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Medical Uses of Nandrolone Decanoate


Nandrolone decanoate is approved in the United States specifically for the treatment of anemia of chronic kidney disease and in the United Kingdom specifically for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. In Australia, it is approved specifically for the treatment of kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, anemia of kidney failure, aplastic anemia, osteoporosis (in women in whom estrogens are contraindicated), inoperable breast cancer, and for patients on long-term corticosteroid therapy. In New Zealand, it is approved for osteoporosis, inoperable breast cancer, and as an adjunct to therapy for conditions characterized by a negative nitrogen balance. The drug is often used off-label to preserve lean mass in HIV/AIDS patients and in other wasting syndromes.

In the past, nandrolone decanoate has also been indicated and used for a variety of other conditions and situations including pre- and postoperative use for increasing lean mass, treating weight loss due to convalescence or disease, geriatric states (e.g., general weakness, fatigue), burns, severe trauma, ulcers, and selected cases of growth failure in children. Starting in the 1970s, the indications of nandrolone decanoate were refined and use of the drug became more selective and restricted. Its use in medicine continues to decline and has become limited, with its sale having been discontinued in many countries.

Nandrolone esters can be used as a form of androgen replacement therapy for treatment of androgen deficiency in men. However, they have not generally been used for this purpose, and have instead mostly been used only as anabolic agents. In any case, Nandrolone decanoate has widely been used at low doses as a means of androgen replacement in postmenopausal women, for instance to maintain or increase bone mineral density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. It is one of only three androgens approved for androgen replacement in postmenopausal women, the others being testosterone (and esters) and methyltestosterone. Nandrolone esters have more recently been proposed for more widespread treatment of androgen deficiency in men due to favorable properties including their high ratio of anabolic to androgenic effect and hence lower or negligible risk of scalp hair loss, prostate enlargement, and prostate cancer relative to testosterone. Nandrolone esters and related compounds such as trestolone and dimethandrolone undecanoate have also been studied as means of androgen replacement in investigational male contraceptive regimens.

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