Skip to Content


Common Name(s): Dehydroepiandrosterone, Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, DHEA, DHEAS, Prasterone

Clinical Overview


Adequately powered, long-term clinical trials are lacking to support therapeutic use of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) supplementation (hereafter jointly referred to as DHEA/S). Reviews of clinical trials found no convincing evidence to support a place in therapy for DHEA in improving cognitive function or physical strength in elderly patients, or in treating postmenopausal symptoms in women, hyperlipidemia or insulin resistance, schizophrenia, or cancer. Some evidence exists to support the use of DHEA/S supplementation in women with diminished ovarian reserves, in subpopulations of elderly women with osteoporosis, and in mild systemic lupus erythematosus. DHEA is recommended as third-line monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) by Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) clinical guidelines, and limited data suggest a potential role for DHEA as an anxiolytic.


Adrenal insufficiency: 50 mg/day for 3 months is considered a replacement dose, while 200 mg/day achieves supraphysiological circulating levels and is considered a pharmacological dose.

Anorexia nervosa: 100 mg/day for 6 months was used in a pilot study.

Diminished ovarian reserve: DHEA 50 to 75 mg/day (in divided doses) has been used in clinical studies of assisted reproduction.

Exercise training–induced muscle damage: 100 mg/day of DHEA supplementation was administered over 5 days in a study in young men undergoing exercise training.

Major depressive disorder: DHEA doses ranging from 30 to 450 mg/day for 6 to 8 weeks have been used in clinical studies.

Metabolic syndrome: DHEAS 100 mg/day for 3 months has been used in a study evaluating effects against metabolic syndrome in pre- and postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal women: DHEA 25 mg/day has been suggested because this dose minimizes androgenic adverse effects; however, only studies in which at least 50 mg/day was used demonstrated positive outcomes as hormonal replacement therapy.


Use of DHEA or DHEAS is not recommended in breast or prostate cancer.


Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. DHEA supplementation has been evaluated for use in improving oocyte production in infertility.


Supraphysiologic serum DHEAS levels due to DHEA supplementation have been documented to interfere with commercially available progesterone assays, yielding false-positive increases in serum progesterone.

Adverse Reactions

Studies in adrenal insufficiency suggest DHEA is generally well tolerated. However, data from long-term studies are lacking. Observed adverse effects include mania and hypomania, acne, hirsutism, gynecomastia, testicular changes, increased blood pressure, and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

Use caution in individuals with psychiatric disorders; agitation, confusion, anxiety, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts have been reported. Use of hormones like DHEA may cause erythrocytosis. Use caution in individuals with diabetes, as DHEA may increase insulin resistance or sensitivity. Use caution in individuals with liver dysfunction, as DHEA may exacerbate this condition. Use caution in individuals with polycystic ovarian syndrome, as DHEA may worsen this condition.


No data.


Many nonprescription preparations of DHEA are developed in China and are likely to contain DHEA derived from diosgenin that has been extracted from the root of wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). Other commercial preparations contain synthetically derived DHEA. These supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are exempt from pharmaceutical quality standards; wide variations in DHEA content among products have been described.Olech 2005, Webb 2006


DHEA was first isolated by the German biochemist Adolf Butenandt in the 1930s. Claims of supplementary DHEA being the "fountain of youth" hormone have arisen largely from the observation that endogenous levels of the hormone decline with age and from anecdotal descriptions of enhanced energy and well-being in patients treated with DHEA for adrenal insufficiency. Although its use is prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Code and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, several high-profile athletes have tested positive for DHEA.Maninger 2009, Webb 2006 The FDA banned over-the-counter sales of DHEA in 1985; however, since the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, DHEA has been widely available and marketed as a dietary supplement.Webb 2006


DHEA is a precursor in the production of sex hormones.Olech 2005 It is produced endogenously in the adrenal gland from cholesterol, but can also be synthesized in neurons, glial cells, and the ovaries.Fouany 2013, Grimley 2006, Maninger 2009 Both DHEA and its main metabolite DHEAS are major circulating hormones in the body. Levels vary according to age, peaking in early adulthood and generally declining to 10% to 20% between 70 and 80 years of age, although there is great individual variability in these changes.Genazzani 2007, Maninger 2009, Mazat 2001 In women, exogenous DHEA results in greater increases in systemic androgens, while in men, DHEA use results in increases in both systemic estrogens and androgens, with greater influence on estrogens.Samaras 2013 Factors that influence circulating DHEA/S levels include alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI), ethnicity, nutritional status, gender, smoking status, thyroid function, and use of concomitant medications such as corticosteroids.Olech 2005 Autoregulation mechanisms and local tissue requirements can result in sex hormone levels in peripheral tissues that differ considerably from what would be expected based on circulating levels.Samaras 2013

