Testosterone is considered a steroid hormone that is secreted mostly by the testicles in men, with additional small amounts secreted by the adrenal glands. It is from the androgen group, and is a male sex hormone with anabolic properties. In men, testosterone is vital for helping develop reproductive tissues (testicles, prostate, etc.). It also promotes secondary sexual characteristics such as muscle size, mass, and production of body hair.
This is a hormone that has a major impact on our health and well-being. When increased, it can provide a boost in sexual performance, cognition, mood, muscle mass, and body hair. Having sufficient testosterone is also considered a good preventative measure against developing osteoporosis. Among adult men, testosterone levels are typically between 7x and 8x greater than levels among women.
Medically, testosterone is used primarily to help males who are unable to naturally produce sufficient testosterone (e.g. hypnogonadism). In this case, a doctor may recommend “TRT” (testosterone replacement therapy), which helps keep levels within the “normal” range. Other uses for testosterone boosters include: erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, height growth, and appetite stimulation.
Many individuals have undergone “TRT” and androgen replacement therapy for years with positive results. However, some people don’t like the side effects and/or feel as if they would rather not have to take T-boosters to function. If you have taken the testosterone for a lengthy period of time and quit, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Factors that influence Testosterone withdrawal
There are many factors that will influence the withdrawal process from testosterone. These include things like: how long you’ve been taking testosterone / receiving boosters, how much you have been increasing it, how abruptly you tapered off of it, as well as other individual factors such as: diet, whether you exercise, etc.
1. Time Span
How long have you been receiving testosterone injections or applying AndroGel? In general, the longer the time span over which you have been receiving treatment, the longer it may take your body to readjust upon discontinuation. If you have only been receiving testosterone therapy for a short duration and stop, you have a much greater chance of recovering without severe withdrawal symptoms.
2. Dosage (Amount)
In general, the greater the amount of testosterone you inject or take, the more difficulty you may have stopping. The dosage that you are taking will vary depend on the condition for which you are taking it. For example, those who are receiving short-acting solution may receive only between 25 mg to 50 mg between 2 and 3 times per week.
On the other hand, those receiving long-acting cypionate or enathate may receive between 50 mg and 400 mg every 2 to 4 weeks. If a transdermal film application is utilized, most people take between 2.5 mg and 5 mg. If it is applied in gel format (i.e. AndroGel), which often come in tubes or spray, recommended dosing is usually 5 g, 7.5 g, or 10 g of the gel, equating to between 25 mg and 50 mg of testosterone.
Those who had to take higher quantities of testosterone may have more of a difficult time when it comes to stopping. The entire nervous system will go through a period of readjustment when the dosing is dropped and following discontinuation. It is important to work with your doctor to determine how quickly to taper off of testosterone.
3. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering
How did you stop your testosterone? Did you gradually taper down the amount you were receiving or did you abruptly discontinue? Simply discontinuing without gradually tapering down the amount of hormone you received may lead to more severe withdrawal effects. This is because your nervous system becomes dependent on the amount you were receiving for functioning.
If you immediately stop the testosterone therapy without giving it any time to adapt to changes, your nervous system may be somewhat shocked at the significant drop-off in production. In most cases, doctors will work with you to gradually reduce the testosterone therapy so that you can minimize any unwanted discontinuation effects.
4. Individual Factors
It is important to keep in mind that many individual factors can influence testosterone levels. Some individuals have a physiology and genetics that allow them to quickly recover from testosterone withdrawal, while others be sensitive to discontinuation. Additionally whether you are taking other medications could have an influence on what you experience during withdrawal.
Your age, whether you engage in physical exercise (e.g. strength training), and your diet can all influence how quickly you recover from withdrawals. The goal when you stop enhancing testosterone production should be to elevate levels through natural means. Someone who engages in activities that are known to boost levels may experience a quicker recovery than someone who doesn’t.
Testosterone Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities
Most would agree that withdrawal from taking testosterone is relatively mild. There are always going to be some more extreme cases though, and withdrawal experiences are typically based on the individual. Below are some of the most common symptoms that people deal with when they stop their testosterone boosters.
- Anxiety: Many people report experiencing reductions in anxiety when they receive testosterone boosters. There is some evidence linking increases in testosterone with decreases in anxiety. When you stop the T-boosters, your anxiety levels may initially increase; in some cases significantly.
- Depression: Some people note a mild depression for a week or two when they cycle off or stop testosterone. The depression that you experience may be more severe depending on your particular life circumstances. It is known that low testosterone can contribute to depression, especially in aging men. Although there are many user-suggested links between using antidepressants and low testosterone levels, there is currently not enough evidence to support this claim.
- Fatigue: When you stop increasing your testosterone, you may notice the onset of fatigue. This fatigue may be overwhelming initially, but should improve over time. There is evidence that having low testosterone can lead to low energy. When you come off of the testosterone, your levels are likely going to be initially very low.
- Headaches: Experiencing headaches is a normal consequence of withdrawing from many things, including testosterone. This is usually caused by your nervous system attempting to adapt to functioning without the booster.
- Mood swings: When coming off of testosterone, you may notice that your moods constantly change. One minute you may feel really angry and upset, the next you may feel depressed, and other times you may just feel anxious. Usually it takes some time before your mood will stabilize after you withdraw.
- Muscle loss: When you increase your testosterone, it makes it much easier to pack on lean muscle mass. When you stop taking the booster, you may experience some degree of muscle loss. This is a common experience for bodybuilders and for those who have noticed improvements in size while working out.
- Low libido: Your sex drive may experience significant decrease compared to when you were receiving the boosts. Many people take testosterone for the specific purpose of increasing their sex drive. When they stop taking it, they may experience reduced interest in having sex.
- Low testosterone: The inevitable part of stopping testosterone therapy is that your T-levels will be reduced. During this time, it is recommended to engage in activities that will stimulate your body’s natural production of testosterone. Over time, you should notice that your T-level improves from when you stopped receiving injections or applying gel.
- Sexual dysfunction: In some cases testosterone is given to help with erectile dysfunction and sexual performance. If you notice some degree of sexual dysfunction, it is likely due to the fact that your testosterone has dipped back down to a low level.
- Slowed cognition: There is some evidence that increasing testosterone levels can help with cognition, specifically mental processing speed and memory. If you notice that you have “brain fog,” slowed thinking speed, and slight dips in memory, this may be part of withdrawal.
