Definition - What does Danazol mean?

Danazol is a medication that has been used to treat endometriosis, a chronic condition that leads to the growth of endometrial tissues outside of the uterus, causing pain and infertility. Because of the potential side effects, it is not considered to be a first line treatment and is not used as commonly since the introduction of GnRH agonists.

Danazol is not a cure for endometriosis, but rather it temporarily suppresses its growth.

FertilitySmarts explains Danazol

Danazol is an androgenic agent that mimics a natural predominantly male hormone. It opposes the growth of endometrial tissues by suppressing the release of pituitary gonadotropins (growth signals for sex metabolism) and interacting with sex hormone receptors. It suppresses the surge of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which reduces ovarian estrogen production, an important factor in endometrial proliferation.

Common side effects include acne, hirsutism (unwanted hair), weight gain, and myalgia (muscle pain). Patients should be aware of possible sun-sensitivity and should avoid direct sun exposure and tanning beds. It is important to use reliable contraception while taking danazol as well as up to several months after discontinuation. Serious birth defects are linked to danazol. Patients with clotting disorders and hepatic dysfunction should avoid this medication as it can worsen these conditions.

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