Uses and Pharmacology

The sulfate derivative of DHEA has been shown to act as a noncompetitive antagonist of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, as well as a positive allosteric modulator of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. In humans, neuroprotective, antioxidant, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory effects have also been reported. Serum DHEA levels peak in 60 to 480 minutes after administration.Fouany 2013

Note: Studies conducted in nonprimate animals have limited applicability in humans because the levels of circulating DHEA/S are different; rodents have very little circulating DHEA.Bovenberg 2005, Genazzani 2007, Maninger 2009

Assisted reproduction

Clinical data

Limited clinical studies have been conducted in women with diminished ovarian reserves. Reviews of the studies have concluded that DHEA supplementation increases the number of oocytes produced, hence increasing the chance of pregnancy. The rate of miscarriage has also been found to be diminished, possibly by reducing aneuploidy. Reported adverse events are androgenic in nature, but also include 1 case report of seizure. One study suggests that most babies born after maternal DHEA treatment are male, possibly related to increases in intrafollicular testosterone or other androgen levels in women taking DHEA; however, corroboration of more studies is needed.Gleicher 2011, Mamas 2009, Narkwichean 2013, Wiser 2010 A small controlled study in women with primary ovarian insufficiency found increases in antral follicle count and ovarian volume but no changes in follicle-stimulating hormone on anti-Mullerian hormone.Yeung 2013 However, a 2016 meta-analysis that pooled data from 2 studiesNarkwichean 2013, Wiser 2010 found adjuvant use of DHEA supplementation had no effect on the number of oocytes and clinical pregnancy rates in women who were poor responders to ovarian stimulation.Jeve 2016 Another systematic review and meta-analysis sought to explore data from a larger sample of patients, specifically those in whom in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) failed due to diminished ovarian reserve or poor response. The systematic review (8 studies [N=647]) found that DHEA did not increase the number of oocytes retrieved compared with controls; however, a significant increase in pregnancy rate was observed (P=0.02). Significance remained (P<0.001) for the increase in clinical pregnancy rate after removal of the study with the highest relative heterogeneity. DHEA was not found to have a significant effect on implantation or abortion rates.Li 2015 Reports of increased progesterone subsequent to DHEA administration in women with low ovarian reserveStrauss 2014 should be interpreted cautiously, as the resulting serum DHEAS level has been demonstrated to cross-react with 3 commercially available progesterone assays (Immulite 2000, eCobas, Centaur), yielding false-positive increases in serum progesterone.Forman 2015, Franasiak 2016 The British Fertility Society Policy and Practice Committee 2015 evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for good clinical practice do not support the routine use of DHEA as an adjuvant in IVF cycles based on a lack of robust evidence of benefit.Nardo 2015


Clinical data

Circulating DHEA/S levels are lower among patients with asthma.Kasperska-Zajac 2010 When nebulized DHEAS (70 mg/day) was evaluated in a study of patients with moderate to severe asthma, no effect on forced expiratory volume at 1 second or peak expiratory flow rate was demonstrated; however, a difference over placebo was shown using the Asthma Control Questionnaire.Wenzel 2010


DHEA is a weak androgen, and adrenal androgens are associated with an increased risk of cancer, especially of the breast and prostate. Until rigorous laboratory and clinical studies have been conducted, the use of DHEA/S in cancer prevention is not supported.Arnold 2009, Matsuzaki 2006

Animal and in vitro data

The relevance of effects of DHEA in rodent models of cancer is unclear.Arnold 2005, Arnold 2009 Epidemiological data are inconclusive regarding the role of DHEA and DHEAS in cancer. Some studies suggest that the age-related decline in DHEA/S, testosterone, and estrogen is protective for hormone-sensitive cancers. Other studies correlate elevated DHEA/S with decreased rates of cancer.Arnold 2005, Arnold 2009, Matsuzaki 2006

CNS effects

Clinical data

DHEA supplementation may be of benefit in posttraumatic stress disorder and in addiction by improving abstinence.Maninger 2009, Yadid 2010 The role of exogenous DHEA in depression remains unclear. A correlation between low DHEA levels and increased symptoms of depression in elderly women has been suggested; 2 well-designed studies found modest effects.Olech 2005

