Studies of anabolic steroids: v. effect of prolonged oxandrolone administration on growth in children and adolescents with uncomplicated short stature

Pediatrics. 1976 Sep;58(3):412-22.


A total of 130 patients with uncomplicated short stature (4 to 17 years of age) were treated with oxandrolone, 0.25 mg/kg/day, for up to four years. Oxandrolone therapy resulted in a two-fold increase in mean growth velocity in the first six months of therapy and was an effective growth stimulant for the full four-year period. There was no overall adverse effect of oxandrolone on post-treatment mean growth velocity or on skeletal maturation relative to height gain. There were 37 patients with greater increase in height age than bone age and 22 patients with greater increase in bone age than height age. Assessment of the contribution of oxandrolone therapy to the latter group is difficult because of inadequate methodology and the wide variation in individual growth patterns. Taken in their entirety, the data suggest that oxandrolone is useful in the prolonged treatment of uncomplicated short stature and is not associated with undesirable acceleration of skeletal maturation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Determination by Skeleton
  • Age Factors
  • Body Height / drug effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronology as Topic
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxandrolone / pharmacology
  • Oxandrolone / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors


  • Oxandrolone