Tips on how to blend propionate with enanthate (or cypionate)?

Willyt

Active Member
I have been having some success with low dose daily propionate for the last several months. Dose levels have ranged from 8-10 mg injected every morning after waking. Overall, it has been a far better experience than my previous cypionate protocol of 80-100 per week (split every 3.5 days). Evidently, I am one of those guys who responds better to daily variation versus steady state (along with smaller, more frequent doses).

However, straight propionate hits hard and fast as you many of you know, resulting in a steep daily drop-off from peak to trough. I enjoy the energy it brings, but it can be too intense some days even at low doses. I am therefore looking to start a revised protocol using a blend of prop and enanthate (or cypionate) to smooth out the peaks and valleys.

There are number of people on this forum who successfully use low dose daily blends. As I recall, several use a 4:3 enanthate-to-prop blend while others prefer a more prop-heavy blend. Defy/Empower offers a 4:1 cyp-to-prop blend, but that is too light on the prop for my tastes.

QUESTIONS
For those of you using blends, a couple of questions regarding the process for mixing the two together:
  1. What online source do you use for buying the sealed sterile vial? This site has been mentioned as one option: Sealed Sterile Vials - Glass Vials & Accessories - Lab Supplies | Med Lab Supply
  2. What size sterile vial do you prefer? I mainly see options for 2, 5 or 10 ML.
  3. What size/type of syringe do you use to draw out the prop/cyp for blending into the sterile vial?
  4. Do you use the same draw syringe on both the prop & cyp?
  5. What is total amount that you typically like to blend together at one time in the sterile vial? Enough for 1 week, 1 month, etc.?
  6. Is it necessary to gently swirl the blend to re-mix the two before injecting each day?
  7. Any other tips from your experience?
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
1. I switched to Med Lab Supply because I needed their vials with the PTFE-coated stoppers. Although I no longer need that extra protection, I stick with them out of inertia.

2. I've used those three standard sizes, 2, 5 and 10 mL. The 2 mL vials maybe allow for a little less waste at the end. But they do sometimes trap an air bubble right in the stopper, which you can draw if you're not paying attention. Otherwise choose a size that's good for a month or so of draws.

3. I like using 3 mL syringes for the blending.

4. I use the same syringe for both esters. In theory there can be a tiny amount of cross contamination of the ester drawn second. But additional microbial contamination should be negligible with good technique.

5. I aim for batches that last 4-6 weeks.

6. If the carrier oils are the same then I don't think additional pre-dose mixing is necessary. If they are different then I would want to better understand if separation is possible, and I would agitate before use.

7. I found it helpful to have dose-response data acquired with frequent doses of a longer ester. Free testosterone should be roughly linear with testosterone dose. With this information and some daily propionate trough measurements you can estimate daily fluctuations for any ester ratio.
 

Willyt

Active Member
1. I switched to Med Lab Supply because I needed their vials with the PTFE-coated stoppers. Although I no longer need that extra protection, I stick with them out of inertia.

2. I've used those three standard sizes, 2, 5 and 10 mL. The 2 mL vials maybe allow for a little less waste at the end. But they do sometimes trap an air bubble right in the stopper, which you can draw if you're not paying attention. Otherwise choose a size that's good for a month or so of draws.

3. I like using 3 mL syringes for the blending.

4. I use the same syringe for both esters. In theory there can be a tiny amount of cross contamination of the ester drawn second. But additional microbial contamination should be negligible with good technique.

5. I aim for batches that last 4-6 weeks.

6. If the carrier oils are the same then I don't think additional pre-dose mixing is necessary. If they are different then I would want to better understand if separation is possible, and I would agitate before use.

7. I found it helpful to have dose-response data acquired with frequent doses of a longer ester. Free testosterone should be roughly linear with testosterone dose. With this information and some daily propionate trough measurements you can estimate daily fluctuations for any ester ratio.
I was hoping you would chime in @Cataceous considering you were the pioneer that got me interested in the less-is-more daily approach with prop blend. Couple of follow-up questions:

* Do you recommend the Ultra-Spec or the ALK sterile vile below?

