Effects of Drugs on the Endocrine System

  • John A. Thomas
  • Edward J. Keenan


Several synthetic steroids and hormonally active substances are able to affect the endocrine system. In such cases, the substance may possess inherent hormonal activity and therefore act rather specifically on a particular target organ of the endocrine system. Some of the so-called 19-norsteroids can effectively inhibit ovulation (e. g., norethynodrel) or can enhance protein-anabolic activity (e. g., norethandrolone). While these steroids are, in fact, drugs, they nevertheless possess inherent hormonal activity. On the other hand, drugs without inherent hormonal activity are able to affect particular target organs of the endocrine system. Some of these drugs are used for the explicit purpose of affecting an endocrine process, while still others affect a hormonal action, usually as a result of some side effect or toxic reaction. Several antithyroidal agents have no inherent hormonal activity, yet exert pharmacological effects on the endocrine system. Conversely, several CNS-depressant drugs without inherent hormonal activity are capable of affecting hormonal balance as a result of some side effect, or their ability to interfere with hypothalamic-pituitary relationships.


Oral Contraceptive Endocrine System Ergot Alkaloid Oral Hypoglycemic Agent ACTH Secretion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Edward J. Keenan
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
  1. 1.Corporate ResearchTravenol Laboratories, Inc.Round LakeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyNorthwestern University School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of UrologyNorthwestern University School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyWest Virginia School of MedicineMorgantownUSA
  5. 5.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Illinois School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Department of PharmacologyRush-Presbyterian School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  7. 7.Hormone Receptor Laboratory, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  8. 8.Department of Surgery, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  9. 9.Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  10. 10.Department of Medicine (Medical Oncology), School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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