Nandrolone decanoate (deca-durabolin) in primary Sjögren's syndrome: a double blind pilot study

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Jan-Mar 1988;6(1):53-7.


The efficacy and side-effects of Deca-Durabolin (DD) were tested, in a double blind fashion, in twenty female primary Sjögren's syndrome (1 degree SS) patients. Ten randomly assigned patients received DD (100 mg IM bi-weekly) for six months, and ten others placebo, for the same period. Analysis of the results revealed that the DD-treated patients showed a moderate improvement of subjective xerostomia, a significant decrease of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and an overall improvement of their feeling of well-being, -judged by themselves and the investigator subjectively-, when compared with the placebo group. All the sicca objective parameters (results of Schirmer's I test, slit lamp eye examination after rose bengal staining, stimulated parotid flow rate measurements and labial minor salivary gland histopathology) were not significantly altered in either group. The clinical side-effects were the expected ones, i.e. hirsutism, hoarseness and an increase in libido, more pronounced in the DD-treated group. At the end of the study, one DD-treated patient, developed a diffuse well-differentiated B-lymphocytic lymphoma, which regressed spontaneously three months later.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Double-Blind Method
  • Hirsutism / chemically induced
  • Hoarseness / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Libido / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nandrolone / adverse effects
  • Nandrolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nandrolone / therapeutic use
  • Nandrolone Decanoate
  • Pilot Projects
  • Salivary Glands / pathology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology


  • Nandrolone
  • Nandrolone Decanoate