* How did you devise your 4:3 ratio (3.2 mg enanthate to 2.4 mg propionate). Through trial and error? Or is this what you were referring to when you mentioned "dose-response data"?

* I am having trouble wrapping my pea brain around the idea of blending two solutions with different concentrations (Propionate 100mg/ML versus Cypionate 200mg/ML).

For example, assume I blend 50/50 split of Prop 100mg + Cyp 100mg (ignoring the different ester weights for simplicity). That would require drawing of Prop 1 ML + Cyp .5 ML due to the different concentrations for total blended amount of 1.5 ML.

Then assume I want to inject 10mg dose (= Prop 5mg + Cyp 5mg). What ML amount would I draw from the sterile vile that now contains the blend? Would the injection be .075 ML? (= Prop .05 ML + Cyp 0.25 ML)
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
I've only tried the Ultra-Spec vials. Judging by the description the ALK vials should also be fine.

Regarding the ester ratio selection, ideally it is informed by one's particular response to propionate. I've found it convenient to characterize this response in terms of variation above and below the mean serum testosterone level. It's basically a function of the apparent half-life. Although my propionate measurements were a bit noisy, I averaged them to estimate that I see a variation of +/-50% about the mean when using only propionate. As it happens this agrees pretty well with the nominal half-life of 0.8 days that's often given for propionate. The mean serum level is estimated through the previously measured response to frequent injections of a longer ester. For example, daily cypionate injections are assumed to give no variation in serum levels. This isn't strictly true, but the variation is small enough to be ignored.

With these assumptions the daily variation in serum testosterone seen with a mix of propionate and a longer ester is simply the fraction of the testosterone provided by propionate multiplied by 50%. Looking at the diurnal testosterone curves for young men I picked +/-25% as a reasonable high end for observed natural variation. Imitating this requires that half the testosterone in a blend be provided by propionate. I was originally drawing esters separately into the same syringe with a resolution of 0.005 mL. This restriction and the ester concentrations explain the quirk of the 4:3 ratio, which computes to a serum variation of +/-23% instead of 25%.

Your sample calculation looks right to me. The ratio of the ester T weights (TP/TC) is 1.2. So 20% more T in propionate should not be ignored in the final calculation.
 
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Willyt

Active Member
I've only tried the Ultra-Spec vials. Judging by the description the ALK vials should also be fine.

Regarding the ester ratio selection, ideally it is informed by one's particular response to propionate. I've found it convenient to characterize this response in terms of variation above and below the mean serum testosterone level. It's basically a function of the apparent half-life. Although my propionate measurements were a bit noisy, I averaged them to estimate that I see a variation of +/-50% about the mean when using only propionate. As it happens this agrees pretty well with the nominal half-life of 0.8 days that's often given for propionate. The mean serum level is estimated through the previously measured response to frequent injections of a longer ester. For example, daily cypionate injections are assumed to given no variation in serum levels. This isn't strictly true, but the variation is small enough to be ignored.

With these assumptions the daily variation in serum testosterone seen with a mix of propionate and a longer ester is simply the fraction of the testosterone provided by propionate multiplied by 50%. Looking at the diurnal testosterone curves for young men I picked +/-25% as a reasonable high end for observed natural variation. Imitating this requires that half the testosterone in a blend be provided by propionate. I was originally drawing esters separately into the same syringe with a resolution of 0.005 mL. This restriction and the ester concentrations explain the quirk of the 4:3 ratio, which computes to a serum variation of +/-23% instead of 25%.

Your sample calculation looks right to me. The ratio of the ester weights (TP/TC) is 1.2. So 20% more T in propionate should not be ignored in the final calculation.
Many thanks for the explanation behind the ester ratio.

When you inject the blended 3.2 mg enanthate + 2.4 mg propionate, does that equal a round number of .04 ML (=.016 ML enanthate + .024 ML propionate) when you draw because of the concentration differences? If it is not a round number, how are you reading fractions of units on your syringe when injecting?

