Danazol stimulates erythropoiesis (there is a smaller effect on thrombopoiesis as well) through, it is thought, erythropoietin stimulation and it has been raditionally used to support blood counts. There amay be an anti-immune component in how it works and there are reports of its use for hemolytic anemia. However, the use of danazol for anemia has declined since the availability of synthetic erythropoeitin, a hormone produced by the kidney that promotes the formation of red blood cells in bone marrow. Procrit and Aranesp have largely supplanted Danazol. In the past, it has often been used in myelodysplasia for anemia. However, most supporting evidence is old and not rigorous. I searched for recent articles supporting Danazol and did not find more recent refernces than 2000 and these consist of retrospective reviews and case reports. The most recent review, in 1997, says: “Clinical activity for danazol, a semisynthetic attenuated androgen, appears to be limited to a small subset of patients with an associated immune-mediated cytopenia”.
F, Hernández-Boluda JC, Alvarez A, Nadal E, Montserrat E.
Danazol treatment of idiopathic myelofibrosis with severe anemia.Haematologica. 2000 Jun;85(6):595-9.
Nora Viniou, Eleni Plata, Evangelos Terpos, Eleni Variami, John Meletis, George Vaiopoulos, Dimitris Loukopoulos, Georgia Chatzidimitriou, Xenophon Yataganas
Danazol Therapy for Thrombocytopenia in Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Acta Haematol 2002;107:234-236
Cheson, Bruce D.
The Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Oncologist 1997 2: 28-39