The safety of 52 weeks of oral DHEA therapy for postmenopausal women

Maturitas. 2009 Jul 20;63(3):240-5. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.03.020. Epub 2009 May 1.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of 52 weeks of DHEA 50mg daily oral dose given to postmenopausal women with low libido to improve sexual function.

Method: 93 postmenopausal women were enrolled in a 52-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and received either DHEA 50mg or placebo (PL) daily. The effects of DHEA versus placebo on lipid profile, insulin-glucose homeostasis and the endomentrium were assessed over 52 weeks.

Results: Oral DHEA, 50mg/day, was not associated with any effects on blood lipids or insulin resistance. The pattern of breakthrough bleeding did not substantially differ between the DHEA and PL groups and no significant adverse endometrial effects were apparent.

Conclusions: The use of 50mg oral DHEA did not significantly alter lipid profile, insulin sensitivity or adversely affect the endometrium in postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Blood Glucose*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / administration & dosage
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / adverse effects*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endometrium / diagnostic imaging
  • Endometrium / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Metrorrhagia
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos / therapeutic use
  • Postmenopause*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / drug therapy*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Placebos
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone