Patrick J Potter, MD, FRCSC Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Western Ontario School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, St Joseph's Health Care Centre
Patrick J Potter, MD, FRCSC is a member of the following medical societies: Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals , College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario , Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation , Canadian Medical Association , Ontario Medical Association , Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.
Depending on the number and character of their functional groups, steroid molecules may show diverse reactivities. Moreover, the reactivity of a functional group varies according to its location within the molecule (for example, esters are formed readily by 3-OH groups but only with difficulty by the 11β-OH group). An important property of steroids is polarity —., their solubility in oxygen-containing solvents (., water and alcohols ) rather than hydrocarbon solvents (., hexane and benzene ). Hydroxyl, ketonic, or ionizable (capable of dissociating to form electrically charged particles) groups in a steroid molecule increase its polarity to an extent that is strongly influenced by the spatial arrangement of the atoms within the molecule.
Testosterone can be administered parenterally , but it has more irregular prolonged absorption time and greater activity in muscle in enanthate , undecanoate , or cypionate ester form. These derivatives are hydrolyzed to release free testosterone at the site of injection; absorption rate (and thus injection schedule) varies among different esters, but medical injections are normally done anywhere between semi-weekly to once every 12 weeks. A more frequent schedule may be desirable in order to maintain a more constant level of hormone in the system.  Injectable steroids are typically administered into the muscle, not into the vein, to avoid sudden changes in the amount of the drug in the bloodstream. In addition, because estered testosterone is dissolved in oil, intravenous injection has the potential to cause a dangerous embolism (clot) in the bloodstream.