If you are considering testosterone replacement therapy, you are probably leaning toward a prescription for testosterone as your first line of defense. Many men do not know about the variations between prescription and “non-prescription” testosterone. They are also unaware of how exactly to get a doctor to prescribe testosterone for them.
Considering the number of negative stereotypes associated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), some men view it as more of an unsafe, illegal drug. However, testosterone is completely legal and can be obtained anywhere in the U.S. as long as it is prescribed by your doctor.
If you are wondering what exactly a testosterone prescription consists of, how much it costs, how safe it is, or how to get it, keep reading to learn more.
Prescription for Testosterone Replacement Therapy
A prescription for testosterone is a document from your physician, verifying your need for replacement therapy. This prescription then allows you to purchase testosterone. It also outlines the recommendations from your doctor based on your specific needs and requirements. The prescription also dictates how much of the medication you are allowed to purchase and how often you are allowed to refill it.
Since testosterone is classified as a controlled substance, buying it or selling it without a prescription from a doctor is illegal. This means that any non-prescription versions of it are either illegal or do not contain the actual hormone. In the first instance, you may be risking your health, since testosterone therapy needs medical supervision to be safe and effective. In the second instance, you may be wasting your time and money on a product that is not strong enough to actually improve your symptoms.
Men can obtain testosterone prescriptions — as long as you have been diagnosed with inadequate testosterone levels, also known as low T — through a doctor such as an endocrinologist that specializes in hormone therapy. Although less common, testosterone can also be prescribed to women if their levels are abnormally low and creating unwanted side effects.
Questions and Answers About Prescription Testosterone
Patients interested in TRT face many questions and can get overwhelmed as they consider where to start. Below you’ll find some of the most commonly asked questions regarding testosterone replacement therapy.
Q: Why Is Testosterone Prescribed?
A: Mostly, prescriptions for testosterone are issued to patients dealing with insufficient testosterone. Symptoms of low T include:
- Decreased muscle mass
- Decreased sex drive
- Issues with sexual performance
- Depression or other mood issues
- Increased body fat
- Decreased motivation
Often, the condition is referred to as male menopause. A man will typically begin dealing with it around age 45.
Q: How Can You Get A Prescription for Testosterone?
A: The main question a man is usually curious about is how to get a testosterone prescription. In order to get testosterone prescribed to you, a doctor will need to perform a physical and a blood test and also review your complete medical history. The test is responsible for determining the levels of testosterone in your body. It is recommended to undergo these tests in the morning when testosterone levels are at its highest.
Q: Is It Possible To Get a Testosterone Prescription Online?
A: When obtaining an online prescription, the same requirements are necessary. You will need to undergo an exam at the clinic of your choice, along with providing your medical data and history to the online physician. The doctor will also need a sample of your blood to test it for low testosterone levels. The majority of online companies that have prescription testosterone available will also employ a qualified physician that can issue you a prescription remotely.
Q: How Can You Get Prescription Testosterone?
A: Once you obtain a prescription, you can decide where to purchase the medication. It is possible to buy it directly from your doctor, a pharmacy, or online (usually the least expensive option). Regardless of where you decide to buy it, you will need your prescription to verify your need for the medication.
Q: Where Can You Get a Testosterone Prescription?
A: A doctor that specializes in hormonal issues can see if you need a testosterone prescription. You can check for a specialist at local clinics or online. Some of the smaller clinics may not have the necessary providers for your needs, so you may need to search for larger local or online facilities. Given you provide the necessary medical details and get diagnosed by a doctor, most online facilities that sell testosterone will also give you a prescription for it.
Q: Is It Difficult to Get a Prescription for Testosterone?
A: The process of qualifying for a testosterone prescription is fairly straightforward. A clinic will need to perform a medical examination that covers your current and past medical history. These details will be used to help your doctor diagnose you. A doctor will also need a blood sample from you in order to determine how much testosterone is circulating in your blood. If it is determined that you are insufficient in T, you can get a prescription. If your hormones fall into the normal range and you do not meet the criteria, a doctor will not pursue treatment.
It is important to remember that not all physicians will prescribe testosterone therapy, even if you have a confirmed insufficiency. Certain physicians are not familiar or comfortable with treating the condition, so it may be difficult to obtain a prescription from them. If you are worried you have a testosterone insufficiency, it is best to work with a doctor who is familiar with the necessary therapy and dosage and willing to prescribe it.
Q: What Does a Prescription for Testosterone Look Like?
A: Prescriptions for testosterone are familiar to other prescriptions. It will include details such as the name, contact information, and address of your doctor, as well as your name, address, and age. It also includes the date of the issue and the Drug Enforcement Administration number. Along with these standard details, your doctor will also include the details of your treatment. These details may cover information such as:
- How many ml or mg the substance should contain
- The amount of testosterone you are supposed to take
- How often you are supposed to take it
- How much you get in each refill
- How often you are allowed to get refills
Q: How Much Does Prescription Testosterone Treatment Cost?
