Methyltestosterone is an artificial form of the hormone called testosterone and is part of a class of drugs called androgens. An androgen is a type of steroid that naturally or synthetically acts as a hormone. Methyltestosterone is useful for treatment of testosterone deficiency, breast cancer and menopause treatment. Some athletes also use the drug to improve workouts.
In males, methyltestosterone can treat conditions such as testicular failure or delayed puberty caused by low levels of testosterone. The medication balances the testosterone levels in users, correcting a low level of the hormone. This is a replacement therapy instead of a cure, so methyltestosterone users typically must continue using the drug for an indefinite period of time.
Methyltestosterone is commonly used as part of breast cancer treatment. The drug helps to slow the growth of the cancer by changing the hormonal makeup of cancer cells. This change prevents the cell division that is necessary for the cancer to spread.
Women also can use estrogen with methyltestosterone in menopausal treatments. Prior to menopause, women produce large amounts of the hormone estrogen and smaller amounts of testosterone. With the onset of menopause, however, fewer of both hormones are produced. Hormone replacement therapy with estrogen and methyltestosterone reduces the severity of symptoms such as hot flashes and sexual dysfunction.
Although this drug is a steroid, it does not cause significant muscle mass production like other steroids do. When athletes such as bodybuilders or powerlifters utilize the drug, it is usually used for a pre-workout boost because artificial testosterone increases aggressive tendencies that these athletes can divert into workout routines. Doctors, however, do not condone this use of the drug.
Methyltestosterone frequently causes an increase in hair growth, changes in sexual desire or mood fluctuations. In women, hair might develop on the face and other areas where hair typically does not grow. More severe side effects of the drug include swelling, yellowing of the skin and tightness in the chest. Methyltestosterone users who experience severe side effects should consult a doctor immediately.