Klinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 67, Issue 14, pp 707–712 | Cite as

Inhibition of human adrenal androgen secretion by ketoconazole

  • M. M. Weber
  • P. Luppa
  • D. Engelhardt


The effect of ketoconazole on adrenal androgen secretion was examined in 15 patients with elevated serum androgens. In a dose of 600 mg per day orally ketoconazole inhibited the biosynthesis of all measured androgens. The mean reduction in serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate was 32%, of dehydroepiandrosterone 54%, of androstenedione 52%, and of testosterone 43%; mean serum levels of cortisol only fell by 19%. The reduction in serum androgen levels was first significant 24 h after beginning of treatment and persisted as long as the drug was administered. We conclude that ketoconazole inhibits adrenal androgen biosynthesis more pronouncedly than cortisol biosynthesis. This might be of clinical benefit in the treatment of hirsutism and other states of androgen hypersecretion.

Key words

Ketoconazole Androgens Inhibition of adrenal androgen secretion Hirsutism Hyperandrogenism therapy 



coefficient of variation


mean value


standard error of the mean








adrenocorticotropic hormone




dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate












Cushing's disease


ectopic ACTH syndrome


adrenal tumor


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Weber
    • 1
  • P. Luppa
    • 2
  • D. Engelhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Medizinische Klinik II, Klinikum GroßhadernUniversität MünchenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Klinische Chemie, Klinikum GroßhadernUniversität MünchenGermany

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