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Mesterolone is an orally applicable androgen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derivative. It is sold under the brand name Proviron (as Provironum in Asia-Pacific region), by Bayer Schering Pharma (earlier by Schering). In the late 70s and early 80s, it was used with some success in controlled studies of men suffering from various forms of depression. Mesterolone is a relatively weak androgen and rarely used for replacement therapies.
In one small scale clinical trial of depressed patients, an improvement of symptoms which included anxiety, lack of drive and desire was observed. In patients with dysthymia, unipolar, and bipolar depression significant improvement was observed. In this series of studies, mesterolone lead to a significant decrease in LH and testosterone levels. In another study, 100 mg mesterolone cipionate was administered twice monthly. With regards to plasma T levels, there was no difference between the treated vs untreated group, and baseline LH levels were minimally affected.
Mesterolone had seen widespread use in bodybuilding primarily for antiestrogenic activity in anabolic steroid stacks but such use has declined after introduction of aromatase inhibitors and SERMs. Most significant benefits of current Mesterolone use are considered by bodybuilders to be maintaining libido off-cycle and also relatively and temporarily improving vascularity.
- SH-434 (17-propylmesterolone) (17 beta-hydroxy-1 alpha-methyl-17 alpha-propyl-5 alpha-androstan-3-one). antiandrogen
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- Meso-RX Steroid Profiles - Proviron (Mesterolone)
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- Morrison, Mary Chase (2000). Hormones, Gender and the Aging Brain: The Endocrine Basis of Geriatric Psychiatry. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-521-65304-5.