Effects of oxandrolone on plasma lipoproteins and the intravenous fat tolerance in man

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      Twenty-five patients with hyperlipoproteinaemia have been treated with oxandrolone 7.5 mg/day for 3 months. Plasma triglycerides (TG) were reduced from 4.12 to 2.87 mmol/1, whereas plasma cholesterol was 310 mg/100 ml before and 303 mg/100 ml during treatment. Analyses of the lipoprotein classes revealed that the plasma TG effect was the result of a reduction of TG in very low density (VLD) and high density (HD) lipoproteins. No TG change was seen in low density (LD) lipoproteins. Cholesterol was significantly reduced in VLD and LD lipoproteins, but as there was a significant increase in HD lipoproteins no net effect could be seen. During treatment hypo-α-lipoproteinaemia appeared in almost 50% of the patients. In 10 patients where the oxandrolone dose was increased to 10 mg/day a slight further reduction of plasma TG was seen, but cholesterol remained unchanged. The intravenous fat tolerance was significantly increased during oxandrolone treatment, suggesting that an increased removal of plasma TG could at least partly explain the effects of oxandrolone.
      In 60% of the patients serum transaminases increased and in one patient this rise was so pronounced that the drug was withdrawn. No subjective side effects were noted and no other changes of the laboratory control tests were found. It was suggested that oxandrolone alone may be useful in the treatment of patients with hypertriglyceridaemia. In hyperlipidaemias where plasma cholesterol is also increased oxandrolone should be considered only in combination with other drugs that are more efficient in lowering plasma cholesterol.


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