CANMAT clinical guidelines for the management of MDD in adults (2016) recommend DHEA as third-line monotherapy in mild to moderate MDD based on level 2 evidence (at least 1 randomized controlled trial with adequate sample size and/or meta-analysis with wide confidence intervals) and as adjunctive therapy based on level 3 evidence (small-sample randomized clinical trials or nonrandomized, controlled prospective studies or case series or high-quality retrospective studies).Ravindran 2009, Ravindran 2016

One small randomized, placebo-controlled, 6-month pilot study (N=21 evaluable) evaluated the effects of DHEA 100 mg/day in community-dwelling anorexia nervosa patients. Beck Depression Inventory score at 3 and 6 months and BMI at month 4 were improved in the treatment group compared with placebo. There were no differences between treatment groups for Eating Disorders Inventory and Clinical Global Improvement Scale scores.Bloch 2012

A small double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (N=29) investigated the effect of DHEA on neural regulation of emotions. A single 400 mg oral dose of DHEA was administered 120 minutes prior to neuroimaging in right-handed healthy young males (18 to 34 years of age). Memory accuracy for emotional stimuli was significantly reduced with DHEA compared with placebo (P=0.029), suggesting a reduction in emotional reactivity encoding; this effect was negatively correlated with serum DHEA (P=0.005). Additionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results revealed that activity was reduced in regions of the brain associated with negative emotion and increased in regions linked to emotion regulatory control in the DHEA group compared with controls. These results suggest a possible role for DHEA in anxiety and depressive disorders.Sripada 2013 In a behavioral and electrophysiological study in 21 healthy women 18 to 26 years of age with normal anxiety levels, DHEA/S levels were shown to be related to brain processing under negative emotional Vale 2015

Cognitive function

Clinical data

Circulating DHEA levels in the elderly population are only 10% to 20% of those in young adults, and some but not all observational studies suggest patients diagnosed with dementia have lower circulating DHEA/S levels.Genazzani 2007, Grimley 2006, Maninger 2009, Olech 2005 This observation has led to the suggestion that DHEA supplementation might prevent or slow the decline in cognitive function with age; however, there is currently no positive evidence to support this.Bovenberg 2005, Grimley 2006, Maninger 2009, Merritt 2012, Sorwell 2010

Erectile dysfunction

Clinical data

In a study of DHEA treatment (50 mg orally for 6 months) of erectile dysfunction in patients with different organic etiologies, results suggest oral DHEA may be beneficial in patients with erectile dysfunction who have hypertension or without organic etiology. DHEA treatment had no impact on erectile dysfunction patients with diabetes mellitus or with neurological disorders.Reiter 2001

Immune effects

Clinical data

Correlations between reduced circulating DHEA/S levels and urticaria and other immune-related disorders have led to proposals for DHEA supplementation. However, clinical trials are largely lacking.Buford 2008, Kasperska-Zajac 2008, Kasperska-Zajac 2011 In a review of clinical trials, no effect of DHEA supplementation was found in well-established rheumatoid arthritis in one study; however, decreased disease activity was observed in another study of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, although the study was not placebo controlled.Hazeldine 2010 In animal studies of experimental sepsis and trauma, DHEA decreased splenocyte proliferation and increased circulating NK cells and CD8+ lymphocytes; as a result, a role in managing critical illness has been suggested.Oberbeck 2010

Metabolic effects (lipids/insulin)

Clinical data

Studies evaluating the effect of DHEA supplementation on lipid profiles have produced equivocal results. Dosages used in trials vary from 25 to 1,600 mg/day and include heterogenous populations, making meta-analysis difficult. Some studies report decreases in total cholesterol as well as decreased HDL cholesterol; other studies report no effect. While it is possible that certain subpopulations may experience greater metabolic benefit with DHEA supplementation, specific populations have not been identified.Davis 2011, Olech 2005, Panjari 2010, Tchernof 2004 Similarly, results for body composition and body fat distribution outcomes are inconsistent.Olech 2005, Tchernof 2004 The role of exogenous DHEA in insulin sensitivity is unclear. Some studies report a modest effect, while a greater number show no effect.Talaei 2010, Tchernof 2004 In one study, DHEAS supplementation did not improve insulin response in hypopituitary hypoadrenalism.McHenry 2012 In a study in obese pre- and postmenopausal women, DHEAS produced reductions in both obesity parameters (weight, BMI, body fat, leptin) and in metabolic syndrome parameters (waist circumference, blood glucose, blood pressure) in postmenopausal women; in premenopausal women, the effects of DHEAS were limited to decreases in obesity parameters.Gómez-Santos 2012

