Androstenedione

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What other names is Androstenedione known by?

4-Androstene 3, 17-dione, 4-androstene-3,17-dione, Andro, Androstene, Androst-4-ene-3,17-dione, Androstenediona, Androsténédione.

What is Androstenedione?

Androstenedione is a steroid hormone. It is used to make medicine.

Androstenedione is used to increase the production of the hormone testosterone to enhance athletic performance, increase energy, keep red blood cells healthy, enhance recovery and growth from exercise, and increase sexual desire and performance.

Androstenedione gained popularity as the supplement used by the baseball homerun hitter Mark McGwire and other professional sports players. In January 2005 legislation went into effect in the United States called the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. This reclassifies androstenedione from a dietary supplement to an anabolic steroid, which is a schedule III controlled substance.

Androstenedione is considered a banned substance by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Likely Ineffective for...

  • Enhancing athletic performance. Taking androstenedione by mouth in doses of 100-300 mg per day does not significantly increase muscle strength, muscle size, or lean body mass when used for 2-3 months in connection with weight training.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Increasing energy.
  • Red blood cell health.
  • Increasing sexual desire and function.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of androstenedione for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Androstenedione work?

Androstenedione is a steroid hormone used by the body to make testosterone and estrogen.

Are there safety concerns?

Androstenedione is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Some side effects experienced by men include reduced sperm production, shrunken testicles, painful or prolonged erections, breast development, behavioral changes, heart disease, and others. Women might develop masculine traits including deepening of the voice, facial hair, acne, male-pattern baldness, and coarsening of the skin. Women may also experience abnormal menstrual periods and depression. Androstenedione can increase the chances of getting cancers of the breast, prostate, or pancreas; and it is poisonous to the liver.

There is some concern that the strength and purity of androstenedione products may not match the product labeling.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Androstenedione is LIKELY UNSAFE to use during pregnancy. It might bring on labor and cause a miscarriage.

Not enough is known about the safety of using androstenedione during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: In children, androstenedione is LIKELY UNSAFE as it might stop bone growth and lead to shorter adult height, as well as early onset of puberty.

Depression: There is concern that androstenedione supplements might make depression worse in women. This s because some women with severe major depression have naturally high levels of androstenedione, so some people think there may be a connection. However, it is not known if taking androstenedione supplements causes depression.

Hormone-sensitive cancers and conditions: Androstenedione is the steroid hormone used by the body to make testosterone and estrogen. Taking androstenedione seems to increase estrogen levels. Men and women with hormone sensitive conditions should avoid androstenedione. Some of these conditions include breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer; endometriosis; and uterine fibroids.

Liver disease: There is some concern that androstenedione might harm the liver. So far, no such cases have been reported, but steroids similar to androstenedione have been connected to liver problems. Don't take androstenedione if you have any type of liver disease. Even if you don't have liver disease, it's best to get liver function tests if you take androstenedione.

Prostate cancer: There is some concern that androstenedione might increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. Developing research suggests that androstenedione can encourage prostate tumor cell growth. Don't use androstenedione if you have prostate cancer.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Estrogens
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Androstenedione seems to increase estrogen levels in the body. Taking androstenedione along with estrogen pills might cause too much estrogen in the body.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

Dosing considerations for Androstenedione.

The appropriate dose of androstenedione depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for androstenedione. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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