Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nandrolone esters in oil vehicle: effects of ester, injection site and injection volume

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1997 Apr;281(1):93-102.


We studied healthy men who underwent blood sampling for plasma nandrolone, testosterone and inhibin measurements before and for 32 days after a single i.m. injection of 100 mg of nandrolone ester in arachis oil. Twenty-three men were randomized into groups receiving nandrolone phenylpropionate (group 1, n = 7) or nandrolone decanoate (group 2, n = 6) injected into the gluteal muscle in 4 ml of arachis oil vehicle or nandrolone decanoate in 1 ml of arachis oil vehicle injected into either the gluteal (group 3, n = 5) or deltoid (group 4, n = 5) muscles. Plasma nandrolone, testosterone and inhibin concentrations were analyzed by a mixed-effects indirect response model. Plasma nandrolone concentrations were influenced (P < .001) by different esters and injection sites, with higher and earlier peaks with the phenylpropionate ester, compared with the decanoate ester. After nandrolone decanoate injection, the highest bioavailability and peak nandrolone levels were observed with the 1-ml gluteal injection. Plasma testosterone concentrations were also influenced (P < .001) by the ester and injection site, with the most rapid, but briefest, suppression being due to the phenylpropionate ester, whereas the most sustained suppression was achieved with the 1-ml gluteal injection. Plasma inhibin concentrations were also significantly influenced by injection volume and site, with the lowest nadir occurring after the nandrolone decanoate 1-ml gluteal injection. Thus, the bioavailability and physiological effects of a nandrolone ester in an oil vehicle are greatest when the ester is injected in a small (1 ml vs. 4 ml) volume and into the gluteal vs. deltoid muscle. We conclude that the side-chain ester and the injection site and volume influence the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nandrolone esters in an oil vehicle in men.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Nandrolone / administration & dosage
  • Nandrolone / pharmacokinetics*
  • Nandrolone / pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Testosterone
  • Inhibins
  • Nandrolone