Physical strength

Clinical data

Data regarding the effect of supplemental DHEA on muscle strength or physical function in elderly patients are inconclusive.Baker 2011 A meta-analysis of DHEA/S use in elderly men found a small reduction in body fat that was dependent on DHEA conversion to testosterone and estradiol.Corona 2013 A small controlled trial in young healthy men found that DHEA supplementation reduced muscle soreness and serum creatine kinase levels during 5 days of exercise training.Liao 2013

Postexercise testosterone

Clinical data

A small double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial (N=16) investigated the effect of oral DHEA supplementation (50 mg) on testosterone levels in young and middle-aged men after high-intensity interval training. Baseline free testosterone was approximately 75% lower in middle-aged men (mean age, 49 years) compared with young men (mean age, 21 years). Compared with placebo, mean free testosterone levels after the exercise challenge increased significantly with DHEA supplementation in both middle-aged and young men from 2.76 pg/mL to 9.99 pg/mL and from 9.22 pg/mL to 19.4 pg/mL, respectively (P<0.05 for each). Likewise, the free testosterone to cortisol ratio was significantly increased during the recovery period with DHEA compared with placebo. Little to no effect on levels of cortisol, total testosterone, or luteinizing hormone was observed with DHEA.Liu 2013

Postmenopausal effects

Clinical data

Reviews of clinical trials and 2 meta-analyses of DHEA supplementation found no convincing evidence to support use for treatment of postmenopausal symptoms in women with intact adrenal function. The quality of evidence for the majority of studies was low due to imprecision and risk of bias.Alkatib 2009, Bovenberg 2005, Elraiyah 2014, Genazzani 2010, Grimley 2006, Olech 2005, Panjari 2010 Sexual function, well-being, quality-of-life measures, depressed mood, anxiety and distress, metabolic parameters (lipid profile, carbohydrate metabolism), body weight, BMI, and cognition were among the outcomes measured. DHEAS has been shown to stimulate osteoblasts; however, results for improvements in bone density are equivocal, with only a small effect demonstrated in some studies. In a meta-analysis of data of 23 trials (N=1,188), subgroup analyses were conducted based on study design (parallel vs crossover) and duration of follow-up (less than 12 months vs 12 months or longer; range: 1.5 to 24 months) to explain between-study heterogeneity; no significant subgroup interactions were found. The most commonly used DHEA dose was 50 mg and ranged from 25 mg to 1,600 mg. A benefit from DHEAS supplementation may be seen in elderly women with low circulating DHEA, but not in elderly men. Fracture rates were not reported in the studies.Christiansen 2011, Elraiyah 2014, Grimley 2006, Olech 2005 Limited studies suggest transvaginal DHEA may have potential benefit in vaginal atrophy; however, further studies are required.Panjari 2011 A pilot study in 7 healthy, nonobese, postmenopausal women showed positive correlations between DHEAS, estrone, and androstanediol glucuronide after daily administration of DHEA 50 mg supplementation for 3 weeks. Increases were also seen in testosterone and estradiol but were highly variable. Oral DHEA supplementation disrupted preexisting androgen/estrogen balance, causing an unpredictable hyperandrogenism compared with placebo. Effects on sleep appeared to depend on the relative conversion of DHEA to estradiol versus testosterone; therefore, supplementation may result in either sleep inhibition or sleep stimulation. Little to no effect was observed on growth hormone secretion, prolactin, thyroid function, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and cortisol profiles.Caufriez 2013

Vaginal preparations of DHEA 0.25% to 1% have shown efficacy in reducing pain due to vaginal atrophy. A prasterone 0.5% vaginal insert is approved for treatment of moderate to severe dyspareunia, a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause.Intrarosa April 2017


Clinical data

Uncontrolled studies conducted in patients with schizophrenia in the 1950s reported an improved sense of well-being (ie, improvement in energy, insight, self-confidence, emotionality, vitality, adjustments to environment, school and occupational performance, anxiety, depression, apathy, withdrawal) with DHEA supplementation; however, data from recent clinical trials are limited and equivocal.Maninger 2009 Some evidence exists of altered DHEA/S circulating levels in patients with schizophrenia; it is possible that differences in baseline levels between schizophrenic and healthy matched controls may account for equivocal results of clinical studies.Ritsner 2011 In one study, DHEA dosages of 150 mg/day over 12 weeks improved negative symptoms (loss of interest, energy, and humor), with no effect on hallucinations or delirium.Ritsner 2011 Another study used DHEA 200 mg/day for 6 weeks and found no superiority over placebo.Maninger 2009

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Clinical data

The use of DHEA in systemic lupus erythematosus is controversial and based on the observed effects of DHEA and DHEAS on the immune system and enhanced autoantibody production by estrogen and suppression by androgens.Bovenberg 2005, Olech 2005