- Weight changes: If you gained or lost weight while getting testosterone boosted, you may notice the exact opposite when you come off of it. The body tends to reset itself back to homeostatic functioning over time. Therefore if you lost weight while on testosterone, you may gain back the weight that you lost.
Note: The amount of time testosterone stays in your system may determine when you first notice these discontinuation symptoms. If you were utilizing intramuscular ester injections, symptoms may emerge weeks after your final dose compared to if you were using transdermal or transmucosal formats (which have a shorter half-life).
Testosterone Withdrawal Length: How long does it last?
Some people will only notice symptoms for a week or two after they’ve discontinued using testosterone boosters, while others may have longer lasting effects. Although symptoms from discontinuing testosterone tend to be similar, the length and severity will be based on the individual. Those that were taking high amounts of testosterone for an extended period of time may take months to notice improvement.
Those who cycle on and off of it may become used to the little withdrawal periods and know what to expect. However people who just quit for the first time may initially be overwhelmed with what they are experiencing. During withdrawal, you may want to consider partaking in some natural methods of testosterone boosting including: strength training, zinc supplementation, reducing stress, increasing healthy fat consumption, consider protein supplementation for BCAA (branch chain amino acids).
Compared to most psychiatric drugs and illicit substances, withdrawing from testosterone is regarded as being relatively minor. However, just because it is considered fairly minor to withdraw from doesn’t mean it’s easy. When you artificially boost testosterone, your body becomes accustomed to receiving the booster for daily functioning, and when the supply is cut, you may have a difficult time.
Upon discontinuing T, your nervous system and body may take awhile to readjust itself to functioning without it. The readjustment process is what causes a person to experience withdrawal symptoms. If you have successfully stopped taking testosterone boosters, feel free to share your withdrawal experience in the comments section below.
I took androgel 25mg daily for 8 months then 50mg for 4 months and stopped cold turkey. After 2 weeks I had very bad anxiety for about a week as well as nausea and no appetite. How long before I start feeling normal?
My name is Steve. I took Testosterone Cypionate for weightlifting when I was in my early to mid 20s and was stacking with Dianabol. I had to quit cold turkey after destroying a bedroom door during an argument with my girlfriend. Thank God I hit the door, not her!
The depression was terrible and I attempted suicide multiple times and struggled with wanting to take “just one injection to get me through”. With the support from my family, my job (I was a police officer now retired LOD injury), and my then ex-girlfriend whom I don’t blame for breaking up with me, I kicked steroids.
Here I sit 20+ year’s later at age 49 with a Testosterone level of 14! This is most likely due to past abuse. I now have to take 1 injection of 200 mg/ML every 10 days because I suffer from Low T with all the symptoms in full gear. I’m torn inside because I swore I’d never take testosterone injections again and now I have to do it to be healthy.
I’m at 3 weeks now and my energy is better, less depression, fatigue, and anxiety. My appetite is better and I sleep better at night – and without spending days in bed nonstop sleeping because of major depression and lack of energy. Plus my pain level is much lower (due to past injuries) and my blood sugar isn’t spiking through the roof.
I’m going to keep it up but anyone taking Testosterone and not needing it medically… using just to get bigger, please learn from me and don’t do it or you’ll have to do it later in life just to be normal!
Stop spreading false information. Your test crashed because you chose to not educate yourself before using. Every time I come off my levels come exactly back to normal. I took the time to read proper post cycle therapy to get myself back.
Recovering to normal should only take 1-2 months tops. If anything, people should learn from your terrible choice to not study up on a proper cycle. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Mkeup66 – Was curious what your PCT looked like? I had my last shot of cypionate (100mg) exactly one month ago. Over a three month span, I had five shots for a total of 500mg and felt great, but did have some side effects too.
I stopped cold turkey because I had a health scare at my job and attributed it to the the Test shots. I’ve been off for 30 days and have felt miserable. No libido, testicles are depleted, lethargy, depression and anxiety, none of which I previously suffered from.
I know I didn’t take much and only for a short while, but was curious if you could provide any feedback. This was my first time trying cypionate. I’ve done Androgel in the past but has little effect so I stopped. Thanks, Eric
I am quitting cold turkey. I live in Boise, Idaho. The Endocrinologists here will kill you. They know nothing. They are all incompetent. I have a serious incurable illness that prevents me from doing ANYTHING except lie on couch and sleep.
TRT revs up the libido like something else but that is just an annoyance to me at this time in my life. With low T – I used to see women as works of art instead of sex objects. I actually prefer that. It is much easier to just look them in the face without getting distracted by their assets.
If my illness ever gets cured I will go back on TRT for sure but for now I look forward to just admiring the most beautiful artwork on this planet once again.
I had been seeing a Urologist regularly for another issue and during a blood test he checked my T level and it was around 110. I was 62 at the time. He put me on T-Cypionate 200mg every 2 weeks. All felt great. I workout 4 – 5 times a week and my body definitely responded and I was getting ripped at my age. The sex drive was through the roof.
After a while my T level was at 900. After that we maintained between 800 – 850. During all of this I had an enlarged Prostate and that was a concern and we kept an eye on it. My hemoglobin was up after about a year of being on it but all we did was do some blood draws to keep that in check.
My PSA’s were always around 4 to 4.5 but at my age, still not horrible. Suddenly, and almost overnight my PSA was at 9. Run in for lots of tests, 3D MRI, etc. My Prostate which should be around 25mg was at 130mg and they found 2 tumors. Many things going on here but after 3 different opinions from some of the best doctors around, they think that the T Cypionate helped move the cancer along.
The Gleason score is 7.8 so I now have to have a prostate removal since Chemo won’t work, nor seeds, and the radiation could have such collateral damage that if that fails, the operation for removal of the prostate would render me totally limp for life. They also told me of what happens once the prostate is gone and that’s not a happy thought either.Tough decision.
So the gist of this is that the T Cypionate will spread a cancer faster than normal in the body and that if you already have an enlarged prostate you have a GREAT chance of enlarging even more. They stopped me cold-turkey on the cypionate and my mood swings have been on a scale of 10 between -5 to +15.
Stress is a giant piece now as hearing that I have cancer is something that I wasn’t ready to hear. I am not sure whether all of this is related but the doctors at Loyola University and U.of Chicago hospitals tell me they are pretty sure that it is.
