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Modified Testosterone

danazol

Approved by the FDA in the 1970s to treat endometriosis, danazol is currently used to treat a number of diseases off-label, including ITP. It is a synthetic androgen (male sex hormone) that disrupts the production of estrogen.1 Danazol is considered a second-line treatment for ITP, used after other treatments are considered or fail. In a small trial, 67% of patients achieved a partial or complete response, however severe adverse effects were seen in almost 20% of the participants.2 ITP patients can take from three to six months to respond.3

Dosage

Danazol is a pill given at a dose of 200 mg. 2-4 times daily (10-15 mg/kg/d).

Side Effects

Because it is a male hormone, it can have a masculizing effect in females, promoting unwanted hair growth, deepening the voice, and decreasing breast size. In men it can effect sperm production. Danazol can cause fluid retention which could be a factor in those with other conditions exacerbated by increased fluid volume such as coronary disease, kidney disease and migraines.4

Precautions: It is not to be used in pregnant women, those about to become pregnant, or women who are breastfeeding.4 Danocrine is metabolized in the liver and can elevate liver enzymes. It should not be given to those with liver problems and liver function should be checked periodically.4

Predicting Success

Older females and those without a spleen may have a higher response rate.2

References

1. Wikipedia: Danazol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danazol
2. Maloisel F et al. “Danazol therapy in patients with chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: long-term results.” Am J Med. 2004 May 1;116(9):590-4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15093754
3. Provan, D, “International consensus report on the investigation and management of primary immune thrombocytopenia,” Blood. 2010 Jan 14; 115 (2):168-86. http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/content/full/115/2/168
4. Medline Plus: Danazol http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682599.html