A Cochrane review of 7 studies evaluating the use of DHEA in mild to moderate systemic lupus erythematosus found little clinical effect, with only one study showing stabilization or improvement over placebo (8% more patients). The review showed modest, clinically relevant increases in health-related quality-of-life measures, but the long-term effect (longer than 1 year) of DHEA supplementation is unknown.Crosbie 2007, Hazeldine 2010 The use of DHEA in more severe lupus is not supported because it exerts DHEA antiglucocorticoid effects.Olech 2005


DHEA is available as oral preparations, intraoral sprays, and transdermal creams and gels.Olech 2005

Orally administered DHEA has a low bioavailability (less than 10%), and intravenous DHEA is subject to rapid hepatic clearance. Transdermal and subcutaneous routes offer greater bioavailability. Oral DHEA is converted to inactive DHEAS, which can then act as a reservoir for the body to utilize. DHEA 200 mg/day given to healthy men for 1 week resulted in a DHEA level of 1 mcg/dL and a DHEAS level of 400 mcg/dL.Olech 2005

Adrenal insufficiency: 50 mg/day for 3 months is considered a replacement dose, while 200 mg/day achieves supraphysiological circulating levels and is considered a pharmacological dose.Genazzani 2007

Anorexia nervosa: 100 mg/day for 6 months was used in a pilot study.Bloch 2012

Diminished ovarian reserve: DHEA 50 to 75 mg/day (in divided doses) has been used in clinical studies of assisted reproduction.Gleicher 2011, Mamas 2009, Wiser 2010, Yeung 2013

Exercise training–induced muscle damage: 100 mg/day of DHEA supplementation was administered over 5 days in a study in young men undergoing exercise training.Liao 2013

Major depressive disorder: DHEA doses ranging from 30 to 450 mg/day for 6 to 8 weeks have been used in clinical studies.Ravindran 2016

Metabolic syndrome: DHEAS 100 mg/day for 3 months has been used in a study evaluating effects against metabolic syndrome in pre- and postmenopausal women.Gómez-Santos 2012

Postmenopausal women: DHEA 25 mg/day has been suggested because this dose minimizes androgenic adverse effectsBovenberg 2005; however, only studies in which at least 50 mg/day was used demonstrated positive outcomes as hormonal replacement therapy.Genazzani 2007, Olech 2005, Panjari 2010

Pregnancy / Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. DHEA supplementation has been evaluated for use in improving oocyte production in infertility.Gleicher 2011, Mamas 2009, Wiser 2010


Subsequent to DHEA supplementation, the resulting supraphysiologic serum DHEAS level has been demonstrated to cross-react with 3 commercially available progesterone assays (Immulite 2000, eCobas, Centaur), yielding false-positive increases in serum progesterone. This interference with progesterone immunoassays may impact clinical decision making for IVF.Forman 2015, Franasiak 2016

Estrogen derivatives: Avoid combination. Dehydroepiandrosterone may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of estrogen derivatives.Corona 2013, Davis 2011, Labrie 1997, Legrain 2003, Merritt 2012, Morales 1994, Mortola 1990

Progesterone: Subsequent to DHEA supplementation, the resulting supraphysiologic serum DHEAS level has been demonstrated to cross-react with 3 commercially available progesterone assays (Immulite 2000, eCobas, Centaur), yielding false-positive increases in serum progesterone. This interference with progesterone immunoassays may impact clinical decision making for IVF.Forman 2015, Franasiak 2016

Testosterone: Avoid combination. Dehydroepiandrosterone may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of testosterone.Bosy 1998, Bowers 1999, Corona 2013, Davis 2011, Kicman 1990, Labrie 1997, Legrain 2003, Morales 1994, Mortola 1990

Adverse Reactions

Studies in adrenal insufficiency suggest DHEA is generally well tolerated. However, data from long-term studies are lacking.Bovenberg 2005, Crosbie 2007, Elraiyah 2014, Grimley 2006 Many observed adverse effects are predictably hormonal in nature: acne and hirsutism in women, gynecomastia and testicular wasting in men, and unfavorable effects on lipid metabolism (decreased HDL levels) and blood pressure in both genders.Crosbie 2007, Olech 2005, Ravindran 2016 Mania and hypomania have occurred in patients both with and without a psychiatric history. These reactions appear to be related to higher doses.Dean 2000, Kline 1999 DHEA supplementation should not be used in hormone-dependent breast and prostate cancers.Olech 2005 Higher doses have been associated with worsening of prostatitis and increased breast cancer risk.Ravindran 2016 A single case report of seizure in a woman taking DHEA to increase oocyte production exists.Gleicher 2011, Mamas 2009

