Objectives: To evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetics of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-DHEA (3beta-acetoxyandrost-5-ene-7,17-dione) given orally.
Design: A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, escalating dose study.
Setting: The Chicago Center for Clinical Research.
Participants: Twenty-two healthy men.
Study method: The participants received placebo (n = 6) or 3-acetyl-7-oxo-DHEA (n = 16) at 50 mg/d for 7 days followed by a 7-day washout; 100 mg/d for 7 days followed by a 7-day washout; and 200 mg/d for 28 days.
Outcome measures: Safety parameters, evaluated at each dose level, included measurement of total testosterone, free testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, cortisol, thyroxin and insulin levels. Analyses for 7-oxo-DHEA-3beta-sulfate (DHEA-S), the only detectable metabolic product of the administered steroid, were conducted on plasma drawn from all subjects at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 12 hours after the final 100 mg dose of 3beta-acetyl-7-oxo-DHEA.
Results: There were no differences in the clinical laboratory values or in reported minor adverse experiences, between treatment and placebo groups. In general, blood hormone concentrations were unaffected by the treatment with 3beta-acetyl-7-oxo-DHEA and remained within the normal range. No changes in vital signs, blood chemistry or urinalysis occurred during treatment with 3beta-acetyl-7-oxo-DHEA compared to placebo. The administered steroid was not detected in the blood but was rapidly converted to 7-oxo-DHEA-S, the concentrations of which were proportional to dose. This steroid sulfate did not accumulate; plasma concentrations 12 hours after the 3beta-acetyl-7-oxo-DHEA dose at 7 and 28 days on the 200 mg/d dose were 15.8 and 16.3 microg/L respectively. The mean time to peak plasma level of 7-oxo-DHEA-S was 2.2 hours; the mean half life was 2.17 hours. The apparent clearance averaged 172 L/h, and the apparent mean volume of distribution was 540 L.
Conclusion: These results indicate that 3beta-acetyl-7-oxo-DHEA is safe and well tolerated in normal healthy men at doses up to 200 mg/d for 4 weeks.