Estrogenic Activity: moderate
Progestational Activity: low
American athletes have a long a fond relationship with Testosterone cypionate. While testosterone enanthate is manufactured widely throughout the world, cypionate seems to be almost exclusively an American item. It is therefore not surprising that American athletes particularly favor this testosterone ester. But many claim this is not just a matter of simple pride, often swearing cypionate to be a superior product, providing a bit more of a “kick” than enanthate. At the same time it is said to produce a slightly higher level of water retention, but not enough for it to be easily discerned. Of course when we look at the situation objectively, we see these two steroids are really interchangeable, and cypionate is not at all superior. Both are long acting oil-based injectables, which will keep testosterone levels sufficiently elevated for approximately two weeks. Enanthate may be slightly better in terms of testosterone release, as this ester is one carbon atom lighter than cypionate (remember the ester is calculated in the steroids total milligram weight). The difference is so insignificant however that no one can rightly claim it to be noticeable (we are maybe talking a few milligrams per shot). Regardless, cypionate came to be the most popular testosterone ester on the U.S. black market for a very long time.
Figure 1. Pharmacokinetics of 200mg testosterone cypionate injection. Source: Comparison of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone in serum after injection of testosterone enanthate or testosterone cypionate. Schulte-Beerbuhl M, Nieschlag E. Fertility and Sterility 33 (1980) 201-3.
As with all testosterone injectables, one can expect a considerable gain in muscle mass and strength during a cycle. Since testosterone has a notably high affinity for estrogen conversion, the mass gained from this drug is likely to be accompanied by a discernible level of water retention. The resulting loss of definition of course makes cypionate a very poor choice for dieting or cutting phases. The excess level of estrogen brought about by this drug can also cause one to develop gynecomastia rather quickly. Should the user notice an uncomfortable soreness, swelling or lump under the nipple, an ancillary drug like Proviron® and/or Nolvadex® should probably be added. This will minimize the effect of estrogen greatly, making the steroid much more tolerable to use. The powerful anti-aromatase Arimidex® is yet a better choice, but the high price tag prevents it from being more popularly used. Those who have a known sensitivity to estrogen may find it more beneficial to use ancillary drugs like Nolvadex® and Proviron® from the onset of the cycle, in order to prevent estrogen related side effects before they become apparent.
Since testosterone is the primary male androgen, we should also expect to see pronounced androgenic side effects with this drug. Much intensity is related to the rate in which the body converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This, as you know, is the devious metabolite responsible for the high prominence of androgenic side effects associated with testosterone use. This includes the development of oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth and male pattern balding. Those worried that they may have a genetic predisposition toward male pattern baldness may wish to avoid testosterone altogether. Others opt to add the ancillary drug Propecia®, which is a relatively new compound that prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (see: Proscar®). This can greatly reduce the chance for running into a hair loss problem, and will probably lower the intensity of other androgenic side effects.
Although active in the body for a much longer time, cypionate is injected on a weekly basis. This should keep blood levels relatively constant, although picky individuals may even prefer to inject this drug twice weekly. At a dosage of 200mg to 800mg per week we should certainly see dramatic results. It is interesting to note that while a large number of other steroidal compounds have been made available since testosterone injectables, they are still considered to be the dominant bulking agents among bodybuilders. There is little argument that these are among the most powerful mass drugs. While large doses are generally unnecessary, some bodybuilders have professed to using excessively high dosages of this drug. This was much more common before the 1990s, when cypionate vials were usually very cheap and easy to find in the states. A “more is better” attitude is easy to justify when paying only $20 for a 10cc vial (today the typical price for a single injection). When taking dosages above 800-1000mg per week there is little doubt that water retention will come to be the primary gain, far outweighing the new mass accumulation. Therefore, the practice of “megadosing” is inefficient, especially when we take into account the typical high cost of steroids today.
