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Androgen trial in renal anaemia.


A double blind cross-over trial of Nandrolone decanoate (Decadurabolin) was carried out in 27 patients with anaemia due to end stage renal disease, stabilised on regular haemodialysis. Sixteen patients completed the study, the other patients being excluded from the final analysis for a variety of reasons including side effects related to the androgen. There was no sustained significant rise in haemoglobin concentration or in red cell mass. Erythropoietin levels did not alter, they were within or below the normal range, but were lower than would be expected for the degree of anaemia. A majority of patients reported increased well-being including exercise tolerance, appetite and libido. Voice changes and hirsutism were noted, mainly in the females. Instability of anticoagulant therapy and abnormalities in liver function were found in some patients. The benefits, though real, were restricted essentially to the improvement in subjective findings and were unrelated to laboratory measurements. These effects might be obtained with a lower dosage of the drug.

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