My notes on Empower nasal T gel experiment

Buy Lab Tests Online

Willyt

Active Member
I recently undertook a very unscientific 10 week experiment with Empower's nasal testosterone gel (similar to Natesto) to see if such a short-acting form of T could increase my baseline natural production. The idea is consistent with some of the Natesto studies that @madman has cited.

NASAL T BACKGROUND
The main benefit of nasal T gel is minimal suppression of one's HPTA, meaning you continue to produce your own testosterone. You are supplementing, not replacing, your endogenous testosterone. There are many threads on the topic including these two longer ones:



INSPIRATION FOR THE EXPERIMENT
In early 2021, I ran a blood test about two weeks after discontinuing Nastesto (1x daily). My morning TT was over 500, which was significantly higher than my pre-TRT baseline of 250-300 (I tested in this hypogonadal range for 5 years straight pre-TRT for my annual physical).

I was very surprised by the result so I decided to try again following a long protocol of low dose Propionate. This time around I decided to use Empower's nasal gel pen instead of Natesto. Protocol was 2x applications daily (8am & 4pm). Dose per application is 5mg per nostril (so 10mg total).

BLOOD TEST RESULTS
I ran two blood tests: @ week 2 and @ week 10. Both tests were done in morning at trough (approx. 16 hours after last dose). Unfortunately the tests were done by different labs so not quite an apples-to-apples comparison.

Week 2 results: Tested 557 TT (300-890 range) at trough before morning application, nearly double my pre-TRT levels. In addition, my HPTA appeared intact with FSH of 3.2 (1.6 - 9.7) and LH of 4.5 (1.5 - 9.3). I felt pretty good at this early stage (honeymoon?).

Week 10 results: Results from the second test were less encouraging. HPTA was still intact with FSH of 2.7 (1.5 - 12.4) and LH of 4.0 (1.7 - 8.6). However, TT trough had decreased to TT 391 (264 - 916) which is still above my hypogonadal baseline of 250-300, but substantially lower than the first test above. My E2 also looked low at 14 (8 - 35). The Week 10 test results confirmed my suspicions because I was not feeling well by the end of my experiment.

SUBJECTIVE RESULTS
Here are some quick notes that I jotted down comparing the nasal gel to injectables

Pros: Zero TRT side effects - no water retention, no high E2 emotions, no heart palpitations, no sleep apnea, no ears ringing, etc. Hematocrit decreased from 50 to 45. Better sleep with fewer early morning awakenings. Plump nuggets (the boys are back!). Good nocturnal activity w/ excellent sensitivity. Less hangovers from alcohol (no idea why). Nice pre-workout energy boost (if timed right). Better cardio (because of weight loss?)

Cons: No libido boost ($^#&$!!), but then again, injections have not helped me either. Nose running like a coke addict - this could become a serious problem for long-term use. Felt low E2 symptoms by end of experiment. Disturbing mini-panic attacks in non-threatening situations (is there something in the gel? or maybe the low E2?). Diminished appetite with substantial weight loss (not in a good way). Inferior workout strength & recovery (although still better than pre-TRT years).

MY CONCLUSIONS
The fast acting nasal gel did appear to increase my natural production baseline although the effect seemed to diminish over time. However, I don't think nasal gel is a viable long-term solution.

The boost to natural production and minimal suppression of HPTA are potential advantages over more traditional forms of TRT, especially if you suffer from TRT side effects. But I keep coming back to the long-term challenges of any nasal form of TRT. As I mentioned in another thread, the recommended 2x or 3x daily (each nostril) means over 700 - 1,000 nasal squirts per nostril each year. TRT is a lifetime commitment. Taken over 20 years, you're looking at squirting that stuff into your nasal membranes over 20,000 times!

Think of the long-term health of your nasal membrane. Even after absorption, the membrane is bathing in that gel for 24/7. My intuition tells me that is probably not a good idea. Could this damage your smell or taste over a period of years? Hell, my nose was running like crazy after only 10 weeks.

Then there is the question of relief (or lack thereof) from hypogonadal symptoms. My guess is that most forum members would find the relief provided by nasal gel a bit underwhelming compared to injectables.

