood for prostatic specific antigen (PSA), gives you a digital rectal exam, he/she measures your hemoglobin/hematocrit, and your total and free testosterone along with thyroid and estradiol levels. Some check sex hormone binding globulin, a protein that seems high in many HIVers that binds testosterone and does not allow it to do its job. This is one of the reasons some people do not feel much after testosterone supplementation.

Have your doctor check your testosterone and estradiol again 3 weeks after you start to see where you are. You may have to increase your dose if your free testosterone is not above 35 picograms per mL . I like to at least be mid range since the free testosterone range is 35- 155 pg/mL. But at the end, what really matters is how you feel. Have her/him also check your hemoglobin/hematocrit after a month to see if you are not one of those unlucky people whose red blood cells increase so dramatically which makes your blood gets too thick to be pumped by your heart. This is called polycethymia and it can be a huge problem. People with this problem have to get phlebotomized ( give blood) or stop testosterone all together.

On the subject of nandrolone, I have very strong biases for that drug, as you guys know. I think nandrolone decanoate is one of the best drugs to be used for improved quality of life, body composition, bone strength, energy, and improved body image. It has helped many HIVers “balance out” thin extremities that were afected by years of lipoatrophy. It has a lot of good data in HIV for men and women, and you can ready more in medibolics.com or our book “Built to Survive”. My doctor once joked that “Nelson Vergel wants nandrolone in the drinking water” LOL

Watson pharmaceuticals, the makers of nandrolone stopped maufacturing it without telling the comunity Nandrolone is available through several compounders. We posted a list here


I am writing a book about all my experiments with my health in the past 22 years to disclose practical tips that do not require too much reading and medical knowledge. I hope this information helped you!

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