It is also important to remember that the use of an injectable testosterone will quickly suppress endogenous testosterone production. Therefore, it may be good advice to use a testosterone stimulating drug like HCG and/or Clomid®/Nolvadex® at the conclusion of a cycle. This should help the user avoid a strong “crash” due to hormonal imbalance, which can strip away much of the new muscle mass and strength. This is no doubt the reason why many athletes claim to be very disappointed with the final result of steroid use, as there is often only a slight permanent gain if anabolics are discontinued incorrectly. Of course we cannot expect to retain every pound of new bodyweight after a cycle. This is especially true whenever we are withdrawing a strong (aromatizing) androgen like testosterone, as a considerable drop in weight (and strength) is to be expected as retained water is excreted. This should not be of much concern; instead the user should focus on ancillary drug therapy so to preserve the solid mass underneath. Another way athletes have found to lessen the “crash”, is to first replace the testosterone with a milder anabolic like Deca-Durabolin®. This steroid is administered alone, at a typical dosage of 200-400mg per week, for the following month or two. In this “stepping down” procedure the user is attempting to turn the watery bulk of a strong testosterone into the more solid muscularity we see with nandrolone preparations. In many instances, this practice proves to be very effective. We must still remember to administer ancillary drugs at the conclusion, as endogenous testosterone production will not be rebounding during the Deca therapy.
Cypionate can still be found on the black market in good volume. In fact, its availability is actually much better right now than it was just a few years ago. In going over the list of common products, you should be aware of the following:
Animal Power makes a testosterone cypionate product in Mexico, called Cypiotest 250. It carries 250mg/mL of steroid in a 10ml multi-dose vial. AP uses a number of security checks on this product to deter illicit duplication, the least effective of which is not the holographic sticker the company affixes to all boxes and vials (see Security Stickers). Also make sure the top on your vial has a paw print in it, which is part of the corporate logo.
The veterinary drug maker Quality Vet has one of the more popular cypionates on the Mexican drug market. It is called Teston QV 200, and it carries 200mg/mL of steroid in a 10ml vial. QV uses a security hologram sticker to deter counterfeiting, so be sure to look for this when shopping.
Denkall makes a similar product in Mexico, called CypioTest 250. This item also comes in a 10ml multi-dose vial. Denkall is a top-notch company; just be sure your vials are protected with the appropriate security hologram stickers. Note that fakes of the Denkall line with counterfeit holograms are in circulation (See: Security Stickers for more details).
Nutri-Vet started producing a new cypionate product in Mexico last year. The product is called Ultra Cyp 300, and contains 300mg/ml of steroid in a 10ml multi-dose vial. Note that at one time the product did carry a hologram sticker to deter counterfeiting, but the company has since discontinued its use.
Ttokkyo used to make a cypionate in Mexico as well, called Testosterone Cypionate L.A. It came in both 100mg/mL and 200mg/mL strengths. Both forms were packaged in 10ml multi-dose vials. Ttokkyo is long out of business, however, and any old stock would be long gone now. Avoid.
Loeffler sells Cypriotest L/A in Mexico, which should not be confused with Denkall’s Cypiotest. This product also comes in a dosage of 250 mg/mL, and is packaged in a similar 10 ml multi-dose vial. Dosing on Loeffler’s testosterone propionate and Reforvit products tested off in the past, so you may not want to plan on 100% potency.
Xelox Pharmaceuticals, an export-only company operating in the Philippines, sells a testosterone cypionate product called Vironate. Xelox also uses a security sticker to deter counterfeiting, although it is not a holographic one. Make sure you look for this when shopping. When removed from the box, the letters VOID appear in the sticker and on the box.
The Thai firm British Dragon sells a cypionate product called Testabol Depot. It carries 200mg/mL of steroid, and comes prepared in a 10ml multi-dose vial. BD discontinued using hologram stickers on their injectable products recently, and instead has started using a red or blue metallic foil inlay on all of its vial labels. Be sure to also look for the product name formed into the plastic on the custom tops, and for the tops to reveal a dragon formed into the rubber upon removal.
Body Research in Thailand used to make a good cypionate product called Cypionax. The firm had a run-in with the Thai authorities about a year ago, however, and had large quantities of its steroid inventory seized. The company has been out of production ever since, although there is some speculation of a possible comeback. Currently, the Body Research name is being used by counterfeiters in Eastern Europe to produce a number of questionable fakes. Be careful.
