You may be hearing about hormone pellet therapy and wondering what it is and if it's safe. I've compiled a list of frequently asked questions, concerns and misconceptions patients have about hormone pellet therapy.
Hormone Pellet Therapy FAQs
I haven’t heard of pellet therapy before. This must be new.
Actually, subcutaneous testosterone replacement (pellet therapy) has been used since the 1930s! The first FDA approved subcutaneous testosterone pellet was approved in 1972 but was not marketed until 2008.
What is the difference between commercially available pellets and compounded pellets?
The commercially available testosterone pellet, Testopel, is a testosterone 75mg pellet with steric acid and polyvinylpyrrolidone. Rarely, someone can have an allergic reaction to the polyvinylpyrrolidone component. The compounded testosterone pellets our clinic uses are made without polyvinylpyrrolidone, smaller amounts of steric acid, and come in a large variety of dosages (50mg-200) per pellet.
Does the procedure hurt?
Lidocaine is used to numb up the area for a very small (approximately the size of a pencil eraser) incision, so there is minimal discomfort and minimal recovery time.
Why would someone choose pellet therapy instead of other forms like injections or creams?
Subcutaneous pellets are unique in that the hormone is released at a fairly constant rate for 3-6 months, providing symptom relief without the frequent “on-off” peak-trough effects of shorter acting hormone replacement forms. Unlike topical medications, there is no risk of transference to others. It is a very convenient form of hormone replacement, with no work on the patient’s part between office visits.
Testosterone pellets are only for men.
Testosterone pellets have been used in females since the 1930s. There is research reporting improvement in androgen deficiency symptoms in females, like hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, mood, fatigue, and pain.
Interested in learning more about pellet therapy at Twin Cities Integrative Medicine? Call (763) 515-4900.