Surgery upcoming and not feeling too happy about it. I felt great, body was in really good shape, sex life was great. It was just overnight…BOOM, your PSA is 9. Let’s do more tests. You don’t get an internal warning. So if you are on it… at least keep getting your routine checkups.
I stop taking shots gradually and have decided to stop altogether. I can’t distinguish between withdrawal symptoms and other physical problems I’m having. Headaches, weakness, dizziness, night sweats – those are side effects of the withdrawal symptoms no doubt.
However for about the last 2 to 4 weeks my legs feel like I have 50 lb weights on them and I drag my feet a lot when I walk. Basically I’m not feeling the same as I was before I started the T shots. I asked my doctor to get tested and it was about a 300 score.
He told me if I didn’t like it I could just stop taking it – man how wrong was that. I don’t know if I’m coming or going sometimes. It’s crazy, but I’m about ready to go out of my tree. It feels like something seriously is going wrong with my muscular system.
I’ve been there and still on the recovery myself. Normalcy will return. My last 200mg T-cyp was July 6th. Only reason I started taking T-cyp was because my doc did blood work and said I was low. This crap ruined me of an entire spring and summer of my life with my family. Doc never did labs in the 6 months I was being injected to follow up on my levels.
I’m talking 1/2 cc once a week for 5 years and have only one problem… I had a heart attack. It was mild, no damage, but my heart doctor said that testosterone therapy was bad for heart & cardiovascular system. He said it hardens arteries, and I’m wondering if there’s anything one can take to prevent this?
I found this article very enlightening. I’ve been taking testosterone for a year and a half and really want to discontinue it at this point. I’d like to be tapered off of it, but I’m also on a blocker against estrogen which is due again in three weeks.
I intend not to have the next blocker injection, so my question is – once the blocker is no longer in my system, can I just gradually stop testosterone? Anyone else have similar experience, having a blocker injection too?
If so, how did you approach your doctor about quitting? Sorry, I’m just really nervous as I am not sure how to begin the stopping process. ?
Hey man, you’ll want to continue the blocker after you stop the Test. Your body keeps a natural ratio of hormones and when you stop having high levels of Test (which is absolutely going to happen upon ceasing) your estrogen levels, though blocked from various receptors, will stay high for a while until your natural test reboots.
Ask your doctor what he thinks, but if it were me and I had to stop, I’d immediately start HCG injections for a few months while staying on the estrogen blocker for about 6 weeks. HCG is a hormone that signals your body to produce your natural Test.
Hey Dax, it’s August now. I’ve been on cypionate for a year now. I’m also on methadone and that’s why I got on testosterone, but I was using heroin so I know that’s why my T was low – not because I couldn’t produce it on my own. I feel foolish now and want to get off of it. Did you end up getting off, tapering down?
My experience has been absolute the opposite of what everybody else has posted in many forums about getting off TRT. I started in 2009, and I did see some benefits, but nothing earth-shattering. When I started I was 44, I’m now 53. I went off simply because I ran out of gel and the pharmacies were on backorder, so it was really not a specific decision.
However I’ve been off now for nearly 2 weeks, and I cannot tell you how amazing I feel. First of all my libido has come back which of late (i.e. the last year) so was, not non-existent, but pretty close. Additionally I was very very grouchy and snappy, and prone to mood swings.
I was feeling flushed all the time. I did take an Estrogen suppressant as well and did try and keep everything well-balanced. I was feeling more and more lethargic, less energetic, tired, foggy brand et cetera. In short I was feeling all the effect that you’re supposed to get rid of when you get onto TRT.
Since then all of these things have disappeared. My libido has come back, and then some! I feel much more myself. Clearheaded, optimistic, in a good mood et cetera. To be quite honest I don’t really understand it because every blog I’ve read and everything I’ve read on the forums has been quite negative about withdrawing from TRT but my experience has been 180° the opposite.
I am feeling the same. Better moods and outlook. My pants “stir” at the slightest thought of my wife during the day, or a pretty heroine kicking butt in a movie. My emotions seem so much more even keel… all of these things were in chaos during the 3 years of therapy.
My levels were 485-500 prior to TRT, but I have osteoporosis, so they put me on Twitter saying it’d rebuild bone where bone drugs didn’t. Well DEXA scans show no change in all that time, except wasted years of sitting around due to lost motivation and moodiness, apathy. I have had some high sugar spikes in afternoons (and I’m not diabetic) and restless nights, and feel my muscles are not as full as they were on T, but I’m not a bulky guy anyways.
I’m super lean. Also I could not gain an ounce on T, even at 10 calories a day. My lean body was made even more hypermetabolic by the T. And it raised my platelets. I had a few days of random weird sweats or tender point all over pains and achy flu feeling but it was manageable.
I’m giving myself a month or two for LH to kick back in and make more of my own like I used too. Doing weights and eat lots of fat and get sun. D supplements as well. May try some Tongkat Ali or other natural T boosters as well. If after 3 months if my FSH and LH and TT aren’t up near pre-therapy levels, I’ve got a 30 day supply of Clomid.
I figured I’d try a low low dose for few weeks to help nudge the axis back in motion. I’ve noticed the boys getting some size back so figure that’s good sign and sex hasn’t been an issue. I think T is overprescribed and docs who dole it out who are not well trained (specialty endocrinologists) are doing harm to men. Hormones are powerful and essential part of the root code system of our wellbeing.
I was on TRT Injections Cypionate 100mg a week for 2 years. My doctor told me I had high hemoglobin and hematocrit so I quit cold turkey like an idiot. Well in week 3 of being off testosterone I started to experience insane withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, depression, weakness in legs, burning mouth syndrome, slow heart rate, lower body temp, hot flashes, heart pressure, nausea and lack of appetite, etc.
My entire body completely broke down and is in shock from quitting cold turkey. I would have never done that if I knew what could happen. I am staying on this stuff for life. My levels were low in the beginning so I don’t produce my own testosterone anyways.
My free level was low and total was just below the range. It’s a necessary evil. I got back on testosterone and will donate blood to keep my hemoglobin and hematocrit in check.
I feel the same and I quit cold turkey after taking it for around 6 to 8 months. I think I will see the clinic where I began my treatment to see where my levels are.
