Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

4-androstene-3,6,17-trione, 6-OXO, ADT, Androst-4- ene-3,6,17-trione, Androstenetriona, Androsténétrione.


Androstenetrione is a steroid. Despite serious safety concerns, it is used for improving athletic performance.

Androstenetrione is promoted as an alternative to “prohormones” such as androstenedione. Marketers claim that androstenetrione increases the body's natural testosterone levels and therefore is free from the negative side effects of prohormones. There is no reliable evidence to back these claims.

How does it work?

The body converts some of the male hormone testosterone to the female hormone estrogen. Androstenetrione blocks this conversion. Some people suggest that the body makes up for the falling estrogen level by making more testosterone. They further suggest that the higher levels of testosterone will improve athletic performance. Some people who sell androstenetrione say that it increases total testosterone by 188% and free testosterone by 226% over 3 weeks of use. But there is no scientifically reliable research in people that supports these claims.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Improving athletic performance.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of androstenetrione 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).

Side Effects

Androstenetrione might be UNSAFE for anyone. If it actually increases testosterone levels in the body, the extra testosterone could cause serious side effects including liver problems, heart problems, and cancer. Avoid using androstenetrione.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

It might be UNSAFE for anyone to use androstenetrione, but people with the following conditions have extra reasons to avoid use.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of androstenetrione during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Prostate cancer and other hormone-sensitive cancers: Androstenetrione might increase testosterone levels. Men with hormone-sensitive conditions such as prostate cancer should avoid using androstenetrione.

Liver disease: Androstenetrione might increase testosterone levels. Increased testosterone is associated with liver problems. If you have liver disease, don't take androstenetrione. If you have taken androstenetrione, it would be a good idea to have liver function tests (LFTs) done.


The appropriate dose of androstenetrione 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 androstenetrione. 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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Covey DF, Hood WF. Enzyme-generated intermediates derived from 4-androstene-3,6,17-trione and 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione cause a time-dependent decrease in human placental aromatase activity. Endocrinology 1981;108:1597-9. View abstract.

Numazawa M, Mutsumi A, Asano N, Ito Y. A time-dependent inactivation of aromatase by 19-substituted androst-4-ene-3,6,,17-triones. Steroids 1993;58:40-6. View abstract.