Hypercalcemia may develop both spontaneously and as a result of androgen therapy in women with disseminated breast carcinoma. If it develops while on this agent, the drug should be discontinued. Caution is required in administering these agents to patients with cardiac, renal or hepatic disease. Cholestatic jaundice is associated with therapeutic use of anabolic and androgenic steroids. Edema may occur occasionally with or without congestive heart failure. Concomitant administration of adrenal steroids or ACTH may add to the edema. In children, anabolic steroid treatment may accelerate bone maturation without producing compensatory gain in linear growth. This adverse effect may result in compromised adult stature. The younger the child the greater the risk of compromising final mature height. The effect on bone maturation should be monitored by assessing bone age of the wrist and hand every six months. This drug has not been shown to be safe and effective for the enhancement of athletic performance. Because of the potential risk of serious adverse health effects, this drug should not be used for such purpose.
Nandrolone decanoate in the form of the Organon product, Deca-Durabolin, has been around for over 30 years. It has anabolic, androgenic, progestogenic and erythropoietic activity. The steroid maintains the anabolic activity of testosterone but the androgenic action is markedly diminished. The anabolic/androgenic quotient after 2 weeks of treatment has been shown to be 12 times that obtained with testosterone decanoate. Nandrolone decanoate has been shown to influence calcium metabolism positively and to increase bone mass in osteoporosis. Androgenic effects are relatively uncommon at the recommended therapeutic dosages.