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Clin Nephrol. 2009 Apr;71(4):413-22.

Oxymetholone ameliorates insulin sensitivity in maintenance hemodialysis patients: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.



To investigate the beneficial effects of oral oxymetholone on IR in hemodialysis (HD) patients by increasing skeletal muscle function and stimulating myocyte glucose uptake and metabolism.


In a randomized, controlled double-blind study, 44 patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a treatment group that received oxymetholone 50 mg orally twice daily and a control group that received placebo twice daily for 24 weeks. IR was calculated by using HOMA, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to determine body composition. All patients were encouraged to walk at least one kilometer daily and were monitored by the Barthel index activity score.


25 men (57%) and 19 women (43%) were studied. 23 subjects were in the control group, and 21 subjects were in the treatment group. The mean age of patients and the duration of dialysis were 43.5 +/- 9.9 years and 92.8 +/- 37.8 months, respectively. After treatment, the HOMA index and body fat mass (FM) were significantly decreased in the treatment group compared to those in the control group (10.8 +/- 16.4 vs. 3.1 +/- 4.5; p < 0.05 and 1.73 +/- 2.77 vs. 0.40 +/- 1.12 kg; p < 0.05, respectively). Concurrently, the mean change of fat free mass (FFM) in the treatment group was higher than that in the control group (3.24 +/- 1.74 vs. 0.65 +/- 1.21 kg, p < 0.05). Two patients in the treatment group experienced an elevation in serum liver enzymes (9.52%).


HD patients treated with short-term oral oxymetholone showed an increase in insulin sensitivity when compared to the placebo group, and this effect depended on changes in FFM and FM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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