Right now my weight has increased considerably. My energy is gone and I have many of the negative symptoms you describe. I quit taking the injections (100 ml a week) 2 months ago, due to unwanted hair growth, but I feel terrible.
I switched to Clomid while tapering off Cypionate. I tried Clomid at different doses but felt horrible on it. I tapered off Clomid and have been off for 3 weeks now. Energy level is down with dizziness and nausea. I plan on staying off all medications for at least 6 months to see what happens.
I hope my body settles down. I am lifting weights at gym and trying to stay active. Any doctor that tells you withdrawal is no big deal doesn’t know what they are talking about. It is clear most doctors have no clue what they are doing so the misinformation is confusing for patients.
I am 37 now. In my early 20s I let some buddies convince me to try a few cycles of test. I just couldn’t get used to shots, and freaked out about injecting drugs in my body essentially bought off the street. So I stopped cold turkey.
For several years after that I dealt with mood swings, depression, weight gain, muscle loss, and some slight libido issues. Went to the low T center recently to get tested and I was around 300. Of course they put me on treatment.
My question is could this have been caused by me quoting cold so many years ago? Could it have caused long term hypogonadism? If so, is TRT treatment the way to go, or should I try more of a restart like HCG?
I have read all the comments. I still have a couple of questions in anyone can help. The doctor had me on Test CYP – it says on the script. I injected 1ML every 4 days. It helped me feel better and my count was a 62 when I started. It has been 800 something at last check.
Anyway the nutcase that she is took me off without even telling me. When I went to the pharmacy and no script, called the doc and the nurse said she is taking me off for a month so she can then recheck my levels! I had no idea of the risks with taking this or how bad the withdraw can be.
What can I expect? I don’t understand many people’s posts of how much they were on or if I was getting the same thing they were. I don’t think this is an ethical practice especially after reading some others posts. I am really worried and have been depressed most of my life as it is… and have a job to do and a child to feed. Thank you for any responses.
Withdrawals are worse for some than others. What your doctor did was not cool. She probably had very little history with TRT. In regard to your worries: Eat clean and still exercise.
You may feel some nausea and an upset tummy along with lethargy. Maybe take some zinc tabs. I watch the carbs and sugar especially if I’m off. Just stay strong and push through. You will probably be so hypogonadal when you go back in that they might just pin you right there.
I’m sorry. She should have taken good baseline numbers and said, “get a test just to make sure the numbers are still good.” There was no reason to take you off. Peace.
Thanks for the reply Benji, After being off for several months now I have an appointment with a specialist. For anyone that this may help here are some of the things I noticed or still am…
I lost 5 pounds within the first month of muscle mass mostly shoulders and chest area. I feel really weak now even on my good days. I could lay around all day if it didn’t drive me crazy as my body wants to the minimum, this is how I felt for the last 10 years without the TRT.
I was really concerned about other symptoms and didn’t have any noticeable besides what I have stated. My sex drive definitely went out the window and I never had that issue in my life. Now I know how my wife feels haha. I keep seeing all these side effects (hardening of the arteries, prostate cancer risks, etc.)
I worry if taking it or being exhausted all the time is worth it at this point, but I am going to see this specialist and maybe clear some things up… Thanks for any comments. Some Doctors should just be giving meds for colds!
I started treatment in 2011 due to low T (147). Had no energy, no drive, fatigue, depression and more. I had these symptoms for a few years before I went to the endocrinologist. We started with injections and after 6 months no change and test results actually dropped (130).
He recommended androgel which 1.62, 3-4 pumps daily. My numbers reached the mid 500s and that is where he suggested we keep them due to cancer risk factors. Since starting the TRT, Enzo kept me on a 6 month recheck and all was going ok, drive really never improved, but mood and lethargy improved.
This past October, PSA number more than doubled, and urology confirmed prostate cancer.
My risk has always been high as my paternal side of the family was hit hard. 4 out of 6 men developed prostate cancer in there 50-60 age range. My urologist told to stop the Androgel immediately. He said there could be mild side effects that will work out in time, but cancer feeds on height T??
Anyway, it’s been 3 months.
My libido, my energy, my mood are all in a bad place, I added 10lbs quickly, and don’t think I am in a good place. My protects my is in 2 weeks, not looking forward to that, but such is life… My ultimate question is: Post surgery, is it safe to restart TRT? be restarted safely or is it better to continue looking for other solutions for my 1. “withdrawal” and 2. All the original symptoms that started this mess… one gentlemen on here referred to it as HELL, I must say I concur. -Tim
Hey, I’m not a physician, but can share what I know. Been on TRT for a number of years. Started with injections, which was just a roller coaster ride. Went to pump and finally foil packets. Depending on manufacturers briefings. Application areas are thighs, stomach (mid drift) and arms. It’s well documented that it increases your risk of prostate, testicular and breast cancer. (Yes men get that too) for those just inquiring?
Best location is outside of arms from shoulder down. Keep your arms out a bit till it dries then put a shirt on. Always wash your hands after. Never chest, below navel, neck or inside of thighs. You already have cancer. Stop immediately. Your life is number one. TRT not only increases your risk but speeds up progression. Tell your oncologist about your TRT use. Best of luck with your treatment. Kick cancers ass!
Felt low t symptoms at around 370ng/dL. Doc put me on clomid and jumped to 740ng TT and felt like a rockstar. I’m 38. My doc took me off clomid and me levels fell to 150ng TT. I decided to give try a try because I couldn’t find any long term clomid studies and trt is a bio identical hormone and not a drug.
Started with 0.5 mg a week and got bumped up to 0.6 when my blood test came back at 340ng/dl after the testosterone cypionate. Felt no real difference in mood or libido so I took myself off trt after 3 months. Where as on the clomid I felt great. After doing some extensive research I found that me working graveyard could have a great deal to do with my hormones getting out of whack.
I also lift weights and do some cardio 4-5 days a week. I decided to switch to a day shift starting in August (it’s now January) and start a more volume style lifting routine and more HIT cardio, maybe one to two sessions per week. That with high nutrition diet with some supplements and see where my numbers fall. I learned that almost anyone at any age can boost testosterone over time…
In some cases more than a year, depending on life style and sleep schedule. The world health organization did a study and found that graveyard workers always test in lower range for test. So if you work nights that could be the problem. Make sure you do some research and more importantly pay attention to how you feel…
Some guys do just fine in the lower TT range. Your body has the ability to heal itself. You just have to put in the work. That’s my plan. If I try all the natural methods to no avail then I will feel much better about pharmaceuticals.
