Androgens | Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Return to top.


Introductory image: Participants at the Houston 2018 conference

Androgens are natural male hormones that can cause your bone marrow to make more red blood cells. This can improve anemia. Androgens are more likely to be used if you have other bone marrow failure problems besides PNH. They include:

  • Danazol (Danacrine®)
  • Fluoxymestrone (Halotestin®)
  • Oxymetholone
  • Stanazolol (Winstrol®)
  • Testosterone

Side Effects of Androgens

The main side effect of androgens is that they tend to make you more masculine.

If you are a man:

  • Your breasts may grow.
  • Your prostate may grow.

If you are a woman:

  • Hair may grow on your face.
  • You may get more muscular.
  • Your clitoris may grow.
  • Your voice may deepen.

Other Side Effects of Androgens

Androgens can cause other side effects as well. They can:

  • Cause acne
  • Increase liver enzymes; this can cause yellow skin (jaundice) and liver damage

Because of the side effects of androgens, their use has been limited. They are normally used only in people who rely on blood transfusions.

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