Because bacterial and hepatic oxidation of the 17^-hydroxyl to the 17-one is a key component of metabolic inactivation, 17a-alkyl groups have been added to prevent oxidation of the alcohol. Even though 17a-methyltestosterone is only about half as active as testosterone, it can be taken orally because its half-life is longer than that of testosterone. 17a-ethyl-testosterone has greatly reduced activity, as shown in Table 25.5.98 As mentioned previously, addition of an a-alkynyl group provides more progestogenic action than androgenic
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