Deca Discontinued

Organon Discontinues Production of Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone decanoate) by Nelson Vergel

We have been getting daily emails from many people with this question. We have been able to secure generic nandrolone decanoate, and testosterone (also in short supply) from GulfSouth, a compounding pharmacy.

Here is the link:
Phone (877) 729-1015

A recent study by Wanke et al showed that as many as 29% of people with HIV in the era of HAART are still losing weight or lean body mass, even with undetectable viral loads in most cases.

Deca Durabolin is one of the safest, most cost-effective anabolic steroids available worldwide. Unlike oral steroids, it does not impact liver function at the doses used in HIV. Another product that is sometimes misused for wasting is Megace (megestrol acetate). Question your doctor if they prescribe it to you. It makes people gain fat, induces diabetes, blood clots and impotence.

Growth hormone costs $3000 to $6000 a month for treating HIV wasting, but it is not as effective as anabolic steroids for building muscle. (See: Anabolic Agent Comparison Chart )

Deca Durabolin was approved for anemia due to renal insufficiency many years ago, so its use for HIV wasting was "off-label." It is legal for a doctor to prescribe a drug for an off-label use, but the insurance companies are not required to pay for the drug.

A research source told me that Organon is planning to take advantage of the"off-label use" that we, as a community, have been advocating for since the Dr. Walter Jekot first prescribed it in Los Angeles in 1982 to an HIV patient for wasting. As we progressed in our advocacy work, and our nonprofit book "Built to Survive" was released, the sales of Deca Durabolin sky rocketed and Organon decided apply for a New Drugs Application for HIV wasting after several studies showed good results in men and women living with HIV (see below.) The rumors are that they will bring it back at a much higher price for AIDS after their study is completed and the FDA approves indication for it for HIV.

I wrote a letter to the president of the company last week and have not heard from them, yet.

An economical and safe product like Deca Durabolin needs to stay in the market at the current pricing levels. A New Drug Application for wasting could mean that more third party payers could cover its cost, but we should not tolerate any increase due to the "AIDS cash cow effect"

History has shown this kind of thing repeating itself. Oxandrin and Anadrol, the oral anabolics that can affect liver function, were "dropped " by their manufacturers to later be "picked up" by other companies that increased the price when they marketed them to the HIV market. Oxandrin went from being a 12 cents a tablet to $3.85 a tablet (you take 8 a day for a man for a cost of $900 a month). Anadrol went from 70 cents a tablet to $12 a tablet (you take one a day, for a cost of $360 a month). Deca durabolin used to be available 4 years ago as a generic (nandrolone decanoate-made by Steris) for $16/ 200 mg. The generic was stopped and the brand name product was last priced at $32 per 200 mg (1 cc) before Organon stopped its sale (you may need one cc a week for 12 weeks for a low dose cycle to increase LBM for a cost of $ 128/month, see "Built to Survive" and the references below for more details). I hope they are not following this trend, which would mean that Deca could come back at an exorbitant price.

I feel very strongly that "quality of life" drugs need as much advocacy efforts as antivirals, specially in this era.

If you want to help the community to let Organon know what their decision means to you,your friends or your practice, write a letter to:

Dr. Hans M. Vemer
President, Organon International
375, Mount Pleasant Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052
You can also call Organon Inc. Customer Service Department at:
1-800-241-8812, 8:00am - 5:00pm(EST).
Phone Tel: +1 973 325 4500
Fax: Fax: +1 973 235 4589

Here are some references on nandrolone:

Effects of pharmacological doses of nandrolone decanoate and progressive resistance training in immunodeficient patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Sattler FR, Jaque SV, Schroeder ET, Olson C, Dube MP, Martinez C, Briggs W, Horton R, Azen S.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Apr;84(4):1268-76.

Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles 90033, USA.This nonplacebo-controlled, open label, randomized study was conducted to test the hypotheses that pharmacological doses of nandrolone decanoate would increase lean body tissue, muscle mass, and strength in immunodeficient human immunodeficiency virus-infected men, and that these effects would be enhanced with progressive resistance training (PRT). Thirty human immunodeficiency virus-positive men with fewer than 400 CD4 lymphocytes/mm3 were randomly assigned to receive weekly injections of nandrolone alone or in combination with supervised PRT at 80% of the one-repetition maximum three times weekly for 12 weeks. Total body weight increased significantly in both groups (3.2 +/- 2.7 and 4.0 +/- 2.0 kg, respectively; P < 0.001), with increases due primarily to augmentation of lean tissue. Lean body mass determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry increased significantly more in the PRT group (3.9 +/- 2.3 vs. 5.2 +/- 5.7 kg, respectively; P = 0.03). Body cell mass by bioelectrical impedance analysis increased significantly (P < 0.001) in both groups (2.6 +/- 1.0 vs. 2.9 +/- 0.8 kg), but to a similar magnitude (P = NS). Significant increases in cross-sectional area by magnetic resonance imaging of total thigh muscles (1538 +/- 767 and 1480 +/- 532 mm2), quadriceps (705 +/- 365 and 717 +/- 288 mm2), and hamstrings (842 +/- 409 and 771 +/- 295 mm2) occurred with both treatment strategies (P < 0.001 for the three muscle areas); these increases were similar in both groups (P = NS). By the one-repetition method, strength increased in both upper and lower body exercises, with gains ranging from 10.3-31% in the nandrolone group and from 14.4-53.0% in the PRT group (P < 0.006 with one exception). Gains in strength were of significantly greater magnitude in the PRT group (P < or = 0.005 for all comparisons), even after correction for lean body mass. Thus, pharmacological doses of nandrolone decanoate yielded significant gains in total weight, lean body mass, body cell mass, muscle size, and strength. The increases in lean body mass and muscular strength were significantly augmented with PRT.

Effects of nandrolone decanoate therapy in borderline hypogonadal men with HIV-associated weight loss.
Strawford A, Barbieri T, Neese R, Van Loan M, Christiansen M, Hoh R, Sathyan G, Skowronski R, King J, Hellerstein M.J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 1999 Feb 1;20(2):137-46.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of California at Berkeley, 94720, USA.Serum testosterone concentrations are frequently in the low-normal range (lowest quartile, <500 ng/dl) in men with AIDS-wasting syndrome (AWS) and in other chronic wasting disorders. The response of patients in this group to androgen treatment has not been determined, however. Eighteen men with AWS (mean +/- standard error [SE]: 87% +/- 1% usual body weight; CD4 count 90 +/- 24) and borderline low serum testosterone concentrations (382 +/- 33 ng/dl) completed a 21-day placebo-controlled inpatient metabolic ward study comparing intramuscular (i.m.) placebo (n = 7) with low-dose (65 mg/week; n = 4) and high-dose (200 mg/week; n = 7) nandrolone decanoate, a testosterone analogue. Nitrogen balance, stable isotope-mass spectrometric measurement of de novo lipogenesis (DNL), resting energy expenditure, and gonadal hormone levels were measured. Both low-dose and high-dose nandrolone resulted in significant nitrogen retention (33-52 g nitrogen/14 days, representing gains of 0.5 to 0.9 kg lean tissue/week) compared with placebo (loss of 11 g nitrogen/week). This was reflected biochemically in a borderline significant reduction of high DNL (p < .06). Serum testosterone and gonadotropins were suppressed whereas resting energy expenditure was unchanged by nandrolone treatment. In 10 study subjects completing a 12-week open-label follow-up phase, body weight increased by 4.9 +/- 1.2 kg, including 3.1 +/- 0.5 kg lean body mass, and treadmill exercise performance also improved. In summary, nandrolone decanoate therapy in the absence of an exercise program in borderline hypogonadal men with AWS caused substantial nitrogen retention compared with placebo, similar in extent to the nitrogen retention previously achieved with recombinant growth hormone. It is reasonable to expand the criteria for androgen treatment in AWS to include at least patients in the lowest quartile of serum testosterone.