I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from trying nasal T. There are forum members such as @Fortunate who have done well on it. Experiment with it and see what you think.

ALTERNATIVE USES
In my experience, nasal T gel would be more much more useful in these two scenarios:

HPTA restarts - This has been mentioned by others on the forum. When stopping TRT, nasal gel could be used as alternative to going cold turkey in order to soften the post-TRT crash. Maybe you could even increase your natural baseline!

Daily variation - I've been pondering this one for a while. Build a steady state base with a medium-term ester like Enanthate to a moderate level like 600TT. Then use nasal gel to temporarily boost levels for several hours. For example, you could apply in the morning to add daily fluctuation. Or use as a pre-workout boost (which I have done with success here).

SIDE NOTE ON EMPOWER VERSUS NATESTO
After having tried both, I definitely prefer Empower. It's more of a cream than a gel with a pleasant smell. No nasty taste if/when it runs down your throat. You can easily microdose because the pen doses in clicks (8 clicks per nostril). (That said, I did have a problem with one of the pens not dosing correctly). The main advantage is cost. Empower's version is so much cheaper than Natesto ($65 versus $$$ for Natesto).

Empower also offers a stronger 10mg dose pen. This might be helpful because you could use less gel per application. I found that with both Empower and Natesto, a full dose is quite a lot of gel. The more gel you apply up your nose, the more likely it is to run down your throat.

The main drawback of Empower's gel is 29 non-medicinal ingredients. I called Empower and they explained that these ingredients make up the absorption base of the cream. It still gives me pause because you're putting that up your nose and occasionally ingesting it.
 
Defy Medical TRT clinic doctor

Fortunate

Active Member
I recently undertook a very unscientific 10 week experiment with Empower's nasal testosterone gel (similar to Natesto) to see if such a short-acting form of T could increase my baseline natural production. The idea is consistent with some of the Natesto studies that @madman has cited.

NASAL T BACKGROUND
The main benefit of nasal T gel is minimal suppression of one's HPTA, meaning you continue to produce your own testosterone. You are supplementing, not replacing, your endogenous testosterone. There are many threads on the topic including these two longer ones:



INSPIRATION FOR THE EXPERIMENT
In early 2021, I ran a blood test about two weeks after discontinuing Nastesto (1x daily). My morning TT was over 500, which was significantly higher than my pre-TRT baseline of 250-300 (I tested in this hypogonadal range for 5 years straight pre-TRT for my annual physical).

I was very surprised by the result so I decided to try again following a long protocol of low dose Propionate. This time around I decided to use Empower's nasal gel pen instead of Natesto. Protocol was 2x applications daily (8am & 4pm). Dose per application is 5mg per nostril (so 10mg total).

BLOOD TEST RESULTS
I ran two blood tests: @ week 2 and @ week 10. Both tests were done in morning at trough (approx. 16 hours after last dose). Unfortunately the tests were done by different labs so not quite an apples-to-apples comparison.

Week 2 results: Tested 557 TT (300-890 range) at trough before morning application, nearly double my pre-TRT levels. In addition, my HPTA appeared intact with FSH of 3.2 (1.6 - 9.7) and LH of 4.5 (1.5 - 9.3). I felt pretty good at this early stage (honeymoon?).

Week 10 results: Results from the second test were less encouraging. HPTA was still intact with FSH of 2.7 (1.5 - 12.4) and LH of 4.0 (1.7 - 8.6). However, TT trough had decreased to TT 391 (264 - 916) which is still above my hypogonadal baseline of 250-300, but substantially lower than the first test above. My E2 also looked low at 14 (8 - 35). The Week 10 test results confirmed my suspicions because I was not feeling well by the end of my experiment.

SUBJECTIVE RESULTS
Here are some quick notes that I jotted down comparing the nasal gel to injectables

Pros: Zero TRT side effects - no water retention, no high E2 emotions, no heart palpitations, no sleep apnea, no ears ringing, etc. Hematocrit decreased from 50 to 45. Better sleep with fewer early morning awakenings. Plump nuggets (the boys are back!). Good nocturnal activity w/ excellent sensitivity. Less hangovers from alcohol (no idea why). Nice pre-workout energy boost (if timed right). Better cardio (because of weight loss?)