A: Individuals with the condition of inadequate testosterone are also interested in how much prescription treatment will cost. However, this question doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Determining the cost of your prescription treatment is somewhat complicated.
The actual prescription is no cost. However, you consult with the doctor and any blood tests or physicals add up, particularly if you do not have insurance. The cost of each course of therapy depends on several factors such as:
- Your specific needs
- The dosage needed for your therapy
- The term of your therapy
- The brand you decide to purchase
Like all drugs, testosterone is produced in several countries and the injections come in various forms, some more convenient than others. These differences in country of origin and the convenience of the medicine dictate the price. The cost of therapy may be as little as $200 a month, but it can also be significantly larger depending on your situation and needs.
Q: How Do You Get a Legal Prescription for Testosterone?
A: You can get your provider to legally prescribe testosterone to you based on two conditions. The first is that a man has actually been diagnosed with testosterone insufficiency. This determination is based on your blood test. Not all men seeking out testosterone injections, and not all men suffering from symptoms of low t have actually been diagnosed with the condition.
The other condition is that the provider who issues the prescription must be legally qualified to practice medicine in the U.S. If a man tries to obtain a prescription for testosterone outside of the United States, it will not be legal here. In order to obtain a prescription for testosterone that is legal, you must find a certified physician. It is preferable to find one who specializes in hormone issues and therapy. You then need to undergo a physical and additional medical testing to ensure proper diagnoses.
Q: What About Obtaining Testosterone Without a Prescription?
A: Some patients are curious why you can find testosterone without a prescription if it is classified as a controlled drug. In fact, you cannot. Real testosterone is only available to buy with a prescription. Products sold freely without a doctor’s involvement are not actually testosterone. These supplements are supposedly designed to stimulate your body’s ability to naturally produce more testosterone, but their effectiveness is unproven. If a man is searching for a medication that is actually effective and contains the true hormone, a proper diagnosis from a doctor is required.
Given the host of benefits offered by testosterone – a boost in libido, increased sexual abilities, improved muscle mass, and more — many healthy males try to buy testosterone even if they do not have a prescription for it. This cannot be done safely or legally. If a company is offering prescription-free testosterone to buy, they are breaking the law and risking your health. Illegal, also known as the black market, hormones are often low quality, impure, or adulterated and can lead to scary side effects. Trying to buy this hormone and then treat yourself without the necessary medical supervision and recommendations is also dangerous. It is not worth risking your health to try and achieve the results you are looking for.
Q: What Doctors Can Prescribe Testosterone?
A: Although most primary medical care providers are willing to issue prescriptions for low testosterone levels, you should be prepared to find out that your physician is not comfortable or willing to do it. Some doctors do not have the necessary knowledge surrounding hormones and therapy and are not familiar with testosterone medications and prescriptions.
An endocrinologist — a type of doctor that studies and specializes in hormones — can usually prescribe testosterone throughout a variety of clinics in the United States. It is important to make sure the doctor you are interested in seeing possesses adequate experience in the field of testosterone treatment. Consider asking them about the treatment itself and what steps you can take to minimize possible side effects. Getting a prescription for testosterone is not just about obtaining it, it’s also about how to use it safely and effectively. In addition to their ability to issue a prescription, be sure your medical provider is able to assist you with any questions, supervise your course of treatment, and walk you through any complications you may face.
If finding a local doctor proves difficult for you, it may be worth checking online for providers. Plenty of testosterone specialists provide remote services. The majority of online companies that provide prescription testosterone injections also employ a medical professional that specializes in hormone therapy. This doctor can help you by analyzing your medical history and issuing a testosterone prescription if you are diagnosed with low levels of testosterone. This gives you the possibility to buy prescription testosterone from the comfort of your own home.
Q: What Are The Potential Side Effects of Testosterone Replacement?
A: A common concern around testosterone prescriptions is possible side effects. Even under the supervision of a medical professional — of which the importance cannot be stressed enough –, there is a risk of side effects. Although it is generally recognized as safe when supervised by a medical specialist, potential side effects from TRT include:
- Oily skin or acne
- Stimulation of the prostate tissue (this can lead to possible increases in the frequency of urination or decreased stream)
- Higher risk of developing abnormalities with your prostate
- Worsening of sleep apnea symptoms
- Breast enlargement
- Higher risk of blood clots
- Decreased testicle size
- Increased mood swings and aggression
- Possible increased risk of strokes or heart attacks
Certain groups of individuals are not suited to prescription testosterone replacement. These include:
- Men diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer
- Men with severe urinary tract issues
- Untreated sleep apnea
- Uncontrolled heart failure
Any men hoping to buy prescription testosterone should first undergo a rectal exam and prostate cancer screening before starting hormone therapy injections.