Safety and efficacy of nandrolone decanoate for treatment of wasting in patients with HIV infection.
Gold J, High HA, Li Y, Michelmore H, Bodsworth NJ, Finlayson R, Furner VL, Allen BJ, Oliver CJ.AIDS. 1996 Jun;10(7):745-52.

Albion Street Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of the anabolic steroid, nandrolone decanoate (Deca Durabolin) in patients with HIV wasting who are resistant to nutritional intervention. DESIGN: A 16-week open trial with subjects who had lost 5-15% of their usual body weight. SETTING: HIV/AIDS specialist ambulatory care services, both public and private, in sydney, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and twenty men entered the pre-therapy phase, and of these, 24 failed to gain weight and were enrolled. Seventeen subjects (81%) completed the 16-week trial. INTERVENTIONS: Pre-therapy nutritional assessment and education was conducted by the clinical dietitian. Those who failed to gain weight (10.9%) were treated with nandrolone decanoate (100 mg/ml) by deep intramuscular injection every 2 weeks for 16 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in weight and body composition (lean body mass, total body water and nitrogen index) were measured by anthropometry, bioelectrical impedance, and in vivo neutron activation. Changes in quality of life were assessed by the 30-item Medical Outcomes Study short form questionnaire. Changes in biochemistry, haematology and immunology were also measured. RESULTS: There were significant increases in weight (mean, 0.14 kg per week; P < 0.05) and lean body mass (mean, 3 kg by anthropometry; P < 0.005). The change in lean body mass was of similar magnitude across all measurement modalities. Quality of life parameters, especially functionality, increased significantly during the trial. No subject experienced toxicity. CONCLUSION: Nandrolone decanoate has beneficial effects on weight, lean body mass and quality of life in selected patients who have mild to moderate HIV wasting.


Nandrolone decanoate increases weight and lean body mass in HIV-infected women with weight loss: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial.
Mulligan K, Zackin R, Clark RA, Sattler FR, Santana J, Delvers T, Currier JS.Conf Retroviruses Opportunistic Infect. 2001 Feb 4-8;8:236 (abstract no. 641).

NIAID Adult AIDS Clin Trials Group, Bethesda, MD.Background: Lean body mass (LBM) is not consistently restored with potent antiretroviral therapy. Moreover, wasting persists as a prominent complication and a factor in mortality in populations with limited access to potent therapies, and there are few proven treatment options for women with wasting. ACTG 329 was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of nandrolone decanoate (ND), a synthetic testosterone derivative, in HIV+ women. Methods: Thirty-eight HIV+ women with an involuntary weight loss >/= 5% or BMI <20 kg/m2 were randomly assigned to receive ND (Organon Inc; 100 mg q2 wks by IM injection) or equivalent volume of placebo (P) for 12 weeks, followed by 12 weeks of open-label ND for all participants. Weight and body composition (BIA) were measured under fasting conditions at baseline and every 6 weeks. Dietary intake was also evaluated. Results: Baseline weight, body composition, and energy intake did not differ between groups. Thirty-three women (87%) completed the blinded treatment period (16 ND; 17 P). Those randomized to ND experienced significant increases in weight (median + 4.6 vs. + 0.1 kg [+ 9.0 vs. + 0.3%] in ND and P, respectively; p < 0.001) and LBM (+ 3.5 vs. - 0.4 kg [+ 8.6 vs. - 1.0%]; p <0.001). Changes in fat did not differ between groups (+ 0.7 vs. + 0.8 kg; p = 0.679). During open-label treatment, women originally assigned to P had significant increases in weight and LBM, while those originally assigned to ND sustained the increases achieved during the blinded phase. There were no significant differences between treatment groups in the proportions experiencing adverse events (clinical signs/symptoms or laboratory tests). Hoarseness, hirsutism, and clitoral enlargement, while rare, occurred primarily in the ND group. Conclusions: Nandrolone decanoate increases weight and LBM in HIV-infected women with weight loss and appears to have a tolerable safety profile.

Nelson Vergel
Executive Director
Program for Wellness Restoration, PoWeR
Don't Lose Your Body to HIV.
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