Data collected between 2004 and 2013 among 8 US centers in the Drug-induced Liver Injury Network revealed 15.5% (130) of hepatotoxicity cases were caused by herbals and dietary supplements; of the 217 supplement products implicated in liver injury, dehydroepiandrosterone was among the 22% (116) of non-bodybuilding single-ingredient products identified.Navarro 2014


Information in humans is limited. Although DHEA has been demonstrated to be carcinogenic (ie, hepatic tumors) in rodents, relevance in humans has been debated due to hepatic and biliary mechanisms that eliminate the suggested causative peroxisome buildup. Protective effects of DHEA on other cancers have also been demonstrated in rodents.Matsuzaki 2006, Webb 2006


Alkatib AA, Cosma M, Elamin MB, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials of DHEA treatment effects on quality of life in women with adrenal insufficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009;94(10):3676-3681.19773400
Arnold JT, Blackman MR. Does DHEA exert direct effects on androgen and estrogen receptors, and does it promote or prevent prostate cancer? Endocrinology. 2005;146(11):4565-4567.16227445
Arnold JT. DHEA metabolism in prostate: For better or worse? Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009;301(1-2):83-88.19013497
Baker WL, Karan S, Kenny AM. Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on muscle strength and physical function in older adults: a systematic review. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011;59(6):997-1002.21649617
Bloch M, Ish-Shalom S, Greenman Y, Klein E, Latzer Y. Dehydroepiandrosterone treatment effects on weight, bone density, bone metabolism and mood in women suffering from anorexia nervosa-a pilot study. Psychiatry Res. 2012;200(2-3):544-549.22858403
Bosy TZ, Moore KA, Poklis A. The effect of oral dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on the urine testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio in human male volunteers. J Anal Toxicol. 1998;22(6):455-459.9788520
Bovenberg SA, van Uum SH, Hermus AR. Dehydroepiandrosterone administration in humans: evidence based? Neth J Med. 2005;63(8):300-304.16186639
Bowers LD. Oral dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation can increase the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio. Clin Chem. 1999;45(2):295-297.9931058
Buford TW, Willoughby DS. Impact of DHEA(S) and cortisol on immune function in aging: a brief review. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008;33(3):429-433.18461094
Caufriez A, Leproult R, L'Hermite-Balériaux M, Kerkhofs M, Copinschi G. Effects of a 3-week dehydroepiandrosterone administration on sleep, sex steroids and multiple 24-h hormonal profiles in postmenopausal women: a pilot study. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013;79(5):716-724.23488643
Christiansen JJ, Bruun JM, Christiansen JS, Jørgensen JO, Gravholt CH. Long-term DHEA substitution in female adrenocortical failure, body composition, muscle function, and bone metabolism: a randomized trial. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011;165(2):293-300.21606192
Corona G, Rastrelli G, Giagulli VA, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation in elderly men: a meta-analysis study of placebo-controlled trials. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(9):3615-3626.23824417
Crosbie D, Black C, McIntyre L, Royle PL, Thomas S. Dehydroepiandrosterone for systemic lupus erythematosus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;(4):CD005114.17943841
Davis SR, Panjari M, Stanczyk FZ. Clinical review: DHEA replacement for postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(6):1642-1653.21411558
Dean CE. Prasterone (DHEA) and mania. Ann Pharmacother. 2000;34(12):1419-1422.11144700
do Vale S, Selinger L, Martins JM, Bicho M, do Carmo I, Escera C. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS) and emotional processing - a behavioral and electrophysiological approach. Horm Behav. 2015;73:94-103.26122298
Elraiyah T, Sonbol MB, Wang Z, et al. Clinical review: the benefits and harms of systemic dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in postmenopausal women with normal adrenal function: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;99(10):3536-3542.25279571
Forman EJ, Franasiak JM, Scott RT Jr. Elevated progesterone levels in women on DHEA supplementation likely represent assay interference. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2015;32(4):661.25682116
Fouany MR, Sharara FI. Is there a role for DHEA supplementation in women with diminished ovarian reserve? J Assist Reprod Genet. 2013;30(9):1239-1244.23737215
Franasiak JM, Thomas S, Ng S, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation results in supraphysiologic DHEA-S serum levels and progesterone assay interference that may impact clinical management in IVF. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2016;33(3):387-391.26758459
Genazzani AD, Lanzoni C, Genazzani AR. Might DHEA be considered a beneficial replacement therapy in the elderly? Drugs Aging. 2007;24(3):173-185.17362047
