For the last several years, there have been frequent back orders of injectable testosterone. If one formulation is not available, the other type will be substituted. Testosterone is also a controlled substance, it cannot have long term repeats as you might see with other medications, usually no more than one or 2 vials can been prescribed at any one time.
Is Testosterone Covered by Ontario Drug Benefits?
Injectable Testosterones and one formulation of topical testosterone are the only products currently covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit. If you are a recipient of Ontario Works (OW), Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), or are under 25 years/over 65 years of age and have no other coverage, testosterone is covered when your practitioner submits an Exceptional Access Form. Interim Federal Health will also cover the cost with a special access form if you are enrolled in that program as a newcomer to Canada. If you have private insurance such as Green Shield, Blue Cross, Sun Life etc. you need to refer to your individual plan for coverage levels. If you have none of the above, you would have to be prepared to pay for it out of pocket.
What is Testosterone
Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males and plays a number of important roles, such as:
- The deepening of the voice
- The appearance of facial and pubic hair; later in life, it may play a role in androgen sensitive hair loss
- Muscle size and strength
- Bone growth and strength (negligible after initial puberty)
- Sex drive (libido)
Adolescent males with too little testosterone may not experience normal masculinization. For example, the genitals may not enlarge, facial and body hair may be scant and the voice may not deepen normally.
Testosterone may also help maintain normal mood. There may be other important functions of this hormone that have not yet been discovered.
Signals sent from the brain to the pituitary gland at the base of the brain control the production of testosterone in men. The pituitary gland then relays signals to the testes to produce testosterone. A “feedback loop” closely regulates the amount of hormone in the blood. When testosterone levels rise too high, the brain sends signals to the pituitary to reduce production.
There are 2 types of Injectable Testoterone used interchangeably in Ontario:
- Testosterone Enanthate (Delatestryl)
- Testosterone Cypionate (Depo Testosterone)
They have different concentrations, so you need to pay attention to the instructions from your prescriber or pharmacy with each refill.
- 1% Testosterone gel in packets