My experience is LONG… Took anabolics in my 20’s. Sometimes very high doses (stupid kid) but never for very long and probably no more than 10 cycles total. I always noticed I felt better on them then off. But never had any withdraw symptoms I could perceive. Fast forward to 30 yrs old. Had a watershed event happen (a negative one), got depressed, worked through it and during that time a guy gave me a pack of the testosterone gel and man within 30 minutes I felt like a new man.
I was like “this is how I felt in my 20’s!”. Got tested after the gel dose wore off, came in an 248 or something like that, very low. After a lot of thought (I hate being dependent on anything and I knew it would be for life) I took the plunge as I had a lot of doctor friends and one of them started a HRT clinic. I felt like a million bucks. However, I would say this to the guys who think it’s nirvana. It’s NOT.
When you have been low for a long time, your body up-regulates testosterone receptors so it can maximize the low levels in your body, and when you add outside test, it feels like you have taken a lot, even if your dose is low. But eventually your body re-calculates things and gets back to where it wants to be. Over 20 years on TRT, the only negative side effect I ever got was high hematocrit (thick blood from too many platelets being formed).
Mostly a side effect of injection as it causes you to go too high, then normal, then low over the course of your injection time. I found I felt really good around 700-800 ng/ml… less and I started to feel crummy, and more felt pretty much the same crummy. So there was as sweet spot. For me it was 120mg T-Cyp a week. (0.6 cc of 200mg/ml). However, 4 years ago, I just decided I didn’t want to be on anymore.
I didn’t like being tied to it and I hated the injections (20 years worth, once a week = 960 intramusclar injections!) My injection sites were scarred! The only withdraw symptoms I got were slight depression, more like dysphoria (just bummed out). It lasts for about 3 days to a week for me then back to my normal self. Pretty happy, confident, optimistic. The only thing is the energy is really low, the motivation goes down the tubes…
This brings me to today after being off 4 years and having gone through a lot of stress (step-child drama, wife drama, child drama, life drama…etc.) I was feeling just completely burned out. Apathetic was how I would describe it. just too tired to care much about anything. So I thought about it, prayed about it, and decided to go back on, but this time not on injections (as they are what most of the negative sides are from)… this time cream. 100mg/g over two doses (one in morning, one at night).
First 3 days almost euphoric (almost, it wasn’t like I was manic, I knew where it was all coming from)… then settled into just really great, libido came back strong (never went away, but was much diminished), attitude was great, motivation back again…. just good up to about day 7. After day 7, just felt so so, still better than before, but all the really good, youthful feelings just went away and I mean I knew it wouldn’t last, so I was ok.
Then I noticed I started getting irritable around 4pm (morning dose at 7-8 am) and would wake up with irritable dreams 6-7 am (evening dose was at around 10 pm)… put 2 and 2 together and realized the dose was tapering down to a low level, low enough to feel crummy. I thought about it and realized my SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) was probably sucking up some of the T hitting my blood stream and thought about what causes T to be released from SHBG… Magnesium. So took some magnesium citrate (200mg) around 4pm and viola, all is well.
Need to go in from some tests soon, but I’m thinking I’ll probably need to up my dose a little. If that doesn’t fix it, then I’ll just go off again and accept this is old age. A good piece of advice a friend gave to me one, “Don’t get too high, things will get crummy again and don’t get too low, things will get good again… life ebbs and flows, gets good and gets bad and repeats… This too shall pass”.
And if you do get withdraw symptoms just remember it will pass. Attitude really determines the severity IMHO.
Very good read, thanks for providing this.
I have been taking androgel and quite frankly I did not notice any appreciable difference. Maybe I wasn’t taking enough or maybe I just didn’t need it. Anyway, I started with a new doctor and asked him about it and he suggested that I stop taking androgel to see how it goes.
Well, I can tell you that my energy level has fallen off the charts and I am having trouble concentrating and being productive. I also feel tired most of the time. In reading through some material about withdrawals, this appears to be normal and I am hopeful that my body will respond and start producing more T soon. Otherwise, I may be inclined to go back to Androgel.
Hi all again. So I was on Sustanon 250 only 6 weeks in last September-November. I came off almost 3 months ago. My free test levels are better than before treatment (free test 230pmol/l). Still My LH and FSH are not fully recovered according the lab results.
I still feel a lot of depression and anxiety, had to take some benzos to chill me down. Have anybody experience that kind of situation, free Test are recovered and still feeling like sh-t? Just wonder is my nervous system recovering LH and FSH and thats why I feel like running when I’m sitting or just laying down? Before TRT my LH was 4.5 – now its 3.40.
Hey all. I sympathize with any of you suffering. I had no sex drive in my early forties, terrible depression and weight gain. After some research I got my test levels checked and they indeed came back low. Started Androgel, no response at first then increased to 10mg a day and went kind of nuts.
Developed thick blood and needed a few bleeds to get hemoglobin down. Suffice to say it changed my life though, couldn’t believe how I felt before towards women, etc. I actually lost a young girlfriend because of low T, or at least in part. Went to down to 5mg’s a day and all was well for about 4 years when my endo suggested I try to taper and use clomid to see if I could kick start my own production.
The last several months have been a nightmare. Hot flashes like a menopausal woman (I sleep with a fan on in the winter in Northern Ontario Canada). Worse, zero motivation and sex drive. It’s been close to 4 months on Clomid and several at 50mg’s and I hear that’s a high dose.
It looks like my LH and FSH are recovering but my T was 100-ish a few months back and only 150 last week. I wonder if it’s related to how long I was on supplementation or if I just accept that I need supplementation to function optimally. My pre-treatment levels were sub 300. Any thoughts? Thanks.
I understand the HPTA shutdown and associated side effects of TRT and other Anabolic/Androgenic agents can be unpleasant. However, I would urge you to take your power back do some research and not rely on incompetent physicians. There are numerous valuable resources available in research manuals available on Amazon and numerous boards with information.
In addition, there are sites that sell legit PCT meds for a fraction of the cost domestically if you could even manage a RX from a doctor. I will provide one PCT Protocol that has been developed by a respected doctor in this field. It should help jump start the HPTA and minimize longterm effects.
