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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 May;87(5):2046-52.

Low dose dehydroepiandrosterone affects behavior in hypopituitary androgen-deficient women: a placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

1
Research Center for Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE-413 45 Goteborg, Sweden. gudmundur.johannsson@medic.gu.se

Abstract

Thirty-eight women, aged 25-65 yr, with androgen deficiency due to hypopituitarism were treated with oral dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA; 30 mg/d if <45 yr of age and 20 mg if > or =45 yr of age) for 6 months in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study, followed by a 6-month open treatment period. The administration of DHEA raised the serum levels of DHEAS to normal age-related reference ranges and increased androstenedione and T to subnormal levels. Androgen effects on skin and/or pubic and/or axillary hair were observed in 84% (32 of 38) of the women after all received 6 months of DHEA treatment. No such effects were observed after the placebo treatment. These effects after 6 months were correlated with the serum levels of DHEAS (r = 0.37; P = 0.03), androstenedione (r = 0.42; P = 0.01), and T (r = 0.37; P = 0.03). The percentages of partners who reported improved alertness, stamina, and initiative by their spouses were 70%, 64%, and 55%, respectively, in the DHEA group and 11%, 6%, and 11%, respectively, in the placebo group (P < 0.05). According to the partners, sexual relations tended to improve compared with placebo (P = 0.06). After 6 months of treatment, increased sexual interest or activity was reported by 50% of the women taking 30 mg DHEA, by none taking 20 mg DHEA, and by two women taking placebo (P = NS). Compared with levels after placebo administration, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-1 levels decreased after DHEA. Serum concentrations of IGF-I, serum markers of bone metabolism, and bone density did not change. In conclusion, oral administration of a low dose of DHEA to adult hypopituitary women induced androgen effects on skin and axillary and pubic hair as well as changes in behavior, with only minor effects on metabolism.

PMID:
11994339
DOI:
10.1210/jcem.87.5.8494
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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