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testosterone pills for low testosterone

by Chris Steidle, MD

Testosterone pills are available for testosterone replacement therapy. In order for testosterone to be useful in pill form, however, its molecular make-up had to be changed so that it would not be broken down by the liver. Unfortunately, these altered forms of testosterone may not be best for male hormone replacement because they can cause such side effects as liver damage and high cholesterol.


One such altered form, testosterone undecenoate, causes blood testosterone levels to peak after about four hours and drop again after eight hours. Consequently, the pills have to be taken two or three times a day to maintain an adequate level.

Another altered form is methyl testosterone, which is effective but may also produce harmful side effects including liver damage and elevated cholesterol levels.


Advantages of testosterone pills:

  • Convenient

Disadvantages of testosterone pills:

  • Provides inconsistent testosterone levels.
  • Some oral formulations have a potential to cause liver damage.
  • Multiple daily doses required (which detracts some from its convenience.)
  • Food can interfere with absorption.

Testosterone pill products and websites:

Product Manufacturer Dosing Administration
Android® (methyltestosterone) ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 10-50 mg per day (1-5 capsules) Oral
Virilon® (methyltestosterone)   10-50 mg per day Oral
Testred® (methyltestosterone) ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 10-50 mg per day Oral
Andriol* (testosterone undecanoate) Organon 80-160 mg per day Oral

*Available in Mexico, Canada and Europe




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Caruthers, Malcolm, MD. The Testosterone Revolution. London: Thorsons; 2001.

Heaton, Jeremy, P.W., MD. Hormone Treatments and Preventive Strategies in the Aging Male: Whom and When to Treat? Rev.Urol. 2003;5(suppl 1):S16-S21.

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Steidle, Christopher P., MD. New Advances in the Treatment of Hypogonadism in the Aging Male. Rev.Urol. 2003;5(suppl 1):S34-S40.


1. Matsumoto, Alvin M. Fundamental Aspects of Hypogonadism in the Aging Male. Urology. Vol. 5, Supplement 1. 2003;S3-10.
2. Morley, JE. J Gend Specif Med. 2001;4:49-53.

Posted February 2004
Updated January 2009


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