Cons: No libido boost ($^#&$!!), but then again, injections have not helped me either. Nose running like a coke addict - this could become a serious problem for long-term use. Felt low E2 symptoms by end of experiment. Disturbing mini-panic attacks in non-threatening situations (is there something in the gel? or maybe the low E2?). Diminished appetite with substantial weight loss (not in a good way). Inferior workout strength & recovery (although still better than pre-TRT years).

MY CONCLUSIONS
The fast acting nasal gel did appear to increase my natural production baseline although the effect seemed to diminish over time. However, I don't think nasal gel is a viable long-term solution.

The boost to natural production and minimal suppression of HPTA are potential advantages over more traditional forms of TRT, especially if you suffer from TRT side effects. But I keep coming back to the long-term challenges of any nasal form of TRT. As I mentioned in another thread, the recommended 2x or 3x daily (each nostril) means over 700 - 1,000 nasal squirts per nostril each year. TRT is a lifetime commitment. Taken over 20 years, you're looking at squirting that stuff into your nasal membranes over 20,000 times!

Think of the long-term health of your nasal membrane. Even after absorption, the membrane is bathing in that gel for 24/7. My intuition tells me that is probably not a good idea. Could this damage your smell or taste over a period of years? Hell, my nose was running like crazy after only 10 weeks.

Then there is the question of relief (or lack thereof) from hypogonadal symptoms. My guess is that most forum members would find the relief provided by nasal gel a bit underwhelming compared to injectables.

I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from trying nasal T. There are forum members such as @Fortunate who have done well on it. Experiment with it and see what you think.

ALTERNATIVE USES
In my experience, nasal T gel would be more much more useful in these two scenarios:

HPTA restarts - This has been mentioned by others on the forum. When stopping TRT, nasal gel could be used as alternative to going cold turkey in order to soften the post-TRT crash. Maybe you could even increase your natural baseline!

Daily variation - I've been pondering this one for a while. Build a steady state base with a medium-term ester like Enanthate to a moderate level like 600TT. Then use nasal gel to temporarily boost levels for several hours. For example, you could apply in the morning to add daily fluctuation. Or use as a pre-workout boost (which I have done with success here).

SIDE NOTE ON EMPOWER VERSUS NATESTO
After having tried both, I definitely prefer Empower. It's more of a cream than a gel with a pleasant smell. No nasty taste if/when it runs down your throat. You can easily microdose because the pen doses in clicks (8 clicks per nostril). (That said, I did have a problem with one of the pens not dosing correctly). The main advantage is cost. Empower's version is so much cheaper than Natesto ($65 versus $$$ for Natesto).

Empower also offers a stronger 10mg dose pen. This might be helpful because you could use less gel per application. I found that with both Empower and Natesto, a full dose is quite a lot of gel. The more gel you apply up your nose, the more likely it is to run down your throat.

The main drawback of Empower's gel is 29 non-medicinal ingredients. I called Empower and they explained that these ingredients make up the absorption base of the cream. It still gives me pause because you're putting that up your nose and occasionally ingesting it.
Fantastic
 

Fortunate

Active Member
I recently undertook a very unscientific 10 week experiment with Empower's nasal testosterone gel (similar to Natesto) to see if such a short-acting form of T could increase my baseline natural production. The idea is consistent with some of the Natesto studies that @madman has cited.

NASAL T BACKGROUND
The main benefit of nasal T gel is minimal suppression of one's HPTA, meaning you continue to produce your own testosterone. You are supplementing, not replacing, your endogenous testosterone. There are many threads on the topic including these two longer ones:



INSPIRATION FOR THE EXPERIMENT
In early 2021, I ran a blood test about two weeks after discontinuing Nastesto (1x daily). My morning TT was over 500, which was significantly higher than my pre-TRT baseline of 250-300 (I tested in this hypogonadal range for 5 years straight pre-TRT for my annual physical).

I was very surprised by the result so I decided to try again following a long protocol of low dose Propionate. This time around I decided to use Empower's nasal gel pen instead of Natesto. Protocol was 2x applications daily (8am & 4pm). Dose per application is 5mg per nostril (so 10mg total).

