Anti-androgens, that are also known as androgen blockers, that are medication taken by females to prevent the effect of androgens on the responsive tissue. Antiandrogen is any one of a group of drugs that act as androgen receptor blockers. There are two types of antiandrogens, pure or non-steroidal and steroidal. They block the effects of androgens (male hormones; testosterone and dihydrotestosterone). Some androgens work by lowering the production of androgens while some block the body’s capability to use those androgens that are produced.
First anti-androgen drug was discovered in 1960. Anti-androgens are used to treat only those diseases that are androgen-dependent. In males, anti-androgens are not prescribed for the skin problems, but only for prostate cancer. Anti-androgens are most frequently used or hyperandrogenism.
There are some chemicals like pesticides and phthalates, that show some anti-androgenic effects. Some plants also produce anti-androgens.
HOW DOES ANTI-ANDROGEN WORK ?
Antiandrogens work in different ways to prevent the effect of androgen on body tissues. They may work in the following ways:
- By blocking androgen receptors.
- By reducing adrenal androgen production
- By reducing the ovarian androgen production in females.
- By reducing pituitary production associated with prolactin
- By inhibiting 5-alpha reductase enzyme that tends to increase dihydroxytestosterone in the skin.
- By reducing insulin resistance.
DISEASES THAT CAN BE TREATED WITH ANTIANDROGENS:
Antiandrogen medications are also used to treat many diseases and disorders. These range from mental problems to skin disorders, which include:
Paraphilias is known as a collection of mental diseases which is characterized by recurrent and intense urges and behaviors involving objects other than human, nonconsenting adults or children. This condition may involve humiliation and pain. Antiandrogen medication are used to cure paraphilias in males by lowering the blood testosterone which helps to control their sexual urges.
Early and advance prostate cancer can be treated with the help of antiandrogen drugs. They work by blocking testosterone that encourages the growth spread of cancer.
Hirsutism is characterized by excessive facial and body hair in women. It is usually caused by the high level of androgens in the blood. Hirsutism is thought to be a sign of PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome-a condition in which larger cysts develop in the ovaries to produce too much androgen.
As we know that antiandrogens decrease the sebum production-the main cause of acne. By taking antiandrogens that can reduce sebum production can actually treat cystic acne.
It characterized by hair loss that happens both in women and men. It is genetic disorder. It is also called pattern baldness.
Absence of menstrual periods in females in some conditions is known as amenorrhea. It is caused by high levels of androgens in the blood stream. Antiandrogen medications may help to treat this disorder.
Virilization is a severe form of hyperandrogenism in women. It causes changes in voice, male pattern baldness, and the overgrowth of skeletal muscles. Antiandrogens may cure this condition.
Males that undergo a gender change treatment, are prescribed antiandrogen drugs.
These medications and drugs include:
It is a luteinizing hormone-releasing agonist (LHRH). It resembles a chemical produced in the hypothalamus that tends to lower the level of testosterone in the blood. It also lowers the level of estrogen in females. Endometriosis known as tumor in uterus, may be cured by this agonist. It may treat paraphilias in males.
It works as the same way as leuprolide. But this LHRH agonist is not recommended for women.
It is a anti fungal drug available in tablets. It is used to treat hirsutism.
It is recently introduced to treat prostate cancer in men, that don’t want a surgery. It works by blocking hormone receptors in pituitary gland.
It is a LHRH agonist.
It is a nonsteroidal antiandrogen medication that blocks the body’s ability to use androgen.
It works just like the same as flutamide.
It is a non steroidal drug that blocks body’s ability to use androgen.
It is a potassiumsparing diuretic. It may treat excess androgen in women.
It is a steroidal drug lowers testosterone in men. It also blocks body’s capability to use androgens.