I use an Easy Touch 29g .5CC syringe so I can see the unit markings better, but not fractions. And with such modest daily doses, I sometimes get small air bubble that I can't get rid off, making me wonder if I just lopped off a mg from the dose.
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
I use 0.3 cc syringes, which give me a resolution of 0.005 mL. This sets the granularity of my dose sizes. My enanthate is 300 mg/mL and my propionate is 100 mg/mL. The 4:3 ratio of ester weights translates to a 4:9 ratio of volumes. A typical batch might be 0.44 mL TE and 0.99 mL TP. Each mL contains 92.3 mg TE and 69.2 mg TP. This also means each mL contains 66.5 mg T from TE and 57.9 mg T from TP. You can now see that my current dose of 3.2 mg TE + 2.4 mg TP corresponds to a dose size of 0.035 mL. In the past I've also used doses of 0.03 and 0.04 mL.

I've become pretty adept at removing all visible air bubbles from a syringe. Sometimes when a bubble is stuck I'll have to draw in more air to enlarge it. But once the bubble is mobile it's a matter of having it rise towards the needle and slightly pressing the plunger just as it reaches it so the flow forces the air through the needle and into the vial. Sometimes a little flick of the wrist is helpful to center the bubble in the syringe and help it find the needle. Of course this all takes place while the needle is still penetrating the vial's stopper. Sometimes I'll need to invert the vial/syringe two or three times before I completely remove the air. I draw a few extra units to facilitate the process, and I squeeze out the extra once the air is out.

I've found that a bigger problem with dose reduction can occur from injection site leakage. Although this doesn't happen so often, I've seen that when I use one site for a prolonged period the likelihood of leakage increases. Leakage is also more likely when I encounter constant resistance during needle insertion. But if there's a reduction in resistance after initial penetration then leakage is rarely a problem.
 

nippy

Member
Hi hi at the end of last year I was using test p January this year I decided to change to test e and have been on that ever since.. I have noticed less libido on test E. Has anyone ever had the same issue on test E with loss of libido?
 

Willyt

Active Member
For those of you interested in blending, here is package of Ultra Spec 5ml sterile vials mentioned above. Also purchased bundle of 3ml 21gx1 draw syringes.

Mixed first batch this morning of Cyp + Prop @ 1.2:1 ratio which means 50% of T coming from Prop once esters are cleaved off. Easy as pie. Felt like Walter White.
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4B4AB8E7-64D0-44AF-B77C-E8ECA9D7C102.jpeg
 
I feel better on prop than on longer esthers. Even with lower dose. TE @ 15mg/d makes me feel ok. [email protected] 10mg is way more intense. I try blended esthers (4/3 E/P) now to see how this goes. Just copied Cataceous idea.
I get the point to create daily spikes by 20% or so to mimic the daily production of young men. Speaking more subjectively do you feel an better on this than on a more steady level? It would be also easily possible to create a fixed level in the low 600 and stay with it.
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
... Speaking more subjectively do you feel an[y] better on this than on a more steady level? ...
Yes. The overall effect is pretty subtle and won't always be enough to justify the added complexity. I do also believe that my sleep quality improved with this protocol.

I'm hopeful that this approach will really shine in cases where guys cannot find a workable TRT dose with steady serum testosterone. For example, there could be side effects at higher levels and a loss of benefits at lower levels and no sweet spot in between. The hypothesis here is that some of the benefits of testosterone are a function of daily peak levels, while problems from excess are more related to average or trough levels. This appears to be the principle behind Natesto. Men taking it are hypogonadal at their baseline testosterone levels, but the significant testosterone peaks provided by the nasal gel are sufficient to relieve the symptoms.

With a propionate blend one can use 20% less testosterone than with a longer ester and still have the daily peak in serum testosterone match the steady levels of the higher dose. At the same time you've introduced diurnal variation in levels, mimicking what's seen in normal men.
 

Willyt

Active Member
I feel better on prop than on longer esthers. Even with lower dose. TE @ 15mg/d makes me feel ok. [email protected] 10mg is way more intense. I try blended esthers (4/3 E/P) now to see how this goes. Just copied Cataceous idea.
I get the point to create daily spikes by 20% or so to mimic the daily production of young men. Speaking more subjectively do you feel an better on this than on a more steady level? It would be also easily possible to create a fixed level in the low 600 and stay with it.
I'm with you. My experiences with Prop versus Cyp were night and day. Two attempts at Cypionate E3.5 went down in flames due to excessive water retention which was causing a host of problems. No such issue on daily prop.