Genazzani AR, Pluchino N. DHEA therapy in postmenopausal women: the need to move forward beyond the lack of evidence. Climacteric. 2010;13(4):314-316.20540592
Gleicher N, Barad DH. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation in diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2011;9:67.21586137
Gómez-Santos C, Hernández-Morante JJ, Tébar FJ, Granero E, Garaulet M. Differential effect of oral dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate on metabolic syndrome features in pre- and postmenopausal obese women. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012;77(4):548-554.22136516
Grimley Evans J, Malouf R, Huppert F, van Niekerk JK. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation for cognitive function in healthy elderly people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(4):CD006221.17054283
Hazeldine J, Arlt W, Lord JM. Dehydroepiandrosterone as a regulator of immune cell function. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;120(2-3):127-136.20060904
Intrarosa (prasterone) vaginal inserts [prescribing information]. Waltham MA: AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc; April 2017.
Jeve YB, Bhandari HM. Effective treatment protocol for poor ovarian response: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2016;9(2):70-81.27382230
Kasperska-Zajac A, Brzoza Z, Rogala B. Dehydroepiandrosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate in atopic allergy and chronic urticaria. Inflammation. 2008;31(3):141-145.18288594
Kasperska-Zajac A. Asthma and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): facts and hypotheses. Inflammation. 2010;33(5):320-324.20195729
Kasperska-Zajac A. Does dehydroepiandrosterone influence the expression of urticaria?-a mini review. Inflammation. 2011;34(5):362-366.20686829
Kicman AT, Brooks RV, Collyer SC, et al. Criteria to indicate testosterone administration. Br J Sports Med. 1990;24(4):253-264.2097025
Kline MD, Jaggers ED. Mania onset while using dehydroepiandrosterone. Am J Psychiatry. 1999;156(6):971.10360148
Labrie F, Bélanger A, Cusan L, Candas B. Physiological changes in dehydroepiandrosterone are not reflected by serum levels of active androgens and estrogens but of their metabolites: intracrinology. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997;82(8):2403-2409.9253308
Legrain S, Girard L. Pharmacology and therapeutic effects of dehydroepiandrosterone in older subjects. Drugs Aging. 2003;20(13):949-967.14561100
Li J, Yuan H, Chen Y, Wu H, Wu H, Li L. A meta-analysis of dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation among women with diminished ovarian reserve undergoing in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2015;131(3):240-245.26421833
Liao YH, Liao KF, Kao CL, et al. Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone administration on recovery from mix-type exercise training-induced muscle damage. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013;113(1):99-107.22588361
Liu TC, Lin CH, Huang CY, Ivy JL, Kuo CH. Effect of acute DHEA administration on free testosterone in middle-aged and young men following high-intensity interval training. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013;113(7):1783-1792.23417481
Mamas L, Mamas E. Dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation in assisted reproduction: rationale and results. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2009;21(4):306-308.19610174
Maninger N, Wolkowitz OM, Reus VI, Epel ES, Mellon SH. Neurobiological and neuropsychiatric effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEAS). Front Neuroendocrinol. 2009;30(1):65-91.19063914
Matsuzaki Y, Honda A. Dehydroepiandrosterone and its derivatives: potentially novel anti-proliferative and chemopreventive agents. Curr Pharm Des. 2006;12(26):3411-3421.17017935
Mazat L, Lafont S, Berr C, et al. Prospective measurements of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in a cohort of elderly subjects: relationship to gender, subjective health, smoking habits, and 10-year mortality. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001;98(14):8145-8150.11427700
McHenry CM, Bell PM, Hunter SJ, et al. Effects of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) replacement on insulin action and quality of life in hypopituitary females: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012;77(3):423-429.22420492
Merritt P, Stangl B, Hirshman E, Verbalis J. Administration of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) increases serum levels of androgens and estrogens but does not enhance short-term memory in post-menopausal women. Brain Res. 2012;1483:54-62.22985672
Morales AJ, Nolan JJ, Nelson JC, Yen SS. Effects of replacement dose of dehydroepiandrosterone in men and women of advancing age. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1994;78(6):1360-1367. 7515387
Mortola JF, Yen SS. The effects of oral dehydroepiandrosterone on endocrine-metabolic parameters in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1990;71(3):696-704.2144295
Nardo LG, El-Toukhy T, Stewart J, Balen AH, Potdar N. British fertility society policy and practice committee: adjuvants in IVF: evidence for good clinical practice. Hum Fertil (Camb). 2015;18(1):2-15.25531921
