Pallavi Singh
Written & Compiled by Pharmacist Pallavi Singh, M. Pharmacy (Pharmacy Practice)
Dr. Simi Paknikar
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Simi Paknikar, MD
Last Updated on Nov 14, 2017
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General Information on Dehydroepiandrosterone

Generic Name : Dehydroepiandrosterone

Pronunciation : de-hydro-epi-an-droster-on

Latest prescription information about Dehydroepiandrosterone. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, its storage instructions and warnings if any when taken during pregnancy. Also listed are the International and Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
Therapeutic Classification : Dietary Supplements

Trade Names/Brand Names of Dehydroepiandrosterone

Other Name(s) of Dehydroepiandrosterone

DHEA, Androstenolone

Overview of Dehydroepiandrosterone

• Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone which is converted into testosterone or estrogen according to the body’s needs.

Why is Dehydroepiandrosterone Prescribed? (Indications)

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is also known as androstenolone. It is used for multiple conditions, but its efficacy in most of these has not been proved.

Some of the conditions where it is used are mentioned below:
• Postmenopausal symptoms in women with pain during sex
• Adrenal insufficiency, where the adrenal gland does not produce enough hormones
• To improve aging skin
• Depression

It is also sold as a nutritional supplement. Its use in athletes is banned by the World Anti-doping Agency. 

When should Dehydroepiandrosterone not to be taken? (Contraindications)

Dehydroepiandrosterone is contraindicated in with the following conditions:

• Breast, ovarian, uterine or prostate cancer
• Undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding in women or conditions like uterine fibroid, polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis
• Pregnancy / Lactation / Women before menopause / Children
• Liver disease or heart disease

What is the dosage of Dehydroepiandrosterone?

• The dose varies according to the condition.
• The usual recommended oral dose for dehydroepiandrosterone is 50 to 75 mg/day. Higher doses of 50 mg three times a day have been used for adrenal insufficiency.

Intravaginally: One insert containing 6.5 mg DHEA / insert is introduced intravaginally at bed time.

Cream or gel for local application: DHEA is used as a 1% cream on the face and hands for aging twice a day.

How should Dehydroepiandrosterone be taken?

• It should be taken for a duration as advised by a physician.
• Do not use higher than recommended doses or for prolonged durations.

What are the warnings and precautions for Dehydroepiandrosterone?

• Caution is advised if the patient has any mental disorder since it could worsen such a condition.
• Use carefully if the patients have diabetes, thyroid or kidney disorder.
• It is advisable to test for blood DHEA levels before supplementation.

What are the side effects of Dehydroepiandrosterone?

•  Genitourinary system: Irregular periods, abnormal menstruation, increased vaginal discharge and abnormal Pap’s smear test with the vaginal formulation
•  Heart and Blood Vessels: Changes in blood pressure, reduced HDL cholesterol levels
•  Skin and Hair: Acne, hirsutism (hair growth on face and other parts of the body), hair loss
•  Nervous system: Headache, restlessness, aggressiveness, irritability, emotional changes
•  Others: Dizziness, fatigue, weight gain, stomach upset, decreased breast size, deepened voice

What are the other precautions for Dehydroepiandrosterone?

• Avoid alcohol consumption while using this drug
• Avoid use with corticosteroids, estrogens or testosterone
• Avoid intake of soy or licorice while taking DHEA

What are the Drug Interactions of Dehydroepiandrosterone?

• Dehydroepiandrosterone should be avoided with anastrozole, exemestane, fulvestrant, letrozole or tamoxifen since DHEA may reduce the effect of these drugs.
• Patients taking insulin for diabetes should not take DHEA since insulin can reduce the effectiveness of DHEA.
• DHEA can prevent the breakdown of several drugs by the liver including lovastatin and fexofenadine and increase their blood levels. It may also increase the blood levels of triazolam.
• Do not use DHEA with drugs used for the treatment of depression and calcium channel blockers since the combination can result in side effects.
• DHEA should be avoided in patients taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs due to increased chances of bleeding.
• DHEA should be avoided with tuberculosis vaccine since DHEA could reduce the efficacy of the vaccine • Use with caution in patients taking blood pressure or diabetes medication.
• Licorice increases the level of dehydroepiandrosterone which may increase the side effects.

What are the storage conditions for Dehydroepiandrosterone?

• It should be stored at room temperature below 30°C unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.

Last Updated : 11/14/2017

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