BLOOD TEST RESULTS
I ran two blood tests: @ week 2 and @ week 10. Both tests were done in morning at trough (approx. 16 hours after last dose). Unfortunately the tests were done by different labs so not quite an apples-to-apples comparison.

Week 2 results: Tested 557 TT (300-890 range) at trough before morning application, nearly double my pre-TRT levels. In addition, my HPTA appeared intact with FSH of 3.2 (1.6 - 9.7) and LH of 4.5 (1.5 - 9.3). I felt pretty good at this early stage (honeymoon?).

Week 10 results: Results from the second test were less encouraging. HPTA was still intact with FSH of 2.7 (1.5 - 12.4) and LH of 4.0 (1.7 - 8.6). However, TT trough had decreased to TT 391 (264 - 916) which is still above my hypogonadal baseline of 250-300, but substantially lower than the first test above. My E2 also looked low at 14 (8 - 35). The Week 10 test results confirmed my suspicions because I was not feeling well by the end of my experiment.

SUBJECTIVE RESULTS
Here are some quick notes that I jotted down comparing the nasal gel to injectables

Pros: Zero TRT side effects - no water retention, no high E2 emotions, no heart palpitations, no sleep apnea, no ears ringing, etc. Hematocrit decreased from 50 to 45. Better sleep with fewer early morning awakenings. Plump nuggets (the boys are back!). Good nocturnal activity w/ excellent sensitivity. Less hangovers from alcohol (no idea why). Nice pre-workout energy boost (if timed right). Better cardio (because of weight loss?)

Cons: No libido boost ($^#&$!!), but then again, injections have not helped me either. Nose running like a coke addict - this could become a serious problem for long-term use. Felt low E2 symptoms by end of experiment. Disturbing mini-panic attacks in non-threatening situations (is there something in the gel? or maybe the low E2?). Diminished appetite with substantial weight loss (not in a good way). Inferior workout strength & recovery (although still better than pre-TRT years).

MY CONCLUSIONS
The fast acting nasal gel did appear to increase my natural production baseline although the effect seemed to diminish over time. However, I don't think nasal gel is a viable long-term solution.

The boost to natural production and minimal suppression of HPTA are potential advantages over more traditional forms of TRT, especially if you suffer from TRT side effects. But I keep coming back to the long-term challenges of any nasal form of TRT. As I mentioned in another thread, the recommended 2x or 3x daily (each nostril) means over 700 - 1,000 nasal squirts per nostril each year. TRT is a lifetime commitment. Taken over 20 years, you're looking at squirting that stuff into your nasal membranes over 20,000 times!

Think of the long-term health of your nasal membrane. Even after absorption, the membrane is bathing in that gel for 24/7. My intuition tells me that is probably not a good idea. Could this damage your smell or taste over a period of years? Hell, my nose was running like crazy after only 10 weeks.

Then there is the question of relief (or lack thereof) from hypogonadal symptoms. My guess is that most forum members would find the relief provided by nasal gel a bit underwhelming compared to injectables.

I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from trying nasal T. There are forum members such as @Fortunate who have done well on it. Experiment with it and see what you think.

ALTERNATIVE USES
In my experience, nasal T gel would be more much more useful in these two scenarios:

HPTA restarts - This has been mentioned by others on the forum. When stopping TRT, nasal gel could be used as alternative to going cold turkey in order to soften the post-TRT crash. Maybe you could even increase your natural baseline!

Daily variation - I've been pondering this one for a while. Build a steady state base with a medium-term ester like Enanthate to a moderate level like 600TT. Then use nasal gel to temporarily boost levels for several hours. For example, you could apply in the morning to add daily fluctuation. Or use as a pre-workout boost (which I have done with success here).

SIDE NOTE ON EMPOWER VERSUS NATESTO
After having tried both, I definitely prefer Empower. It's more of a cream than a gel with a pleasant smell. No nasty taste if/when it runs down your throat. You can easily microdose because the pen doses in clicks (8 clicks per nostril). (That said, I did have a problem with one of the pens not dosing correctly). The main advantage is cost. Empower's version is so much cheaper than Natesto ($65 versus $$$ for Natesto).

