Androgens | Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation (AAMDSIF) Return to top.


Introductory image: Patients and Doctor at Conference Interlude

Androgens are natural male hormones that can cause your bone marrow to make more red blood cells. This can improve anemia. Androgens are sometimes used to treat aplastic anemia and PNH.

Androgens that may be used include:

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

What are common side effects?

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.

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.

AAMDSIF does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any drug, treatment or therapy listed on this website. Some therapies listed on our site are considered experimental for the treatment of bone marrow failure diseases. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding any therapy, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.