Granted the daily dosing may also have played a part, but prop subjectively felt very different. Fantastic energy even at low doses, but admittedly bit too intense which is why I decided to a shot at Cat's blended approach. I've only been using the protocol for 1 week so way too early to tell.

Here is what 1:2 Cyp/Prop blend looks like graphed out over 6 weeks with the daily variation (not sure how accurate Steriodplotter.com is)

Blend.PNG
 

Willyt

Active Member
The hypothesis here is that some of the benefits of testosterone are a function of daily peak levels, while problems from excess are more related to average or trough levels.
After trying straight low dose prop, I often wonder whether allowing your body to "trough out" to hypogonadal levels (e.g., sub-300) on a daily basis is such a bad thing. Is it possible that by allowing your body to return to baseline levels each day that you are minimizing HPTA shutdown? (As I recall, you had theorized that is one reason why Natesto results in less suppression).

This is all very subjective, but I could swear that I had less emotional flatness and testicles did not shrink as much on straight prop versus cyp, implying less HPTA suppression. Of course, I have no blood tests to back up that claim!

My point is that perhaps there is some value in a prop-heavy blend. Bigger swings outside of normal range, but less suppression. A trade-off for sure although maybe worth it in the long run.

In the meantime, I am going to stick with 50% of actual T from Prop and see how it goes.
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
After trying straight low dose prop, I often wonder whether allowing your body to "trough out" to hypogonadal levels (e.g., sub-300) on a daily basis is such a bad thing. Is it possible that by allowing your body to return to baseline levels each day that you are minimizing HPTA shutdown? (As I recall, you had theorized that is one reason why Natesto results in less suppression).

This is all very subjective, but I could swear that I had less emotional flatness and testicles did not shrink as much on straight prop versus cyp, implying less HPTA suppression. ....
I suspect the half-life of propionate is too long to allow HPTA operation, at least with practical dosing. But I do also perceive more emotional flatness on steadier and higher testosterone levels, so this could be something independent of the upstream hormones.

I found that switching to straight propionate from a longer ester gave a great honeymoon period, but after that, even though it seemed different, the overall experience wasn't preferable to having stable levels. A blend feels subtly better to me.

The SteroidPlotter site is assuming half a day for the rise in levels, but my data suggest a much earlier peak, around 2-4 hours. This is why the plot is showing relatively little variation off of the peak. I nominally expect a drop of 40% from my peak each day.
 
I suspect the half-life of propionate is too long to allow HPTA operation, at least with practical dosing. But I do also perceive more emotional flatness on steadier and higher testosterone levels, so this could be something independent of the upstream hormones.

I found that switching to straight propionate from a longer ester gave a great honeymoon period, but after that, even though it seemed different, the overall experience wasn't preferable to having stable levels. A blend feels subtly better to me.

The SteroidPlotter site is assuming half a day for the rise in levels, but my data suggest a much earlier peak, around 2-4 hours. This is why the plot is showing relatively little variation off of the peak. I nominally expect a drop of 40% from my peak each day.
 
The trough is quite easy to test in this blend. Just before injection. To find out what exactly the peak is needs luck or bloodtest every hour or so. Plus it depends on the volume, maybe the oil itself, the injection place, subq vs intermuscular etc. How did you manage to find out?
It might be also worth trying to inject prop every 12 hours.
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
The trough is quite easy to test in this blend. Just before injection. To find out what exactly the peak is needs luck or bloodtest every hour or so. Plus it depends on the volume, maybe the oil itself, the injection place, subq vs intermuscular etc. How did you manage to find out? ...
My method is indirect, so admittedly there is uncertainty. Basically, the testosterone measurements at 2-3 hours post-injection are a pretty good match for predictions of peak values based on measured trough values and computed mean levels.
... It might be also worth trying to inject prop every 12 hours.
I'm doubtful about this. You could have a larger morning injection followed by a smaller evening one, which would reduce the daily swing in testosterone to a more natural magnitude. But the same thing can be done with less work by injecting an ester blend once daily.
 
