Hepatic effects of 17 alpha-alkylated anaboli-androgenic steroids

HIV Hotline. 1998 Dec;8(5-6):2-5.


AIDS: Use of 17 alpha-alkylated anabolic-androgenic steroids (17alpha-AAS) has been connected to hepatotoxicity. These steroids are used clinically to treat anemia, to prevent weight loss, and to treat wasting syndrome. The most common types of 17alpha-AAS are Methyltestosterone, Oxandrolone, Oxymetholone and Stanozolol. Liver disease and the effects of some anti-HIV drugs may contribute to hepatic dysfunction. Signs of hepatic dysfunction are listed. For those experiencing jaundice and related malfunctions, discontinuing the drug enables patients to recover. In many cases those who did not exhibit jaundice may have developed a tolerance for the drugs. Side effects such as cholestatic jaundice only occurred in a small number of patients taking the recommended doses of 17alpha-AAS. Peliosis hepatitis, hepatic tumors, and hepatocellular adenomas are other reported side effects. Proper dosing and monitoring of anabolic steroids reduces the risk of hepatotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Newspaper Article

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anabolic Agents / chemistry
  • Anabolic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury*
  • HIV Wasting Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Testosterone Congeners / adverse effects*
  • Testosterone Congeners / chemistry
  • Testosterone Congeners / therapeutic use


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Testosterone Congeners