Testosterone

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A male sex hormone.

Information about Testosterone

Testosterone

Testosterone is the major male sex hormone and is produced by the male testes in men and to a lesser extent by the adrenal glands in both men and women.

Mechanism of action of Testosterone

Unmodified testosterone is not orally available, so it must be given intramuscularly, sublingually or by transcutaneous patch. Modifications of testosterone have been developed that are more bioavailable or have a longer duration of action. Modification by esterification (testosterone cypionate, enanthate and propionate) maintains the virilizing effects of testosterone, but increases potency and duration of action. Alkylation of the C-17 position of testosterone allows for oral administration and often alters the relative anabolic potency in relation to the masculinizing effects. The C-17 alkylated testosterones include methyltestosterone (meth" il tes tos' ter one), methandrostenolone (meth an" droe stene' oh lone), oxymetholone (ox" i meth' oh lone), danazol (dan' a zol), fluoxymesteone (floo ox" i mes' ter one), stanazol (stan oh' zoe lol), norethandrolone (nor eth' an drone) and oxandrolone (ox an' droe lone), and have been extensively evaluated as a means of increasing weight gain and muscle development in catabolic states as well as to improve athletic performance.

Indications (use) - Testosterone

They have also been used to treat aplastic anemia and bone marrow failure of several causes. They are often well tolerated and have limited virilizing activity.

Side effects of Testosterone

The C-17 alkylated androgenic steroids have all been implicated in cases of liver injury, including prolonged cholestasis, peliosis hepatis, nodular regeneration, hepatic adenomas and hepatocellular carcinoma. In contrast, the esterified testosterones have only rarely been implicated in causing cholestasis, although their long term use may increase the risk of hepatic tumors and nodular transformation, but seemingly at a much lower rate than the 17-alkylated testosterones.

Clinical use of Testosterone

Current uses of androgenic steroids include androgen deficiency, breast cancer, postpartum breast engorgement, hereditary angioneurotic edema, endometriosis and fibrocystic breast disease. The androgenic steroids are also used off label and illegally as a means of increasing muscle mass and athletic performance. The abuse of anabolic steroids is particularly common among body builders and young male athletes, although their use has been banned from the Olympics and in major professional and college sports. Recently, anabolic steroids have been found in some nutritional supplements available over-the-counter or via the internet which are advertised as increasing a sense of well being and muscle mass or as an aid to body building.


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