Empower also offers a stronger 10mg dose pen. This might be helpful because you could use less gel per application. I found that with both Empower and Natesto, a full dose is quite a lot of gel. The more gel you apply up your nose, the more likely it is to run down your throat.

The main drawback of Empower's gel is 29 non-medicinal ingredients. I called Empower and they explained that these ingredients make up the absorption base of the cream. It still gives me pause because you're putting that up your nose and occasionally ingesting it.
This is a really great write up of your experience.

As above, I have had good results with Natesto, with some caveats. For example, when I use Natesto, I apply it three times a day, instead of two, so results may not be directly comparable.

Also, I would tend to agree with @Willyt's "underwhelming" feeling. I have found that Natesto has been pretty reliable for mood, but in general, I started to get the sense that I am under treated. It took me a while to realize this because I had been on it for a long time. I am also guilty of flipping around a lot, trying to find an alternative to Natesto that I tolerate, which can make drawing conclusions hard. That said, there have been a number of times when I experienced what I would consider true symptom relief with other forms of TRT, which would make me realize I was likely missing out on a full benefit on Natesto (mostly energy and alertness).

I could easily argue that Natesto is "good enough" and justify using it long term. They say the enemy of good is better, and I could convince myself that I am trying to get "better" results than something that is "good". However, I am pretty convinced that there is a more effective way to address more low T symptoms than Natesto for me. I have been exploring this for the last few months, and I have not reached a definitive conclusion. If I ultimately determined that Natesto offered the most ideal benefit to side effect ratio compared with everything else, I would be fine going back on it long term.

I found the nasal application very quick and easy. It can be more discreet than it would seem. It's easy to carry around the applicator, and you can even have some extra ones laying around certain places, in case you forget to bring it with you (in the office, etc). However, it did feel like over time, gunk could build up and blowing your nose was not enough to clear it out. I sometimes feel like the build up could affect absorption. I also felt like the application technique was hard to replicate every time, which could affect how much medication I was getting. There is no question that injections, even if they are daily, are more convenient.

I did a supposed peak level about an hour after application, and my levels were nowhere near what has been published. But, it's one data point, and given how quickly Natesto acts, it's very possible that checking levels 30 minutes earlier or later would have affected results.

I strongly encourage anyone starting on TRT to consider Natesto because of the safety profile and because it may help preserve natural production. Once you go down other roads, it can be hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube. If Natesto does not relieve symptoms, you can always step on the gas from there.

My two cents to add to @Willyt's really great summary.
 

Willyt

Active Member
They say the enemy of good is better, and I could convince myself that I am trying to get "better" results than something that is "good". However, I am pretty convinced that there is a more effective way to address more low T symptoms than Natesto for me.
This is so true of TRT in general. I like experimenting, but should really stick with the "good" protocol rather than seeking the Holy Grail. At this point, I would gladly settle for low dose daily injectable if I could only figure out the missing libido piece.

It can be more discreet than it would seem. It's easy to carry around the applicator, and you can even have some extra ones laying around certain places, in case you forget to bring it with you (in the office, etc).
The convenience is excellent. The Empower gel is the size of a highlighter marker. Its very easy to pop into a bathroom and apply in 30 seconds. Just remember to wipe the white stuff off your nose lol.
 

Fortunate

Active Member
I would gladly settle for low dose daily injectable if I could only figure out the missing libido piece.
I am sure this is someone in the forum, but did you have play with a topical? My experience was like others: initial great results, with a huge libido boost, followed by decline in many ways.

I would love to find a way to make topicals work for me. I'd prefer it over daily injections. But, I suspect I hyper absorb, which leads to side effects. I have considered trying one of the commercial products (as opposed to compounded) to see if that makes a difference. I was looking for volunteers who would be willing to try a commercial gel/cream to see how it compares to compounded, but haven't found any takers yet!
 

Willyt

Active Member
I am sure this is someone in the forum, but did you have play with a topical? My experience was like others: initial great results, with a huge libido boost, followed by decline in many ways.

I would love to find a way to make topicals work for me. I'd prefer it over daily injections. But, I suspect I hyper absorb, which leads to side effects. I have considered trying one of the commercial products (as opposed to compounded) to see if that makes a difference. I was looking for volunteers who would be willing to try a commercial gel/cream to see how it compares to compounded, but haven't found any takers yet!
I have only tried the compounded topical. Like you said, initial flashes of libido followed by long stretch of feeling like garbage.

