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Oxandrolone to Heal Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers are a painful condition commonly developed by elders experiencing nursing home abuse. Usually, older people must wait for the wound to heal for the pain caused by these skin injuries to stop. However, researchers are testing the effectiveness of the steroid oxandrolone in treating pressure ulcers and accelerating muscle growth.
What Are Pressure Ulcers?
Pressure ulcers are commonly known as bed sores. These unpleasant and painful skin injuries result from prolonged pressure on the skin. Usually, a person develops pressure ulcers if he or she spends most of the day in a bed or chair. Patients who have a medical condition that limits their ability to move or change positions may also develop pressure ulcers.
If bed confinement is the cause, pressure ulcers develop on:
- Shoulder blades
- Lower back
- The sides or back of the head
- The skin behind the knees
- Heels and ankles
Pressure ulcers cause changes to a person's skin color and texture, and may swell significantly. The skin around the ulcer can feel cool or warm compared to other areas on the skin. Usually, these sites are very tender and may expel pus.
If left untreated, pressure ulcers can develop into serious conditions such as:
- Bone infections
- Cancer, specifically squamous cell carcinoma
- Joint infections
If a nursing home does not provide adequate exercise for its residents, they can develop pressure ulcers. In addition, pressure ulcers are one of the common signs of nursing home abuse. If an older person develops these painful sores, it is usually a sign that they are not receiving adequate care from nursing home staff.
Treatment for pressure ulcers include a lengthy wound cleaning process. This process can be painful. Medical professionals will remove dead, damaged, or infected tissue from the sores. Doctors will then dress the pressure ulcers with a combination of bandages that need frequent changing. The injured person may receive drugs to control pain and fight potential infections.
What is Oxandrolone?
Oxandrolone is an anabolic steroid developed by scientists. Chemically, the drug is similar to testosterone. It promotes the growth of muscle tissue and provides multiple benefits for different medical conditions.
- Oxandrolone helps patients regain weight after surgery, trauma, or infections. In addition, oxandrolone can help significantly underweight people gain and achieve a healthy weight.
- Oxandrolone helps reduce bone pain in osteoporosis patients.
- The drug also helps reduce muscle loss, which is a side effect of other steroid medications.
Oxandrolone, while effective, can cause a number of side effects in both men and women. Breast swelling, insomnia, changes in sex drive, and feelings of excitement are common in all patients. Due to its similarities to testosterone, women may experience acne, changes in menstrual cycles, a deepened voice, and hair growth on the chin or chest.
How Oxandrolone Can Treat Pressure Ulcers
Recent studies show that oxandrolone may be able to accelerate pressure ulcer healing and make the treatment process less painful. However, current research on this subject is not extensive as compared to other treatment options.
One 2013 study examined 779 veterans who had severe pressure ulcers and spinal cord injuries. Between August 2005 and November 2008, researchers sought participants from various Veterans Affairs medical centers to test the effects of oxandrolone on their injuries.
This study's methodology followed a careful process:
- First, patients underwent a screening phase. They received standard medical care for their pressure ulcers, including wound treatment. In addition, doctors used alternative treatments such as UV light therapy, electrical stimulation, and laser treatment.
- By the end of the 4-week screening phase, treatments did not heal pressure ulcers in 212 patients. Researchers gave 104 patients a placebo and 108 patients a daily dose of 20 mg of oxandrolone.
- The study then entered the treatment phase. Patients remained in the study for 24 weeks or until their pressure ulcers fully healed, depending on which came first. Researchers also monitored the patients whose ulcers healed during the screening phase to examine if the injuries remained healed.
Although approximately one-third of the patients in the study did not complete treatment, the findings saw an interesting trend in ulcer healing.
- 24% of participants in the oxandrolone group saw healed pressure ulcers.
- 17% of patients who received oxandrolone maintained healed ulcers.
- 15% of placebo group patients maintained healed ulcers.
The findings of this study do not indicate that oxandrolone had an effect on accelerating pressure ulcer treatment. However, there are limitations on the current research on the drug and this bed injury. While oxandrolone may not be effective as the only course of treatment, it may be effective when paired with other pressure ulcer treatment options.
Seek Help for Nursing Home Abuse Today
Have you or a loved one experienced abuse at the hands of a trusted nursing home? You may be eligible for compensatory damages to pay for pressure ulcer medication, treatment costs, and more.
Contact Nursing Home Law Center LLC today to discuss your legal options and to receive a free case evaluation. Based in Chicago, our firm gladly represents clients throughout the United States.