1) HCG 2000 IU EVERY OTHER DAY FOR 20 DAYS
2) CLOMID 50MG 2X PER DAY FOR 30 DAYS
3) NOLVADEX 20MG 2X PER DAY FOR 45 DAYS
Initiate 3-7 days after last injection of 200mg Cypionate/Enanthate.
Initiate 10-14 days after last injection of 500mg Cypionate/Enanthate.
Hi Chris, thank you so much for the PCT protocol. Just for clarification, are we supposed to use the HCG, Clomid and Nolvadex all at once or in succession in the order you stated?
I started getting heavy withdrawals from sustanon 250. I’ve actually looked this up due to not knowing what was going on (present). OMG. I’ve been throwing up, head all dizzy, no erectile function, can’t sleep, into depression. I came of heroin and found it easier.
I received this as a low testosterone replacement therapy sustanon 250 every 3 weeks. Great drug but lousy withdrawals plus the fact I’ve got to keep up the sexual practice. I’m a stallion as well… as I say – great drug until you have to come off it.
I stopped getting injections about a month ago & have felt better than I did before as far as mood & sleep. I went from 215 to 228 lbs during the year I was on it. Now I have dropped back down to 216 currently. I have a busted back & knee so the decrease in weight has enabled me to move faster & play tennis again.
I am 61 & feel great now. I actually feel hornier than I was on the T & the consistency of my sperm has resumed from watery back to thick. Only negative is I went down from 20 pushups to 16 & my tricep extensions went down from 30 to 21. I can still do the same bicep curls however, so I do not know what has happened there.
I do not feel that getting T injections did anything for me other than gain weight & get my strength up which meant nothing to anybody since I am single.
You’re lucky. If you were on it longer the symptoms would be a lot worse.
He didn’t say how long he was on it.
Yes he did. Read it again. He stated he was on it for a year.
I’ve been on 2 packets of 1.65 gel for over three years now, and developed the high red cell count issue. My doctor sent me to a hematologist to investigate blood draws as a way to deal with it. This has opened a can of worms. The mechanisms by which TRT thickens the blood have not been scientifically well established.
The Hematologist tested me for another hormone, (erythropoietin) which is produced by the kidneys to regulate red blood cell production, and I was out of range high. When your kidneys aren’t getting enough oxygen for any reason, they produce more of this hormone. With a high red count, It should be low. But there is an existing theory that TRT stimulates erythropoietin and thus the high blood counts.
It’s probably the TRT, but now I am being screened for kidney cancer, as such tumors are known to also produce that hormone. So high anxiety for the next couple of weeks. Another possible cause is sleep apnea, which I will be tested for if the CAT scan comes back clean. I noted something here I had not ever heard of before: Breathing issues while laying down while taking TRT.
I feel at this time, for peace of mind, going off TRT will be my best choice. For me, fatigue was the issue that put me on TRT, and I’m not looking forward to that. Having a younger man’s libido was fun for awhile, but as my wife ages with me (she is 4 years older already), her sex drive is declining, so a decrease in libido might actually be a good thing for me and us, as I would not feel deprived. I hope the withdrawal isn’t too bad for me, as I have had mood issues in the past, but have not been on anti-depressants for at least 15 years.
I have been on the same dosage as you and tried going cold turkey. I couldn’t breathe, had nightmares and hallucinations and didn’t want to eat, lost 15 pounds in a week. Go off it very slowly. I’m still on it and do two doses, then one dose, one dose, then two doses again.
Seems to keep hemoglobin in safe range. I was tired, too. That’s why I started Androgel. My cardiologist said it was probably sleep apnea. Wish I had seen him before I started T therapy.
I too, noticed a heaviness in my chest at times. That’s seems to have gone away. The brain fog, absent mindedness, headache, and not being too good at keeping my emotions in check are the main problems now. But that could change soon, as it takes you body six weeks to swap out you blood.
After talking to my hematologist, he’s downgraded from a CAT scan to an ultrasound and another visit with more labs in a month, then a sleep study most likely after. Since my Hematocrit has been high for over 2 years, he had to go along with the idea that my erythropoietin levels were probably not due to a malignant tumor, as I’d be symptomatic or dead by now. But he still wants a look at my kidneys.
Seems like a lot of us are put on testosterone easily enough but not given much, if any support when we want to come off. There are a lot of questions on here and not many answers! I’d like to hear from a doctor about this if there is one reading this thread.
Hi all, I’m 29 and I was on sustanon 6 weeks and had to stop because I started to feel restless and I went off cold turkey. First 3 weeks went pretty okay, slightly moody and headaches. But from week 4&5 its been hell: anxiety, depression, feeling sick, and desperate. My body and mind can’t relax. Now it’s week 7 and I asked my doctor to give me some SERM etc. If I survive this I’ll go to church every Sunday, etc…
I’m in panic mode right now. Three years ago I got tested and my test was 186. I’ve been on 200 mcg since then with great results. I went to give blood yesterday but my iron was slightly too high (19.2, 19 being the limit).
I also went to the doc for my six month Rx refill, and a different doctor than usual saw me. He simply stated “I don’t do testosterone prescriptions.” My regular doc, whose name is on the practice, never expressed any concerns about me being on it, but it seems he is backing the other doctor now because of my high iron (we all know that giving blood fixes this).
They tell me quitting cold turkey isn’t a problem at all, and they won’t even sign the form for therapeutic phlebotomy, even though they claim my thickened blood is SO dangerous for me. Unless I find a new doctor quickly, I’m guessing I’m in for a wild ride.
Gustangent, my husband who is 70 and has been on TRT for many years gets dangerously high hemoglobin and hematocrit levels from this therapy. He goes to Carter Blood Care for phlebotomies. They have forms for TRT patients you can complete so you can go more often.
This is no longer working for him because it depletes his iron. The high hemoglobin & hematocrit levels caused him to have a TIA (mini stroke). Those high levels also cause fatigue, dizziness, itchy legs and extremely cold feet – to the point of almost being numb.
We have decided he should stop the TRT since the side effects far outweigh the benefits. We are not looking forward to the withdrawal symptoms, however. Glad we found this blog. We will definitely be praying through all this. Thank you all for your honest posts.
Get off it slowly. With Androgel you can reduce the dosage and reduce the interval you dose.
