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September 9, 1974

Nandrolone in Anorexia Nervosa

Author Affiliations

Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center Norwalk, Conn

JAMA. 1974;229(11):1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230490025015

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To the Editor.—  To add to Dr. Feinstein's comments on anorexia nervosa in the June 3 issue of The Journal (228:1230, 1974), I would like to mention a method of treatment that I find to be effective.A 14-year-old girl was steadily losing weight. Her weight reached an alarming low. She looked like a skeleton, with a cadaverous and emaciated facial expression. I treated her an additional few weeks without success; we were getting closer to hospitalization and to force-feeding.It occurred to me that I might try nandrolone, an anabolic agent. I was aware of the possible masculinizing effects of the drug and therefore decided to use it very sparingly. I injected 25 mg of nandrolone and waited two weeks before giving the second shot.I stopped encouraging the girl to eat and had the parents follow my lead. Two weeks later, and after further weight decline, I administered