This is very interesting. I think i'll give this a shot. I'm currently at 30 mg EOD test E, which puts me over the reference range for free T (~ 31). I'd like to first taper down into the reference range and then add the test prop to the mix to add that daily fluctuation.

When you all change protocols (downward adjustment), do you typically taper slowly or change abruptly?

Also, how are you all sourcing test prop? It doesn't seem commonly prescribed here in the US. I can legitimately procure the test E from the pharmacy, but would have to find alternatives for prop.

Is it necessary to mix the two esters into a single vial? It seems easier just to pull the two esters into the same syringe, especially if the carrier oils will be different.
 

Bigben

New Member
I have been having some success with low dose daily propionate for the last several months. Dose levels have ranged from 8-10 mg injected every morning after waking. Overall, it has been a far better experience than my previous cypionate protocol of 80-100 per week (split every 3.5 days). Evidently, I am one of those guys who responds better to daily variation versus steady state (along with smaller, more frequent doses).

However, straight propionate hits hard and fast as you many of you know, resulting in a steep daily drop-off from peak to trough. I enjoy the energy it brings, but it can be too intense some days even at low doses. I am therefore looking to start a revised protocol using a blend of prop and enanthate (or cypionate) to smooth out the peaks and valleys.

There are number of people on this forum who successfully use low dose daily blends. As I recall, several use a 4:3 enanthate-to-prop blend while others prefer a more prop-heavy blend. Defy/Empower offers a 4:1 cyp-to-prop blend, but that is too light on the prop for my tastes.

QUESTIONS
For those of you using blends, a couple of questions regarding the process for mixing the two together:
  1. What online source do you use for buying the sealed sterile vial? This site has been mentioned as one option: Sealed Sterile Vials - Glass Vials & Accessories - Lab Supplies | Med Lab Supply
  2. What size sterile vial do you prefer? I mainly see options for 2, 5 or 10 ML.
  3. What size/type of syringe do you use to draw out the prop/cyp for blending into the sterile vial?
  4. Do you use the same draw syringe on both the prop & cyp?
  5. What is total amount that you typically like to blend together at one time in the sterile vial? Enough for 1 week, 1 month, etc.?
  6. Is it necessary to gently swirl the blend to re-mix the two before injecting each day?
  7. Any other tips from your experience?

  1. ugl. I put 5 ml test e and 5 ml test p in a 10 ml vial. So 250 plus 100 is 350 ÷ 2 is 175 mg/ml.
 

Cataceous

Super Moderator
...
When you all change protocols (downward adjustment), do you typically taper slowly or change abruptly?

Also, how are you all sourcing test prop? It doesn't seem commonly prescribed here in the US. I can legitimately procure the test E from the pharmacy, but would have to find alternatives for prop.

Is it necessary to mix the two esters into a single vial? It seems easier just to pull the two esters into the same syringe, especially if the carrier oils will be different.
My first transition was from only enanthate to only propionate. I stopped the enanthate and gradually ramped up the propionate over a week or two. This in theory kept overall testosterone usage more constant. Going the other direction is the reverse, immediately adding the longer ester while slowly tapering the propionate.

Testosterone propionate is available from Empower, and possibly other compounding pharmacies.

It's not essential to mix esters in a separate vial, though it is more convenient and allows for finer adjustment of the relative amounts of the two esters. In theory the pharmacokinetics could be somewhat different, but in practice I never noticed a difference between pre-mixing and drawing separately into the same syringe.
 

Thekanezzi

New Member
I was on EOD test cyp for years until I had a severe libido issue last year s/p adding scrotal test cream

I switched to Test P daily and since then have moved to 36mg test P EOD. Big troughs but I absolutely feel better.

I also take 250iu hcg with my test pt and 0.25mg adex MWF

Cataceous and others, very interesting writeup here. Im wondering if my trough is helping my natural production some?
 

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