My Dr put me on 250mg cipionate at age 29. My natural testosterone was 1250 but he said I had high sex hormone binding globulin. Don’t know what that is. Anyway after 8 months I want off after doing research that my test levels were amazing but I’m being stepped down 50mg every 2 weeks. How long before I’ll be able to see size gains again?
Been taking TRT for 10 years, never knew it could be so hard to come off. Not liking the hair loss on my head; curious why no one talks about that on here? So upset with this side affect I am trying to get off and it’s not going well. Feeling lethargic, anxiety, mood swings, and loss of energy. Has anyone grown back thier hair or is it too late? If hair isn’t coming back I might go back on it… Frustrated
I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor two years ago. The tumor secreted prolactin which in essence screwed up my T levels as well as most of my other hormones. Normal prolactin levels for a male are no more than 18 ng/ml. Mine was 679 ng/ml. I was given the proper meds to deal with the tumor and placed on Androgel 1% 5g packets daily. It helped a lot. I felt great. Sex drive increased.
Dropped some weight and started working out and gained some mass. Cognitive ability improved dramatically. I really didn’t like the atrophy of the testicles though, but all the other positives made it a fair trade off. Now my prolactin levels are under control. My last reading was 23 ng/ml and my Endo is saying I can come off the Androgel. I’ve been tapering off for a about a month. Taking a packet every other day for 2 1/2 weeks, followed by one every 3 days, with the plan being to come off completely in another 2 weeks.
So far my mood has dipped, but hasn’t been awful. Sexual desire is pretty low and I’m checking the balls on a pretty regular basis for growth with mixed results. Trying to keep working out, eat right, taking a few supplements, and the wife’s helping with attempting sex every day to try and increase my levels naturally. After reading all the posts, I’m a little concerned that I’ve got a serious downturn coming when I cycle completely off this stuff.
I knew there would be consequences to coming off the androgel but so far it’s mostly been minor mood swings, fatigue, and headaches, along with the lower libido (which was totally expected). My Endo didn’t recommend any HCG or other testicular stimulant. Should I request it? Am I approaching the timeframe correctly on coming off the meds? Are there any additional things I should be doing to get my levels up naturally? I’d appreciate any help.
Been off 3 weeks. Pain in testicles… been on 200 or 300 mg a week for 5 years. Anyone else get testicle pain? I’ll deal with the mental stuff.
Hi everyone. I have been applying testosterone gel for about 10 months 5 mg’s every day. But recently had a huge financial setback and I’m finding I cannot afford the treatment. My Dr tends to make me pay for very expensive blood work every two months and I feel taken advantage of.
Over the last month I have cut my dosage down to 2/3rds of original dose, and thinking soon will drop it down to half of my original dose. I’ve not noticed any adverse side effects yet, But I’m worried that may happen. Any advice on if I’m doing the right thing would be appreciated. Thanks
Stay away from TRT, it is very dangerous. These practices are careless and are only interested in your money, withdrawing can cause problems like what I experienced, high DHEA levels causing anxiety, lethargy and acne break outs. If you’re trying to get rid of fat, consider liposuction.
Any females out there on T due to total hysterectomy or other reason that has gone off cold turkey? Hated side effects and threw it out one night. Now having terrible restless legs, anxiety and blurry vision…
I am currently under an endo’s supervision taking 75 mgs of Clomid a day and 15 micrograms of synthroid. I’ve abused anabolics and test for the last 5 years. The withdrawal symptoms I’ve had have been miserable. I’ve been a shadow of a man for about 3 months now and I finally am starting to feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Last week was like a 7 day long nervous breakdown.
If you’re on test and want to come off, do it under doctors supervision and be patient. It’s going to be worth it at the end, though I’ll be scrawny again. Stay away from Sustanon and stay away from test. Stay natural. This has been a grueling three months.
I have been on TRT since 2001. I did the gel, the pellets and now the injection .1 ml every 2 weeks will make you crash… .5 ml a week will also make you crash. What works for me a lot of people is to divide your dosage and take it twice a week. I myself do .30 twice a week Sunday and Thursday and it is working very good for me. I cant stop testosterone because without it I can’t function so I will keep doing it until I die I guess.
I’m 48 with dysthymia/ADD. I only started working out in my forties and last year did my first cycle which was mainly test ENT. It felt awesome even though I had a lot of water retention and rampant libido and some aggro and moodiness. Even though it was generally well tolerated the sides were a bit too extreme.
And I got sick twice, once with a cold and then flu but it was winter and I was traveling. Anyway I went off it cold turkey without any PCT because I wasn’t getting good advice from the guy at the gym, (I had previously tried asking my doctor about it with idea of running blood work and he totally shut me down saying its very bad for your immune system. The same doctor that tested my T levels a year before and said they were normal).
So when I went off I crashed majorly and my depression was almost suicidal. For some reason I didn’t associate the crash with stopping and my psychiatrist put me on fluoxetine on top of the wellbutrin. I figured out that it was stopping the test that made me crash so quit the fluoxetine because a previous experience with citalopram affected my orgasms permanently so didn’t want to go back there.
I found a more understanding doctor who prescribed me testosterone cream which he explained is in a more physiological range. I also did a course of GH which helped a lot and I needed help with losing body fat. I have been using the cream ever since except for when I had a bad cold a few months ago and I stopped. I had another cold a few weeks ago so stopped again and I have not experienced any side effects from stopping.
If anything stopping it has improved my mood significantly, I was pretty moody and depressed just before I quit it but that could be because I hate my job at the moment. I’ve been off it three weeks now and experienced some difficulty achieving orgasm and my muscles are not nearly as pumped but I am ok with that for now, because now for the first time I am working hard on losing body fat with a clean diet and harder training schedule so that – if and when I decide to go back on the cream it’s on a lean base.
I’m a 69 y/o with a history of NHL, I’ve had lots of chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well a an autologous Bone Marrow Transplant in 2000. My “T’s” dropped to around 3 and I was put on TRT Reandron 1000 every 3 months. That was over 8 years ago. I am unable to achieve an erection and my testes have almost disappeared. Does anyone have any similar things happening and will I get my balls and erections back if I cease the Reandron? Are there any other side effects that I am likely to inherit such as prostate problems, Osteoporosis, Heart problems, Gynecomastia?
