Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 14, Supplement 3, pp 32–39 | Cite as

Nandrolone decanoate: Pharmacological properties and therapeutic use in osteoporosis

  • P. Geusens


The therapeutic profile on bone of nandrolone decanoate is that of inhibitor of bone resorption with temporary increase in bone formation, followed by an absence of suppression of bone formation, indicating uncoupling of bone resorption and formation. This results is an increase in bone mineral content at the proximal and distal radius, and in some patients at the lumbar spine. Furthermore, nandrolone decanoate increases calcium balance and muscle mass, diminishes vertebral pain and increases the mobility of the spine. Virilization occurred in around 50% of the patients (mainly hoarseness and/or hirsutism), and 9% of the patients dropped out because of this reason. A dose of 50 mg every 3 to 4 weeks is indicated in the treatment of osteoporosis in women, especially when they have low muscle mass, associated debilitating disease, and in patients with corticosteroid induced osteoporosis. It should only be prescribed after the age of 65 to 75 years to minimize the occurrence of clinical adverse effects and to increase its tolerability, which is higher in this group. Although some effects are reported on fracture rate, insufficient prospective data are available.

Key words

Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Belgian Consensus Conference 


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Copyright information

© Acta Medica Belgica 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Geusens
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Arthritis and Metabolic Bone Disease Research UnitKatholieke Universiteit Leuven, U. Z. PellenbergPellenbergBelgium
  2. 2.Limburgs Universitair CenterDr. Willems-InstituutDiepenbeekBelgium

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