What is Testosterone Propionate and Why Is It No Longer Used?

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

Testosterone propionate is an injectable testosterone replacement therapy first developed in the 1930s and has since been discontinued.

Testosterone propionate has been effective in treating low testosterone levels in men. However, it has been superseded by newer, safer testosterone therapies that need fewer injections to take effect.


Testosterone propionate 101: the basics


Testosterone propionate, better known under the Testoviron brand, is an injectable testosterone therapy no longer available in the United States.

However, this medicine can still be found in countries like Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Belgium, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and Latvia.

Testosterone propionate fell into disuse when longer-lasting testosterone products first became available. These include safer, longer-acting products like testosterone enanthate, testosterone undecanoate, and testosterone cypionate, which require fewer injections to apply. They have since become first-line choices for testosterone replacement therapy.

The main drawback of testosterone propionate is the substance’s shorter half-life. Shorter half-lives mean your body gets rid of the substance faster, while longer half-lives mean they stay longer in the body to continue working. Testosterone propionate’s shorter half-life means you’ll need to take several weekly intramuscular injections to hit suitable T levels.

Testosterone propionate was likely discontinued due to the emergence of better, safer, and more effective options.


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What makes testosterone so important for men?


Testosterone is often referred to as the male sex hormone that plays a central role in physical, mental, and sexual development.

Testosterone remains a vital part of our entire lives, which means men need to keep adequate levels of the hormone. Low T levels may cause symptoms like:


  • Sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or low sex drive
  • Psychological disorders such as anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Weaker bones
  • Lower muscle mass
  • Higher body fat composition
  • Sexual health and reproductive issues


Other available testosterone therapies


Newer derivatives have superseded testosterone propionate. The latter has been replaced by the following types of TRT:


  • Testosterone cypionate (Depo-Testosterone®): injectable
  • Testosterone undecanoate (Jatenzo®): oral
  • Testosterone enanthate (Delatestryl®): injectable
  • Testosterone patch (AndroDerm®): applied to the skin
  • Nasal testosterone gel (Natesto®): applied through the nose
  • Topical testosterone gel (Androgel®, Fortesta®, and Testim®): applied to the skin


It must be noted that every form of testosterone therapy is applied differently. Ensure that you take only the dosage prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional. Testosterone replacement therapy requires a prescription.


Who needs testosterone replacement therapy?


Testosterone replacement therapy may benefit individuals with conditions such as low testosterone (hypogonadism), hormonal imbalances, and gender dysphoria.

Testosterone plays a role in both men and women despite its reputation as an “androgenic” hormone. Testosterone helps build strong bones and plays a role in the metabolism of cholesterol. Overweight or obese individuals, in fact, may also be suffering from low testosterone.

Participants given testosterone in a clinical trial showed substantial improvements in symptoms associated with low T. TRT may also help transgender individuals overcome the anxiety and distress linked to gender dysphoria.

People can experience low testosterone levels for various reasons, such as the following:


  • Pituitary gland damage (a gland playing a key role in instructing the body to make testosterone)
  • Certain types of cancer, including cancer treatments like chemotherapy
  • Low levels of hormones like gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) 
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Aging – the most common cause of low testosterone levels


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Does testosterone replacement therapy have any risks?


Testosterone levels in men naturally decline as they age. However, while it might seem logical and beneficial to give testosterone to aging men, testosterone replacement therapy isn’t approved by the FDA for age-related testosterone deficiency. 

However, some healthcare providers might still prescribe off-label TRT to patients falling under this category.


Testosterone replacement therapy can be harmful to patients with certain underlying medical conditions such as:


  • People with cardiovascular disease, heart failure, or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Individuals with an increased heart attack risk
  • Individuals with certain types of prostate or breast cancer
  • Certain hematological conditions


Testosterone replacement therapy is highly risky for individuals with heart problems. In fact, the FDA sent out a safety notification highlighting the risk of developing heart health issues in some patients taking TRT. Testosterone replacement therapy may also increase liver health risks, such as benign hepatic adenomas.


What are the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?


Severe allergic reactions to testosterone replacement therapy are rare but possible. If you experience any potentially severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, swelling, or hives, stop taking your medicine immediately and seek emergency medical attention.

It’s also worth noting that testosterone is a controlled substance and can be subject to abuse. Taking testosterone without a prescription, taking more than the prescribed amount, or mixing it with anabolic steroids may lead to potentially life-threatening cardiac events.


Hormone therapy may be beneficial for certain cases, but it’s not without its side effects, such as the following:


  • Skin irritation or acne
  • Pain or irritation at the site where the injection or topical gel is applied
  • Breast enlargement in men (also known as gynecomastia)
  • Headaches
  • Benign prostate enlargement
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Increase in serum calcium levels
  • Fluid retention (edema)
  • Hematological changes that may cause increased red blood cell count and blood clotting


If you have any underlying medical conditions or taking any medicines and planning on going for testosterone replacement therapy, consult a healthcare professional and let them know all the details. Testosterone may cause interactions with your medication or could be harmful to your health.

If you believe you’re experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone or gender dysphoria, consult a healthcare provider to determine whether testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.


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from your phone or computer,
with UltraPharmRX

  • 100% U.S. Licensed Medical Provider
  • U.S. Licensed Pharmacy
  • Discreet Shipping
  • Monthly Refills
  • No Waiting Rooms, No Appointments
  • Text Messaging Based Consultation *