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# Use of Nandrolone Decanoate as an Adjuvant for Erythropoietin Dose Reduction in Treating Anemia in Patients on Hemodialysis

Nephron Clinical Practice

S. Karger AG

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### Abstract

Background/Aims: Use of androgen as an adjuvant therapy to treat anemia in patients on hemodialysis is debated. Our target is to assess the safety and the efficacy of nandrolone decanoate (ND) as an effective adjunctive therapy to treat such anemia. Methods: This study included 32 anemic adult hemodialysis patients who had adequate iron stores. They were randomized into two equal groups: the first group received subcutaneously a low dose of erythropoietin (EPO) 1,000 U three times weekly combined with ND, 50 mg intramuscularly twice weekly, and the second group received only the same low dose of EPO for the 6-month study period. All patients were subjected to a serial follow-up of hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit % (Hct%), iron store indices, serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentration and liver function tests. Results: A significant rise of both Hb and Hct in both groups was found at the end of the study (p < 0.001). Although the rise of both Hb and Hct was higher in the androgen group, it was not rated as being statistically significant. Both groups showed a significant rise of serum IGF-1 concentration at the end of the study in comparison to its initial value. Moreover, the androgen group attained a more statistically significant rise of IGF-1 serum concentration. Four female patients discontinued ND because of related adverse effects, principally distressing hirsutism and hepatic dysfunction. Conclusion: Addition of ND to a low-dose EPO regimen does not offer a significant benefit. Androgen-related side effects limit its use in female patients.

### Most cited references8

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### Insulin-like growth factors I and II. Peptide, messenger ribonucleic acid and gene structures, serum, and tissue concentrations.

(1989)
There is currently widespread interest in the IGFs (IGF-I and IGF-II) and their roles in the regulation of growth and differentiation of an ever increasing number of tissues are being reported. This selective review focused on the current state of our knowledge about the structure of mammalian IGFs and the multiple forms of mRNAs which arise from alternative splicing and promoter sites which arise from gene transcription. Current progress in the immunological measurement of the IGF is reviewed including different strategies for avoiding binding protein interference. The results of measurements of serum IGF-I and IGF-II in fetus and mother and at various stages of postnatal life are described. Existing knowledge of the concentration of these peptides in body fluids and tissues are considered. Last, an attempt is made to indicate circumstances in which the IGFs are exerting their actions in an autocrine/paracrine mode and when endocrine actions predominate. In the latter context it was concluded that an important role for GH action on skeletal tissues via hepatic production of IGF-I and endocrine action of IGF-I on growth cartilage is likely.
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### Meta-analysis of subcutaneous versus intravenous epoetin in maintenance treatment of anemia in hemodialysis patients.

(2002)
Clinical and pharmacokinetic studies have shown that target hemoglobin or hematocrit levels can be maintained using a reduced recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin) dosage by switching from intravenous (IV) to subcutaneous (SC) administration. We conducted a meta-analysis of comparative studies of epoetin administered IV versus SC to assess the relative costs of these administration routes. Twenty-seven prospective clinical studies involving 916 patients were included in the analysis. The average difference between IV and SC doses of epoetin and average difference in drug costs between administration routes were determined. The average reduction in dose in patients treated with SC versus IV epoetin was 48 IU/kg/wk (P < 0.001), representing an average annual cost savings with SC administration of US $1,761 +/-$1,080 (SD) per patient. The difference between SC and IV doses was similar in both parallel- and crossover-design studies. A retrospective US survey showed a dose reduction of 26 IU/kg/wk (P < 0.001) with SC administration, translating to an annual savings of \$946 per patient. This study indicates that the cost of epoetin is reduced substantially when administered SC in comparison to IV. Recommendations of current US and European guidelines, which encourage the use of SC administration, not only have a sound rationale in terms of efficacy and safety, but also have a sound economic basis. Copyright 2002 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.
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### A 6-month study of low-dose recombinant human erythropoietin alone and in combination with androgens for the treatment of anemia in chronic hemodialysis patients.

(1997)
Two previous short-term studies (12 weeks and up to 16 weeks) that used androgens to supplement recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) for the treatment of the anemia associated with end-stage renal disease showed divergent results. Both studies were limited by their brief duration, since the hematopoietic effect of androgens does not peak until 5 months. Therefore, we conducted a 6-month, prospective, randomized trial comparing low-dose rHuEPO alone and in combination with androgens for the treatment of the anemia of end-stage renal failure. Nineteen anemic chronic hemodialysis patients were randomized into two groups. Group A (n = 10) received 1,500 U rHuEPO intravenously three times a week for 26 weeks. Group B (n = 9) received the same dose of rHuEPO plus nandrolone decanoate 100 mg intramuscularly weekly. Baseline transferrin saturation, serum ferritin, intact serum parathyroid hormone, plasma aluminum, and hematocrit levels were not significantly different between the groups. At study completion, both groups showed a significant increase in mean hematocrit compared with baseline (group A: 24.8% +/- 1.4% to 28.3% +/- 2.8%, P = 0.003; group B: 25.1% +/- 1.5% to 33.2% +/- 4.5%, P = 0.001). The increase in hematocrit in the rHuEPO plus androgen-treated group was statistically greater than in the rHuEPO-alone group (8.2% +/- 4.4% v 3.5% +/- 2.8%; P = 0.012). With the exception of mild discomfort at the injection site, there were no significant side effects from nandrolone. We conclude that the combination of low-dose rHuEPO and nandrolone decanoate is effective treatment for the anemia of end-stage renal failure.
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### Author and article information

###### Journal
NEC
Nephron Clin Pract
10.1159/issn.1660-2110
Nephron Clinical Practice
S. Karger AG
1660-2110
2005
April 2005
10 February 2005
: 99
: 4
: c102-c106
###### Affiliations
aNephrology Unit, Urology and Nephrology Center; bMedical Biochemistry Department, and cInternal Medicine Department, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
###### Article
83891 Nephron Clin Pract 2005;99:c102–c106
10.1159/000083891
15703460
© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

###### Page count
Tables: 5, References: 14, Pages: 1
###### Product
Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/83891
###### Categories
Original Paper

Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology