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Compounded testosterone vs Androgel

Mar 11, 2011

Hi Nelson,

I have been using Androgel, 5 gram packets, for almost two years. I just turned 57 and my T levels vary between 410's and 430's. I don't qualify for prescription assistance (I do have the $20 monthly saving card for Androgel) but I'm finding it harder to pay for this medication. So I've been thinking about compounding pharmacies.

What is your view on compounded testosterone? I've read that men who don't respond two Androgel or Testim usually respond to compounded testosterone cream. Since I do respond to Androgel, will the cream be too much? What do I look for in a compounding pharmacy? Any recommendations? Thanks for your help.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Most compounded testosterone gels of 1 to 10 percent concentrations can range between US$17 and US$70 a month so it's worth calling around for price comparisons. Your doctor may have an established relationship with a local compounding pharmacy, so be sure to ask. As mentioned before, some doctors have trust issues with compounding pharmacies' quality control and ask to see their certificates to prove that they have proper quality control standards.

There are two main advantages of using compounding pharmacies for testosterone gel or cream. The first is cost: until a generic version of the gel is available, compounded gel will usually be the cheaper alternative.

The second is customization: your doctor can write a prescription of varying concentration for gels or creams. I have used gels containing 5 and 10 percent testosterone with great results. Of course the volume needed is lower when the concentration increases. Some researchers believe that higher concentration gels tend to increase DHT levels more strongly than the regular 1 percent gels. However many men need more than the usual amount of Testim or Androgel and do not want to smear their bodies with lots of gel, so 5 percent gels may be an option for them.

Most compounding pharmacies dispense the creams in "Topi-Click" that are better (typically) than the pre-loaded syringes they are usually supplied in. The Topi-Click is more like a "deodorant stick" which can be more convenient and better looking than the bigger syringes.

There are many compounding pharmacies around the United States. Here are some compounding pharmacies with competitive prices that I have used: APS Pharmacy. 888-547-2654.

The Compounding Shop. 866-792-6731.

College Pharmacy. 800-888-9358.:

You can also Google the key words: "compounding pharmacy" and your zip code to find compounding pharmacies close to you. Compounding pharmacies ship across state lines, so it is not imperative that you have one in your area. They do not typically take insurance, so you have to request reimbursement from your insurance company. Your doctor has to be willing to call or fax a prescription to the pharmacy for you to order any testosterone products. The compounding pharmacy will need your credit card before shipping the product to you, so make sure you call them to set that up.

There is no need for people with low income or no insurance not to get cheap testosterone injections or gels! It amazes me how so many doctors do not know or trust compounding pharmacies.


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