Androstenedione is naturally made in the body. Most androstenedione comes from the testes, ovaries, and adrenal glands. The body begins to make less androstenedione after the age of 30.
People use androstenedione for muscle strength, athletic performance, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. It might also be unsafe.
In the US, androstenedione is a schedule III controlled substance that is not legal for use in supplements. But it is still found in some supplement products, especially those marketed for muscle strength and athletic performance. It is also banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Don't confuse androstenedione with other compounds, including 1-androsterone, 4-androsterone, androstenediol, androstenetrione, androsterone, 1-epiandrosterone, and epiandrosterone. These are not the same.
Uses & Effectiveness
Likely InEffective for
- Muscle strength. Taking androstenedione by mouth while resistance training does not seem to improve muscle strength or size in healthy males.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy: Androstenedione is likely unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. It might bring on labor and cause a miscarriage.
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if androstenedione is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Androstenedione is likely unsafe when taken by mouth in children. It might stop bone growth and lead to shorter adult height. It might also cause early onset of puberty.
Depression: Androstenedione supplements might make depression worse in females. Females with severe major depression seem to have naturally high levels of androstenedione. But it is not known if taking androstenedione supplements causes depression.
Hormone-sensitive cancers and conditions: Androstenedione is the steroid hormone used by the body to make testosterone and estrogen. Patients with hormone sensitive conditions should avoid androstenedione. Some of these conditions include breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer; endometriosis; and uterine fibroids.
Liver disease: Androstenedione might harm the liver. Don't take androstenedione if you have any type of liver disease. Even if you don't have liver disease, it's best to get liver function tests if you take androstenedione.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Androstenedione supplements might worsen symptoms of PCOS. Patients with PCOS have naturally high levels of androstenedione. But it is not known if taking androstenedione supplements actually worsens symptoms of PCOS.
Prostate cancer: Androstenedione might increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. Don't use androstenedione if you have prostate cancer.
Estrogens interacts with ANDROSTENEDIONE
Androstenedione seems to increase estrogen levels in the body. Taking androstenedione along with estrogen might increase the effects and side effects of estrogen.
Be cautious with this combination
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.