Testosterone Cypionate is more prone to supersaturation when compared with Testosterone Enanthate. This makes it more susceptible to crystallization under certain preventable circumstances, explained in more detail later.
Manufacturers of cypionate globally provide the universal advice to inspect your testosterone medication for crystal particulate matter before administering. If crystals are present, they recommend warming the solution and shaking to dissolve. Investigation reports have reassuringly confirmed that this process doesn’t negatively affect the testosterone in any way.
Below is a ‘simple’ description of the differences between Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate. I won’t detail how crystals can form, nor their structure configurations, as it’s lengthy. Note the following image, which is the structure of Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate, respectively.
The esters attach, covalently, to the Oxygen atom to the furthest right of the Testosterone steroid. Despite the esters only differing by one carbon atom, the structure is completely different if purely looking at their chemical composition. This structural difference, in addition to alteration of stereochemistry, will heavily influence several factors, such as the ability to form crystals. Testosterone Cypionate has two less rotatable bonds, which heavily affects the ability of Testosterone to bind with other testosterone molecules in a crystal formation. This doesn’t even include the number of electrons and other structural considerations. Small changes can have large impacts. I’ll leave it at that, though, so we don’t detail the chemistry too much.
One of the biggest contributors to crystal formation is super-saturation, i.e., too much of a solute. Think of too many tea bags in your tea, making it taste too strong! To combat this, manufacturers often increase the volume of Testosterone Cypionate to 125mg/mL (250mg/2mL). The next contributing factor is temperature; a temperature passing the crystal formation threshold will indeed cause crystal formation. The other factor is just bad luck – if you have a crystal already present and shake that solution, it’s more likely to ‘meet’ other testosterone molecules and potentially bind to it, forming a crystal – the temperature is ideal. The conditions are such that a crystal configuration can be formed. Add the fact that users often push air into their testosterone vial when drawing their medication. We’re just compressing the solution more, which can mean a higher chance of creating a crystal formation.
We can really go into depths here with the actual chemistry behind this, but we won’t as it’s complex. The bottom line is, it can happen, which is why the manufacturers will alter the concentration to minimize this risk. This also isn’t to say it can’t happen with any other testosterone preparations; there are papers out there detailing the same thing with other esters, such as propionate . Unfortunately, there is not a lot we can do about physics laws, but the bottom line is that these medications are clinically approved, and the crystals will not harm you. Yes, it’s a pain to resolve. Yes, you will need to warm your cypionate up before injecting if crystals are present; however, please rest assured that it will not affect your Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
You can reduce the risk of crystals forming in your Testosterone Cypionate by following the advice below:
- Do not unnecessarily shake the vial (be gentle and careful with it when transporting).
- Store your vial in an insulated pouch to help avoid temperature fluctuations – we recommend epi-pen pouches such as these (available from the clinic if required).
- Keep in hand luggage rather than putting it into the hold when traveling (hold temperatures can be significantly lower than cabin temperatures).
- Ensure that you do not inject any air into the vial when preparing and drawing your testosterone. Sometimes, a small amount of air is present in the syringe when taken out of the sealed packet; ensure that this air is completely expelled before inserting it into the vial.