Classification of Androgens and Related Drugs

Androgens are a class of hormones that are typically associated with male sexual development and characteristics. These hormones play a crucial role in both males and females, although they are present in higher concentrations in males. Androgens and related drugs are used in medicine for various purposes, including hormone replacement therapy and the treatment of certain medical conditions.

  • Androgens
    • Natural Testosterone- Dihydrotestosterone, Androsterone
    • Synthetic- Methyl testosterone, Fluoxymesterone, Mesterolone
  • Anabolic steroids- Methandienone, Nandrolone, phenylpropionate, Nandrolone, decanoate, Oxymetholone, Stanozolol
  • Antiandrogens- Cyproterone acetate, Flutamide, Bicalutamide
  • 5a-Reductase inhibitors- Finasteride, Dutasteride

Natural Androgens

Testosterone: Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and the most well-known androgen. It is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle mass. Testosterone is produced in the testes in men and in smaller amounts in the ovaries in women.

Synthetic Androgens

  • Anabolic Steroids: These are synthetic variations of testosterone that are often used to promote muscle growth, bone density, and the development of male sexual characteristics. However, they are also misused in sports and bodybuilding due to their performance-enhancing effects.
  • Nandrolone: Nandrolone is a synthetic androgen and anabolic steroid. It is used medically to treat anemia and muscle wasting conditions.
  • Stanozolol: Stanozolol is another synthetic androgen and anabolic steroid used to treat hereditary angioedema and stimulate muscle growth.

Progestins with Androgenic Activity

  • Norethindrone: This is a synthetic progestin with mild androgenic activity. It is used in hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Levonorgestrel: Levonorgestrel is another synthetic progestin with some androgenic effects. It is commonly used in birth control methods.


  • Flutamide: Flutamide is an antiandrogen drug used in the treatment of prostate cancer. It blocks the action of androgens on the prostate cells.
  • Spironolactone: While primarily a diuretic, spironolactone has antiandrogenic properties and is used to treat conditions like hirsutism in women and transgender hormone therapy.
  • Cyproterone Acetate: This antiandrogen is used in the treatment of hypersexuality, androgen-dependent skin conditions, and as a component of transgender hormone therapy.
  • Bicalutamide: Bicalutamide is an antiandrogen used to treat prostate cancer. It competes with androgens for binding to the androgen receptors in prostate cells.

5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors

Finasteride: Finasteride inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is used to treat conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness.

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs)

SARMs are a class of compounds that have tissue-selective androgenic effects. They are under investigation for various potential medical uses, such as muscle wasting disorders and osteoporosis, but are not yet approved for widespread use.

Understanding the classification of androgens and related drugs is essential for their proper medical use and to prevent their misuse, especially in the context of anabolic steroids. These drugs can have significant effects on the body, and their use should always be under medical supervision.


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