Narkwichean A, Maalouf W, Campbell BK, Jayaprakasan K. Efficacy of dehydroepiandrosterone to improve ovarian response in women with diminished ovarian reserve: a meta-analysis. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2013;11:44.23680224
Navarro VJ, Barnhart H, Bonkovsky HL, et al. Liver injury from herbals and dietary supplements in the U.S. drug-induced liver injury network. Hepatology. 2014;60(4):1399-1408.25043597
Oberbeck R, Kobbe P. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): a steroid with multiple effects. Is there any possible option in the treatment of critical illness? Curr Med Chem. 2010;17(11):1039-1047.20156161
Olech E, Merrill JT. DHEA supplementation: the claims in perspective. Cleve Clin J Med. 2005;72(11):965-966, 968, 970-971 passim.16315437
Panjari M, Davis SR. DHEA for postmenopausal women: a review of the evidence. Maturitas. 2010;66(2):172-179.20089375
Panjari M, Davis SR. Vaginal DHEA to treat menopause related atrophy: a review of the evidence. Maturitas. 2011;70(1):22-25.21733647
Ravindran AV, Lam RW, Filteau MJ, et al; Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT). Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) clinical guidelines for the management of major depressive disorder in adults. V. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments. J Affect Disord. 2009;117(suppl 1):S54-S64.19666194
Ravindran AV, Balneaves LG, Faulkner G, et al; CANMAT Depression Work Group. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) 2016 clinical guidelines for the management of adults with major depressive disorder: section 5. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments. Can J Psychiatry. 2016;61(9):576-587.27486153
Reiter WJ, Schatzl G, Märk I, Zeiner A, Pycha A, Marberger M. Dehydroepiandrosterone in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with different organic etiologies. Urol Res. 2001;29(4):278-281.11585284
Ritsner MS. The clinical and therapeutic potentials of dehydroepiandrosterone and pregnenolone in schizophrenia. Neuroscience. 2011;191:91-100.21549182
Samaras N, Samaras D, Frangos E, Forster A, Philippe J. A review of age-related dehydroepiandrosterone decline and its association with well-known geriatric syndromes: is treatment beneficial? Rejuvenation Res. 2013;16(4):285-294.23647054
Strauss S, Greve T, Ernst E, Fraidakis M, Grudzinskas JG, Andersen CY. Administration of DHEA augments progesterone production in a woman with low ovarian reserve being transplanted with cryopreserved ovarian tissue. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2014;31(6):645-649.24643632
Sorwell KG, Urbanski HF. Dehydroepiandrosterone and age-related cognitive decline. Age (Dordr). 2010;32(1):61-67.19711196
Sripada RK, Marx CE, King AP, et al. DHEA enhances emotion regulation neurocircuits and modulates memory for emotional stimuli. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013;38(9):1798-1807.23552182
Talaei A, Amini M, Siavash M, Zare M. The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on insulin resistance in patients with impaired glucose tolerance. Hormones (Athens). 2010;9(4):326-331.21112864
Tchernof A, Labrie F. Dehydroepiandrosterone, obesity and cardiovascular disease risk: a review of human studies. Eur J Endocrinol. 2004;151(1):1-14.15248817
Webb SJ, Geoghegan TE, Prough RA, Michael Miller KK. The biological actions of dehydroepiandrosterone involves multiple receptors. Drug Metab Rev. 2006;38(1-2):89-116.16684650
Wenzel SE, Robinson CB, Leonard JM, Panettieri RA Jr. Nebulized dehydroepiandrosterone-3-sulfate improves asthma control in the moderate-to-severe asthma results of a 6-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2010;31(6):461-471.21708057
Wiser A, Gonen O, Ghetler Y, Shavit T, Berkovitz A, Shulman A. Addition of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for poor-responder patients before and during IVF treatment improves the pregnancy rate: a randomized prospective study. Hum Reprod. 2010;25(10):2496-2500.20729538
Yadid G, Sudai E, Maayan R, Gispan I, Weizman A. The role of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in drug-seeking behavior. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010;35(2):303-314.20227436
Yeung TW, Li RH, Lee VC, Ho PC, Ng EH. A randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial on the effect of dehydroepiandrosterone for 16 weeks on ovarian response markers in women with primary ovarian insufficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(1):380-388.23144466


This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. This product has not been reviewed by the FDA to determine whether it is safe or effective and is not subject to the quality standards and safety information collection standards that are applicable to most prescription drugs. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. This information does not endorse this product as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this product. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this product. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.