Oxandrolone is a synthetic androstane steroid and a 17α-alkylated derivative of DHT.    It is also known as 2-oxa-17α-methyl-5α-dihydrotestosterone (2-oxa-17α-methyl-DHT) or as 2-oxa-17α-methyl-5α-androstan-17β-ol-3-one, and is DHT with a methyl group at the C17α position and the C2 carbon replaced with an oxygen atom.    Closely related AAS include the marketed AAS mestanolone (17α-methyl-DHT), oxymetholone (2-hydroxymethylene-17α-methyl-DHT), and stanozolol (a 2,3- pyrazole A ring -fused derivative of 17α-methyl-DHT) and the never-marketed/ designer AAS desoxymethyltestosterone (3-deketo-17α-methyl-δ 2 -DHT), methasterone (2α,17α-dimethyl-DHT), methyl-1-testosterone (17α-methyl-δ 1 -DHT), and methylstenbolone (2,17α-dimethyl-δ 1 -DHT).   
After the Kefauver Harris Amendment was passed in 1962, the . FDA began the DESI review process to ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs approved under the more lenient pre-1962 standards, including Dianabol.  In 1965, the FDA pressured CIBA to further document its legitimate medical uses, and re-approved the drug for treating post-menopausal osteoporosis and pituitary-deficient dwarfism .  After CIBA's patent exclusivity period lapsed, other manufacturers began to market generic metandienone in the .