Just wanted to touch base with this group, been completely off for 18 months give or take… last test level in April 2016 showed 390… getting regular exercise but I have to be honest there are still days that I wish I could just cycle on for 6 weeks just to “boost” my system. I won’t because the withdrawal was not worth it, anxiety and depression are faded out now. Don’t get discouraged, keep pushing forward, eventually the withdrawal symptoms end and life returns to normal.
I’ve started on injected pellets that was a horrible idea, they kept getting infected not to mention the pain in the ass for 2 weeks to the point I could barely sit. Then started on oral troches 20mg a day stacked with HCG .5 ml 2 times a week and estrogen blocker, and doxycycline for acne. The troches were unpredictable so we moved onto sub Q .5 ml 2 times a week.
That was the magic combo… but he could not get my DHEA numbers under control even with supps. My numbers climbed to 190, the upper limits were 85. I told doctor I’m tired of his inability to mange me consistently. So that brings me to the off ramping. He has me on 15 week of HCG starting 2 ml a week stacked with Clomid.
After 2 weeks it was 1 ml a week 2 times a week with a lowered dose of Clomid. I’m 6 weeks of Cyp test and it’s going well. I had my other doctor start me on Lamictal which is for bipolar disorder to keep my mood stabilized and it has kept me rock solid! I’d suggest a SLOW off ramp with HCG and Clomid for at least 3 months lowering each month and if you’re still feeling the emotions stack some SSRIs or SNRI’s on top temporary to keep your mood in check.
The key to ANYTHING is moderation and tapering. Don’t get in a hurry and for sanity sack DON’T start any benzodiazepines to stabilize your mood. That will be worse than all of it combined!!!!
I’ve been off TRT for two and a half months now. 120 mg wk test cyp, 500 IU x2 hcg, and 1mg arimidex. I tapered the test down every week until taking only 50 mg wk without arimidex while tapering off. Then tapered off hcg reducing dosage for 2 weeks. I didn’t use any serms and feel great now. The hcg is suppressive tho but helps keep your muscle if you eat right.
Don’t stop lifting and cardio.I used valium for anxiety occasionally but have stopped them too now. I will say I did have some anxiety issues but haven’t lost any strength. I know now I never needed it anyway. Total test was 417 when I started TRT which is obviously enough for me anyway. We’re all different but I feel much more stable natural.
Hope this helps someone who’s stressing trying to quit. Just don’t give up. Your body will reboot eventually.
I am on 500 mg of test cyp per week, currently 9 weeks in, and planning on stopping after another 5-6 weeks. I have come off of other drugs before and am not really worried about the side effects of coming off of test but this thread will help me out greatly. I plan on tapering off, and possibly doing HCG and a SERM.
I like being stronger, having more endurance, more sex drive, more confidence. So far I see no negatives. Shoulder pain gone, back pain lessened, knees still hurt sometimes, but my strength is up a ton and it feels good. Stuck on a lift for seven years and ready to crush it!
Randy do you have sleep apnea? I have heard test testosterone can make it worse. Sounds like you may need something for anxiety. I take Valium as necessary. If you don’t have anything for anxiety you should see your doctor. I don’t know how long your withdrawals will last but it sounds like you don’t have much choice either if this is from the androgen. Best of luck to you. Jim
Jess I am curious about your TRT protocol does it include HCG and arimedex? I was on 120 mg test cypionate, 50IU hcg x 2 and 1 mg weekly. I had to stop because of enlarged prostate six weeks ago I took HCG every 3 days tapering it down gradually until last week.It really helped but I don’t know if it kept my system suppressed or not from testosterone production on its own.
I understand Clomid, hCG and arimedex or other estrogen blockers will help jump start your system faster. I was on TRT for 6 months myself and haven’t returned to normal but haven’t had any blood work either I’m going to wait another month and see if I returned to low 400s total test. Our case is close to the same and I will say to you it’s doable but I’m not a doctor and you will need bloodwork eventually to see if your levels return to baseline.
I don’t feel great but I had no choice and it sounds like you don’t either I do have days I feel really well though stay positive eat right and get plenty of exercise and rest. I don’t know how low your testosterone levels were but if they are anywhere near normal I would be happy with that other than maybe having a heart attack. Best of luck to you let me know how you are doing. Jim
Using androgel 1.62 for at least 5 years. Nighttime breathing has become steadily worse with almost constant weight on my chest last 6 months. What feels like anxiety attacks come from nowhere. The best I can get is 3 good hours of sleep before I wake up barely able to breathe. Will this improve after I stop using androgel and how long might it take? I can’t imagine withdrawal being worse than what I’m dealing with now.
I had the exact same response from stopping Androgel 1.62. First I slept all the time with nightmares and had no interest in eating. Lost 10 pounds in a week. Then I couldn’t breathe and either sat up all night in chairs or walked around. Went to the doctor and my vitals were normal. I didn’t equate the stopping with not being able to breathe. Went back on Androgel and symptoms went away in a matter of hours. I guess I’m stuck on it for life.
I’ve been on TRT and take 1cc a week for the last 8 months. I need to quit because it has given me extreme hypertension. What would be the safest way to completely stop TRT? Thanks in advance for any advice.
I’m a 68 y/o male with 21 years of cancer treatment for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. (Currently in remission for the first time since 1994). Treatment included Chemo, MabThera, Radiotherapy and an autologous Bone Marrow Transplant during which I suffered a Heart Attack resulting in CABGS x 5. Somewhere along the way my T levels dropped significantly and when at 3 (having consulted an Endocronologist) I was put on Reandron 1000 at 90 day intervals.
Initially I felt a little fitter but there were no erections and my testes were almost undetectable. That was over an 8+ year period. Now, not a great deal has changed other than me getting older. Still balding and not sexually active, although I would like to be able to enjoy some bedroom activity with my still interested wife. If I cease Reandron, what am I likely to expect?
Will I achieve erection/orgasms? Will my testes return? Will I be a prostate cancer candidate? Will I develop gynecomastia… man boobs? Will my bone density worsen resulting in osteoporosis? I would appreciate any input any others with T problems could offer. Sincerely, John D, Australia.
I agree with Steve do not panic and get something for anxiety. Try to stay busy and keep eating right and exercising. If you don’t have prostate issues while coming off testosterone – feel lucky. Nothing I have experienced with all other side effects mentioned already compare to BPH. This is my second time coming off TRT didn’t realize the last time it caused BPH. Don’t mess with hormones.