Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid. Nandrolone is most commonly sold commercially as its decanoate ester (Deca-Durabolin, eubolin, retabolil) and less commonly as a phenylpropionate ester (Durabolin, fenobolin). Nandrolone decanoate is used in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women (though now not recommended) at a dose of 50 mg every three weeks. It is also used for some aplastic anemias.
The positive effects of the drug include muscle growth, appetite stimulation and increased red blood cell production and bone density. Clinical studies have shown it to be effective in treating anaemia, osteoporosis and some forms of neoplasia including breast cancer, and also acts as a progestin-based contraceptive. For these reasons, in the United States nandrolone received FDA approval in 1983.
Because nandrolone is not broken down into DHT, the deleterious effects common to most anabolic steroids on the scalp, skin, and prostate are lessened to a degree;[medical citation needed] but is rather broken down to the much weaker androgen dihydronandrolone. The lack of alkylation on the 17-carbon drastically reduces the drug’s liver toxicity.Estrogenic effects resulting from reaction with aromatase are also reduced due to lessened enzyme interaction, but effects such as gynaecomastia and reduced libido still occur in larger doses because of other mechanisms. Other side-effects of abuse can include erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular damage, as well as several ailments resulting from the drug’s effect of lowering levels of luteinizing hormone through negative feedback. Erectile dysfunction is attributed to the weaker action of dihydronandrolone in the penis since dihydrotestosterone is a known sexual modulator.
Nandrolone use is directly detectable in hair or indirectly detectable in urine by testing for the presence of 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite. The International Olympic Committee has set a limit of 2.0 g/L of 19-norandrosterone in urine as the upper limit,beyond which an athlete is suspected of doping. In the largest nandrolone study performed on 621 athletes at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games, no athlete tested over 0.4 g/L. 19-Norandrosterone was identified as a trace contaminant in commercial preparations of androstenedione, which until 2004 was available without a prescription as a dietary supplement in the U.S.
A number of nandrolone cases in athletics occurred in 1999, which included high profile athletes such as Merlene Ottey, Dieter Baumann and Linford Christie.However, the following year the detection method for nandrolone at the time was proved to be faulty. Mark Richardson, a British Olympic relay runner who tested positive for the substance, gave a significant amount of urine samples in a controlled environment and delivered a positive test for the drug, demonstrating that false positives could occur, which led to an overhaul of his competitive ban.
Heavy consumption of the essential amino acid lysine (as indicated in the treatment of cold sores) has allegedly shown false positives in some and was cited by American shotputter C. J. Hunter as the reason for his positive test, though in 2004 he admitted to a federal grand jury that he had injected nandrolone. A possible cause of incorrect urine test results is the presence of metabolites from other anabolic steroids, though modern urinalysis can usually determine the exact steroid used by analyzing the ratio of the two remaining nandrolone metabolites. As a result of the numerous overturned verdicts, the testing procedure was reviewed by UK Sport. On October 5, 2007, five-time gold medalist for track and field Marion Jones admitted to use of the drug, and was sentenced to six months in jail for lying to a federal grand jury in 2000.
QV Nandrolone Deca, a form of nandrolone used by athletes.
Mass spectrometry is also used to detect small samples of nandrolone in urine samples, as it has a unique molar mass.