Catabolic and Wasting Disorders
Oxandrolone is used as an adjunct to conventional therapy to promote weight gain in individuals who experience weight loss following extensive surgery, chronic infections (e.g., HIV-associated wasting syndrome; designated an orphan drug by the US Food and Drug Administration [FDA] for this use), or severe trauma (e.g., burns, spinal cord injury).
Oxandrolone is used as an adjunct to conventional therapy for management of unexplained weight loss.
Corticosteroid-induced Protein Catabolism
Oxandrolone is used as an adjunct to conventional therapy to offset protein catabolism (e.g., muscle wasting, muscle pain or weakness, delayed wound healing, atrophy of protein matrix of bone) associated with long-term corticosteroid therapy.
Oxandrolone is labeled for the symptomatic treatment of bone pain accompanying osteoporosis.
Misuse, Abuse, and Dependence
Androgens have been misused and abused by athletes, bodybuilders, weight lifters, and others to enhance athletic performance or physique. Following review of data from published literature and case reports in October 2016, the FDA concluded that misuse and abuse of androgens are associated with serious adverse cardiovascular, hepatic, endocrine, and mental health effects. (
See Misuse, Abuse, and Dependence under Warnings/Precautions: Warnings, in Cautions; see also
Medical and sports experts (e.g., International Olympic Committee) consider such use to be inappropriate and unacceptable because of known adverse effects and potential long-term sequelae. Such misuse by athletes is contrary to rules and ethical principles of athletic competition.
The manufacturer of oxandrolone states that androgens have not been shown to enhance athletic performance.
Serum testosterone concentrations should be evaluated in patients who may be misusing or abusing androgens (e.g., patients experiencing serious adverse cardiovascular or psychiatric effects); however, serum testosterone concentrations may be below or within the normal range in patients abusing synthetic derivatives of testosterone.