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Catalogue of Amino Acid
Catalogue of Steroids
2014 China API Fair

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Pharmacodynamics of Nandrolone Decanoate


Nandrolone decanoate is a nandrolone ester, or a prodrug of nandrolone. As such, it is an androgen and anabolic steroid, or an agonist of the AR, the biological target of androgens like testosterone and DHT. Relative to testosterone, nandrolone decanoate has enhanced anabolic effects and reduced androgenic effects. It is considered to have strong anabolic effects but weak androgenic effects, with respective potency ratios of 3.29–4.92 and 0.31–0.41 (index value 10.6–12.1 or about an 11:1 ratio of myotrophic to androgenic effect) relative to testosterone propionate. Along with oxandrolone (which has a ratio of about 10:1), nandrolone esters are thought to have the highest ratio of anabolic to androgenic effect of any other AAS. For this reason, they are considered to be among the most appropriate AAS for use in women and children.

Androgenic effects like virilization are relatively uncommon with nandrolone decanoate at recommended dosages, though may still occur especially at higher dosages or with extended use. The low androgenicity of Nandrolone decanoate is thought to be due to the fact that whereas many other AAS like testosterone are potentiated via transformation by 5α-reductase into more potent AR agonists like DHT in specific tissues including the skin, hair follicles, prostate gland, liver, and brain, nandrolone is instead inactivated by 5α-reductase via transformation into the low-affinity AR ligand 5α-dihydronandrolone in such tissues. This is thought to result in a much lower incidence and magnitude of facial/body hair growth, scalp hair loss, and possibly prostate issues like prostate enlargement and prostate cancer with nandrolone esters relative to testosterone.

In addition to its anabolic and androgenic activity, nandrolone decanoate has low estrogenic activity (via its metabolite estradiol) and moderate progestogenic activity. This may result in side effects such as fluid retention and gynecomastia. Like other AAS, nandrolone decanoate has antigonadotropic effects. It has been found to suppress testosterone levels by 57% at a dosage of 100 mg/week and by 70% at a dosage of 300 mg/week in men following 6 weeks of treatment. Both the androgenic activity and the progestogenic activity of nandrolone decanoate are thought to contribute to its antigonadotropic potency. Relative to testosterone, due to its lower estrogenic potency, much less of the antigonadotropic potency of Nandrolone decanoate is derived from its estrogenic activity.

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