Depo-Testosterone from Pharmacia (formerly Upjohn) is the most popular brand of cypionate in the U.S. This is a high profile target of counterfeiters, whose products will outnumber the real thing on the black market by as much as 10 to 1. Be careful to examine the packaging closely, and to compare it to the photos in the picture library. One trait to look at in particular is the opening flap on the box. As you will notice in the real vs. comparison shot of the older Upjohn product (in the photo section), the flap on the legitimate item comes to a blunt point at the tip. The fake is perfectly curved at the tip. To date, I have not seen a counterfeit that had correctly copied this trait.
Watson now makes a generic testosterone cypionate in the U.S. It comes in a 200mg/ml dosage, packaged in a 10ml multiple-dose vial. This drug is actually manufactured for Watson by Steris Laboratories, a company with a long and turbulent history in the U.S. steroid business. Back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, Steris products were extremely popular, and very abundant on the black market. In the mid ‘90s they were sanctioned by the FDA (the details were never very clear), and forced to close their steroid manufacturing line for some time. Apparently they are back, at least manufacturing for other firms again. Perhaps this is a sign that we will see more generics on the U.S. market. As with all U.S. drugs, you should never buy this product blindly off the black market. U.S. drugs are rarely diverted for black market sale, and most found there are fakes. Look at this drug only if you can track it back to a pharmacy or legitimate prescription.
There are a few pharmacies “custom compounding” drugs for doctors that specialize in androgen replacement therapy, but these products rarely circulate on the black market. Some photos were included in the picture library for your reference.
The Aussie company Jurox has scaled back its steroid manufacturing business considerably, and many of their former products have been discontinued. Testo LA is one of them. It used to be exported to Mexico in some frequency. Note that there have been a lot of fake Jurox products on the market lately. One counterfeiter is producing an entire line of very good-looking fakes, all complete with boxes and intricate Jurox security hologram stickers. The Jurox logo is imbedded in the holographic image, making for a sticker that looks absolutely top notch. Problem is, Jurox never used a hologram, and isn’t making this product anymore!
SYD Group (their branch in Mexico) has been selling a copy of the old Jurox product, called Anabolic TL. It comes in two strengths, 100mg/mL and 200mg/mL. Both are supplied in 10ml multi-dose vials. SYD Group is a very reputable company, and their product is considered trustworthy on the market. Just be sure your product carries the SYD Group circular hologram sticker.
Spanish Testex from Spain can still be located on the black market. This product is made by Altana Pharma (formerly Byk Leo), and is packaged in 2ml dark glass ampules with yellow silkscreen lettering. It comes in two doses, containing a total of 100mg or 250mg of steroid. Testex has always been a high-risk item on the black market, so be careful when shopping. Note that the first letter in the lot number (such as T-001) should rest below, to the left of the company name (Altana). Fakes often misplace these digits. If the T (for example) were to rest directly below the A in Altana, or to the right of the A, you definitely have a fake.
Deposteron is also still made by Novaquimica in Brazil, and makes its way to the U.S. from time to time. Note that they are now using dark amber glass for the ampules instead of clear. Due to the fact that plain ampules are very easy to duplicate, it would be best to trust this product only when it is packaged in the appropriate box.
Found in Chile is a high-dose cypionate product called ciclo-6. The product is manufactured by the firm Drag Pharma, and contains 300mg/ml of steroid in a 2ml ampule (600mg of cypionate in total). This is quite a bit of steroid for a South American product, which are generally notorious for low steroid dosages. As a result, it seems to be getting the attention of some international dealers.
Miro Depo from Korea is still found in the U.S. from time to time, but not abundantly. Note that this product uses multi-dose vials, which sit in a foil topped plastic tray. Obtaining this item with the full packaging is the best way to guarantee authenticity, although fakes of this item have not been a problem so far. The box has been updated recently, to reflect a more modern design.
Testosterona Ultra from Uruguay has been scarce as of late, perhaps because it is much easier to find and bring in testosterone cypionate from Mexico now. I cannot confirm this drug is still in manufacture.
The quasi-legit company BM Pharmaceuticals from India also sells a testosterone cypionate product, called Testacyp. It contains 100mg/ml of steroid in a 2ml vial (the standard 200mg dosage in total). It comes in boxes of 3 and 10 vials.