Oxandrolone is a synthetic testosterone analogue FDA approved for use as oral therapy for weight gain in patients with a weight loss as a consequence of for example major surgery, chronic infection, or severe trauma.
Oral administration of oxandrolone may promote several adverse effects as changes in blood lipids, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and skeletal systems, endocrine and metabolic diseases and central nervous system. In addition, anabolic steroids can be hepatotoxic.
To increase bioavailability, avoid the first-pass effect, maintain stable blood levels, reduce metabolic effects and increase patient-compliance, the transdermal route may be suitable.
The aim of a new study performed under the sponsorship of Fagron by Polonini et al1 was to evaluate the permeability of oxandrolone in human skin for possible future determination of the transdermal route as advantageous and safe alternative in long-term treatments. This was investigated in vitro, using skin diffusion cells.
Results show that within 24 hours 25.9% (247.6 µg) oxandrolone in Pentravan® was able to permeate through undamaged skin. Previously Pentravan® had already shown a favorable permeation profile for other steroidal molecules.2
Transdermal oxandrolone in Pentravan® seems a viable alternative to the traditional oral dosage form, which needs to be confirmed in clinical studies.
1Polonini H, Ferreira AO, Barbosa Raposo NR, Fernandes Brandão MA. Transdermal Oxandrolone: Ex vivo Percutaneous Absorption Study. Current Drug Delivery 2016.
2 Polonini HC, Brandão MA, Ferreira AO, Ramos C, Raposo NR. Evaluation of percutaneous absorption performance for human female sexual steroids into Pentravan cream. International Journal for Pharmaceutical Compounding 2014.