Androstenedione is a type of chemical known as an anabolic steroid. It is converted in the body to other sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen.

Androstenedione is naturally made in the body. Most androstenedione comes from the testes, ovaries, and adrenal glands. The body begins to make less androstenedione after the age of 30.

People use androstenedione for muscle strength, athletic performance, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. It might also be unsafe.

In the US, androstenedione is a schedule III controlled substance that is not legal for use in supplements. But it is still found in some supplement products, especially those marketed for muscle strength and athletic performance. It is also banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Don't confuse androstenedione with other compounds, including 1-androsterone, 4-androsterone, androstenediol, androstenetrione, androsterone, 1-epiandrosterone, and epiandrosterone. These are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Androstenedione is possibly unsafe. It's been linked with serious side effects, including increased risk of breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. There is also some concern that the strength and purity of androstenedione products may not match the product labeling.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Androstenedione is likely unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. It might bring on labor and cause a miscarriage.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if androstenedione is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Androstenedione is likely unsafe when taken by mouth in children. It might stop bone growth and lead to shorter adult height. It might also cause early onset of puberty.

Depression: Androstenedione supplements might make depression worse in females. Females with severe major depression seem to have naturally high levels of androstenedione. But it is not known if taking androstenedione supplements causes depression.

Hormone-sensitive cancers and conditions: Androstenedione is the steroid hormone used by the body to make testosterone and estrogen. Patients with hormone sensitive conditions should avoid androstenedione. Some of these conditions include breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer; endometriosis; and uterine fibroids.

Liver disease: Androstenedione might harm the liver. Don't take androstenedione if you have any type of liver disease. Even if you don't have liver disease, it's best to get liver function tests if you take androstenedione.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Androstenedione supplements might worsen symptoms of PCOS. Patients with PCOS have naturally high levels of androstenedione. But it is not known if taking androstenedione supplements actually worsens symptoms of PCOS.

Prostate cancer: Androstenedione might increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. Don't use androstenedione if you have prostate cancer.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
  • Muscle strength. Taking androstenedione by mouth while resistance training does not seem to improve muscle strength or size in healthy males.
There is interest in using androstenedione for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of androstenedione might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals


Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Androstenedione seems to increase estrogen levels in the body. Taking androstenedione along with estrogen might increase the effects and side effects of estrogen.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods. has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 31/01/2024 11:00:00 and last updated on 08/12/2014 21:45:44. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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