The efficacy of oxymetholone in combination with erythropoietin on hematologic parameters and muscle mass in CAPD patients

Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Dec;48(12):803-13. doi: 10.5414/cpp48803.


Objectives: To determine the efficacy of oxymetholone, an androgenic steroid, in combination with rHuEPO on hematologic and muscle mass in CAPD patients.

Methods: A double-blinded, placebo-controlled experimental study was conducted for 6 months and 24 CAPD patients were divided into two groups. The treatment group (n = 11) received rHuEPO plus oral oxymetholone (50 mg/tablet twice daily). The placebo group (n = 13) received rHuEPO plus a placebo twice daily. The evolution of the patients' hematologic parameters and the impact of the drugs on their muscle mass were evaluated.

Results: After 6 months of therapy, hematocrit and hemoglobin values of the treatment group were significantly different from those of the placebo group (38.1 ± 1.0% and 32.8 ± 0.9%, p = 0.001; 12.9 ± 0.3 g/dl and 11.0 ± 0.3 g/dl, p = 0.001 for hematocrit and hemoglobin, respectively). The increase in hematocrit and hemoglobin values observed in treatment group was statistically greater than those of the placebo group (p < 0.01). After 6 months, none of anthropometric parameters, albumin, protein or lean body mass levels, were significantly different from baseline in the placebo group. Conversely, most of the anthropometric parameters, albumin and lean body mass levels were significantly increased in the oxymetholone group (p < 0.05). The mean weight of subjects in the oxymetholone group changed from 63.82 ± 2.71 to 67.02 ± 3.26 kg (p = 0.001). The subjective global assessment score for 7 patients in the treatment group (63.6%) changed in a positive manner. A rise in liver enzymes was the main side effect observed in the treatment group.

Conclusions: Oxymetholone significantly enhances the erythropoietic effects of rHuEPO and improves the nutritional status of CAPD patients. However, significant increases in liver enzymes need to be monitored closely.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Body Composition
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Erythropoietin / administration & dosage*
  • Erythropoietin / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Oxymetholone / administration & dosage*
  • Oxymetholone / adverse effects
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Serum Albumin / analysis


  • Hemoglobins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Serum Albumin
  • Erythropoietin
  • Oxymetholone