There was one guy on another forum who only applied compounded scrotal cream once every 9 days to bump up DHT while on injectables protocol. Interesting concept. I would be surprised if DHT bump could last that long. There is thread around here on injectables plus cream.
 

MIP1950

Active Member
I have only tried the compounded topical. Like you said, initial flashes of libido followed by long stretch of feeling like garbage.

There was one guy on another forum who only applied compounded scrotal cream once every 9 days to bump up DHT while on injectables protocol. Interesting concept. I would be surprised if DHT bump could last that long. There is thread around here on injectables plus cream.
I recall a post by a patient of Dr. Shippen's on AllThingsMale.com . His labs were good but poor erectile function. DHT was 50 something. Dr. Shippen prescribed 5% compounded t-cream which also contained 25 mg DHEA per dose. The instruction was to first try it on the penile shaft and head. Nope. Then he was told to rub it into his scrotum. The patient's DHT rose several hundred points(sorry don't recall exact number) and his prostate was seriously uncomfortable. Then, Dr. Shippen, after some research, advised the patient to apply a dose to the inner thigh on the first and fifteenth of the month. Erections returned. The takeaway would appear to be that the fat in the inner thigh becomes a slow release reservoir for the topical androgens.
 

Fortunate

Active Member
I recall a post by a patient of Dr. Shippen's on AllThingsMale.com . His labs were good but poor erectile function. DHT was 50 something. Dr. Shippen prescribed 5% compounded t-cream which also contained 25 mg DHEA per dose. The instruction was to first try it on the penile shaft and head. Nope. Then he was told to rub it into his scrotum. The patient's DHT rose several hundred points(sorry don't recall exact number) and his prostate was seriously uncomfortable. Then, Dr. Shippen, after some research, advised the patient to apply a dose to the inner thigh on the first and fifteenth of the month. Erections returned. The takeaway would appear to be that the fat in the inner thigh becomes a slow release reservoir for the topical androgens.
This is an interesting concept, and I definitely believe that location of injections and cream does make a difference. But, I would think that any reservoir for a transdermal would only be a reservoir until your next shower.
 

MIP1950

Active Member
This is an interesting concept, and I definitely believe that location of injections and cream does make a difference. But, I would think that any reservoir for a transdermal would only be a reservoir until your next shower.
Good point but if you take a shower in the morning, you'd apply it after. If you take a shower at night, apply it in the morning. Once it's absorbed, a shower or bath won't affect it.
 

Fortunate

Active Member
Good point but if you take a shower in the morning, you'd apply it after. If you take a shower at night, apply it in the morning. Once it's absorbed, a shower or bath won't affect it.
I totally agree. I just found it odd that the doc recommended applying cream twice a month. Pretty unconventional.
 

Willyt

Active Member
I recall a post by a patient of Dr. Shippen's on AllThingsMale.com . His labs were good but poor erectile function. DHT was 50 something. Dr. Shippen prescribed 5% compounded t-cream which also contained 25 mg DHEA per dose. The instruction was to first try it on the penile shaft and head. Nope. Then he was told to rub it into his scrotum. The patient's DHT rose several hundred points(sorry don't recall exact number) and his prostate was seriously uncomfortable. Then, Dr. Shippen, after some research, advised the patient to apply a dose to the inner thigh on the first and fifteenth of the month. Erections returned. The takeaway would appear to be that the fat in the inner thigh becomes a slow release reservoir for the topical androgens.
Interesting. Was the guy applying cream in addition to injections?
 
Buy Lab Tests Online

Sponsors

bodybuilder test discounted labs
Defy Medical Telemedicine hormones
Discounted lab tests
TRT in UK Balance my hormones
Testosterone books nelson vergel
Free Testosterone Book
Register on ExcelMale.com
Trimix HCG Offer Excelmale
Thumos USA men's mentoring and coaching
Testosterone TRT HRT Doctor Near Me

Online statistics

Members online
3
Guests online
5
Total visitors
8

Latest posts

Top