damage appeared after long-term administration of nandrolone. After the drug was given for a year or more to female monkeys they showed abnormalities in the uterus. Female reproductive behavior was disrupted in a rat experiment using doses comparable to what humans take. In humans the substance can promote male characteristics in females (such as facial hair and deeper voice), and in men it can enlarge breasts while diminishing sexual organs. Other unwanted effects may include acne, aggressive conduct, urinary difficulty, and fluid retention causing tissues to swell. Nandrolone is supposed to be avoided by males suffering from breast or prostate cancer and by anyone with porphyria, liver disease, heart failure, or kidney failure. The drug may interfere with children's growth and their gender differentiation.
Taking nandrolone without watchful medical supervision can be hazardous. A bodybuilder's use of nandrolone and other steroids is suspected of transforming a routine case of chickenpox into a nearly fatal experience, requiring over a month of hospitalization in an intensive care unit. Daily nandrolone is suspected of leading to kidney and bone marrow disease that paralyzed a 29-year-old bodybuilder, although eventually he recovered enough to walk without help.
Abuse factors. Nandrolone can improve muscle mass, and some athletes use it for that purpose even though sports regulatory agencies forbid use of the compound by competitors. Among athletes tested by the International Olympic Committee in the 1980s nandrolone was the most frequently found illicit anabolic steroid. The sports ban extends beyond human competitions and includes horse racing; however, an experiment testing thoroughbred racing performance found no effect from the drug.
Research demonstrates that consuming boar meat or taking the nonpre-scription steroid androstenedione can produce false-positive tests for nandro-lone. In theory consumption of horse meat might also produce a false positive, as natural body processes in a horse may produce enough nandrolone to be measurable.
Drug interactions. The substance can alter the amount of insulin needed by diabetics. Some experimentation on rats found that nandrolone can boost heart rate acceleration caused by cocaine; in other rat work the combination apparently lowered pulse rate. Nandrolone boosts actions of anti-blood clot medicines, putting patients at risk of excessive bleeding.
Cancer. Judging from decades of medical experience, the compound does not seem to cause cancer.
Pregnancy. Due to danger of masculinization of offspring, nandrolone is supposed to be avoided by women who are pregnant or nursing.
Additional scientific information may be found in:
Gerritsma, E.J., et al. "Virilization of the Voice in Post-Menopausal Women Due to the Anabolic Steroid Nandrolone Decanoate (Decadurabolin). The Effects of Medication for One Year." Clinical Otolaryngology and Allied Sciences 19 (1994): 79-84. Gold, J., et al. "Safety and Efficacy of Nandrolone Decanoate for Treatment of Wasting in Patients with HIV Infection." AIDS 10 (1996): 745-52. Johansen, K.L., K. Mulligan, and M. Schambelan. "Anabolic Effects of Nandrolone De-
canoate in Patients Receiving Dialysis: A Randomized Controlled Trial." Journal of the American Medical Association 281 (1999): 1275-81.
"Nandrolone Decanoate." In Therapeutic Drugs, ed. C. Dollery. 2d ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1999. N28-N30.
Radis, C.D., and K.P. Callis. "Systemic Lupus Erythematosus with Membranous Glomerulonephritis and Transverse Myelitis Associated with Anabolic Steroid Use." Arthritis and Rheumatism 40 (1997): 1899-1902.
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