The two major testosterone gel brands are Testim and Androgel. They are very similar and generally prescribed interchangeably, but sometimes insurance won’t cover one or the other. Often, I hear that they won’t cover Testim and people want to know if Androgel is just as good. So here is a general guide to choosing – if you are lucky enough to have the choice – which one is right for you.
Testim Vs Androgel
I would try whichever your insurance covers first. If your insurance covers both medications, try whichever one has coupons or kickbacks.
Now that price and availability are out of the way, lets deal with smell: Testim smells. Some people think it smells good, and some can’t stand it. Either way, it’s a strong scent! Personally, I like it and my wife likes it. I’ve found that women ask me what “cologne” I’m wearing, and mention that they like it too. Still, if you or your wife don’t like the smell of something you have to put on every day, that would be a deal-breaker. So try out a tube and see what you and, if applicable, your partner thinks about the Testim scent. Androgel doesn’t have much of a smell at all.
Testim is sticky. Androgel goes on much like that hand-sanitizer stuff, while Testim seems to remain stickier longer. Some say this is why Testim seems to work better for them: Because it stays on the skin and “soaks in” better.
These personal statements of efficacy can’t be relied on as empirical data, however. But the fact that you can feel it on your skin longer, does bring up a question about Testim gel Vs Androgel: Does it take longer to soak in and, if so, does that increase the exposure time I have to worry about when it comes to my wife and children? The short answer is: NO. In-fact, according to US National Library of Medicine’s website, the wait-time for AndrogGel is much longer:
You should not shower, bathe, swim, or wash the place where you applied the medication for at least 2 hours after you apply Testim® gel or at least 5-6 hours after you apply AndroGel ®.
Testim comes in little single-use tubes so you go through more of them and it generates more waste. If you are eco-minded this may factor into your decision. Androgel comes in a dispenser with a little pump on it (like soap) so there is less waste.
But the real question when considering AndroGel Vs Testim is: Which works better? Which is the best? Which testosterone topical gel is going to get my testosterone levels on track fast, keep my levels steady, and keep me there for the long term since I’ll be taking this stuff for many years to come? As you might guess, both brands have their fans. Personally, I like Testim. And here is a study to back up my personal preference:
Efficacy of changing testosterone gel preparations (Androgel or Testim) among suboptimally responsive hypogonadal men.
Grober ED, Khera M, Soni SD, Espinoza MG, Lipshultz LI.
Division of Urology, Mount Sinai Hospital and Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Summary of the study:
A change in testosterone gel preparation among initially unresponsive hypogonadal men is justified prior to abandoning or considering more invasive TRT. Changing from Androgel to Testim offers hypogonadal men the potential for improved clinical and biochemical responsiveness. Changing from Testim to Androgel is indicated to eliminate or minimize unwanted side effects.
Note: This study was done to find out if switching brands would help men who were unresponsive to one brand or the other.
More important to me than such a study is to find out from others who have been on TRT for more than a year, preferably several years or more, and hear about their experiences with both or either drug. Please comment below with your own experiences.
I am inclined toward a weekly or bi-weekly injection over a daily testosterone gel application, but what does one’s rear-end feel like after being used as a pin-cushion for decades? I dunno… any bodybuilders out there want to elaborate on that?