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Effect of nandrolone decanoate (Deca-Durabolin) on the disease activity of female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

A double-blind placebo-controlled study

Summary

The clinical efficacy and adverse effects of nandrolone decanoate (Deca-Durabolin) were investigated in a double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre study in female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The patients received 100 mg Deca-Durabolin or placebo once every 2 weeks for 3 months. At the end of the study, 36 patients (18 on placebo and 18 on Deca-Durabolin) were evaluated. Beneficial effects were observed on arthralgia, and/or arthritis and minor vasculitis. Possible beneficial effects were seen on polymyalgia, active SLE rash, oral and/or nasal ulcerations and pleural and pericardial pain in the Deca-Durabolin-treated patients. The overall clinical assessment score showed that Deca-Durabolin would influence the disease course by lowering significantly the disease activity score. However, this treatment is still hampered by adverse reactions such as voice alterations and hirsutism. Therefore, the development of androgen-derived steroids free from androgenic activity should be encouraged, since these compounds may contribute to a new therapeutic modality in female SLE patients.

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Correspondence to A. J. G. Swaak.

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Swaak, A.J.G., van Vliet Daskalopoulou, E., Cutolo, M. et al. Effect of nandrolone decanoate (Deca-Durabolin) on the disease activity of female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatol Int 13, 237–240 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00290201

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Key words

  • Deca-Durabolin
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Female patients
  • Androgenic activity