Oxandrin Side Effects
Generic Name: oxandrolone
Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug oxandrolone. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Oxandrin.
For the Consumer
Applies to oxandrolone: oral tablets
Side effects include:
Elevated aminotransferases (ALT, AST), lipid abnormalities (e.g., decreased HDL cholesterol concentrations).
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to oxandrolone: oral tablet
Cardiovascular side effects have included edema, with and without congestive heart failure.[Ref]
Genitourinary side effects following chronic administration and/or large dosages of anabolic steroids have included oligospermia and decreased ejaculatory volume. Elderly male patients may experience prostatic enlargement resulting in urinary obstruction. Priapism and excessive stimulation may develop. Female patients may experience virilization including deepening voice, hirsutism, acne, clitomegaly (not reversible), and menstrual abnormalities. Discontinuation of anabolic steroids at signs of mild virilization may prevent irreversible virilization. Alterations in libido may occur (increased/decreased).[Ref]
Hepatic side effects have included life-threatening peliosis hepatitis and hepatic abnormalities, such as hepatic neoplasms and hepatocellular carcinomas, following prolonged therapy with high doses of anabolic steroids. Tumor regression did not occur in all cases following medication withdrawal. Cholestatic hepatitis, jaundice, and abnormal liver function tests can occur at relatively low dosages.[Ref]
Hepatic tumors associated with anabolic steroid use are more vascular than other hepatic tumors and may remain silent until the development of life-threatening abdominal hemorrhage. Peliosis hepatitis may present as mild liver dysfunction, but has resulted in liver failure.[Ref]
Other side effects have included virilization of female patients including deepening voice, hirsutism, acne, clitomegaly (not reversible), and menstrual abnormalities. Discontinuation of anabolic steroids at signs of mild virilization may prevent irreversible virilization[Ref]
Musculoskeletal effects have included termination of linear bone growth due to closure of the epiphyseal growth centers. Appropriate monitoring of bone age is recommended during use in prepubertal patients.[Ref]
Hematologic side effects have included alterations in clotting factors II, V, VII and X, prolonged prothrombin time (PT), and increased red cell production.[Ref]
Endocrine side effects have included inhibition of endogenous testosterone release by means of feedback inhibition of pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH). Large doses of exogenous anabolic steroids may suppress spermatogenesis through inhibition of pituitary follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The androgenic activity of anabolic steroids may decrease levels of thyroxin-binding globulin and result in decreased total T4 serum levels and increased resin uptake of T3 and T4. Free thyroid hormone levels remain unchanged and there is no clinical evidence of thyroid dysfunction.[Ref]
Metabolic side effects have included osteolytic-induced hypercalcemia in immobilized patients or those with metastatic breast disease. Anabolic steroids affect electrolyte balance, nitrogen retention, and urinary calcium excretion. Edema, with and without congestive heart failure, has occurred during anabolic steroid therapy. Decreased glucose tolerance requiring adjustments in hyperglycemic control has been noted in diabetic patients. The androgenic activity of anabolic steroids may decrease levels of thyroxin-binding globulin and result in decreased total T4 serum levels and increased resin uptake of T3 and T4. Free thyroid hormone levels remain unchanged and there is no clinical evidence of thyroid dysfunction. Significant increases in low density lipoproteins (LDL) and decreases in high density lipoproteins (HDL) have occurred.[Ref]
Renal side effects have included retention of nitrogen, sodium, potassium, chloride, water and phosphorus, and decreased urinary excretion of calcium.[Ref]
Oncologic side effects have included hepatic neoplasms and hepatocellular carcinomas following prolonged therapy with large doses of anabolic steroids.[Ref]
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.[Ref]
Psychiatric side effects have included habituation, excitation, insomnia, depression, and libido changes.[Ref]
Dermatologic side effects have included acne and changes in skin color. The greatest incidence of occurrence has been in women and prepubertal males.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Oxandrin (oxandrolone)." Bio-Tech, Levittown, PA.
2. Sansoy OM, Roy AN, Shields LM "Anabolic action and side effects of oxandrolone in 34 mental patients." Geriatrics 26 (1971): 139-43
3. Olsson AG, Oro L, Rossner S "Effects of oxandrolone on plasma lipoproteins and the intravenous fat tolerance in man." Atherosclerosis 19 (1974): 337-46
4. Glueck CJ, Scheel D, Fishback J, Steiner P "Progestagens, anabolic-androgenic compounds, estrogens: effects on triglycerides and postheparin lipolytic enzymes." Lipids 7 (1972): 110-3
It is possible that some side effects of Oxandrin may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.
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- Drug class: androgens and anabolic steroids
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