Understanding any anabolic androgenic steroid and how it works in the body, dosage commonly recommended by bodybuilders, expectations in regard to results, and side effects are important prior to taking any form of the drug.
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Known generically as oxandrolone, the drug has been around since the 1960s. In medical environments it was used to encourage muscle growth in malnourished patients or those diagnosed with “failure to thrive”.
It was also used in the treatment of certain types of anemia.
The drug, commonly known as Anadrol 50 because of its 50 mg oral tablets, is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance available through prescription only.
Because it’s commonly known by different brand names and synonyms depending on manufacturer and country of origin, it’s often confused with other drugs, especially in generic form. Some of the most common names for Anadrol include:
This is just a sampling of the more than 100 synonyms the drug is known by; therefore it’s best to be aware of its chemical or molecular formula: C21H32O3.
The drug is classified as a hematopoietic and metabolic-endocrine agent. Its ability to encourage synthesis of red blood cells has proven beneficial in treating certain types of anemias caused by red blood cell deficiencies. Click here to visit our recommended supplier.
The basic mechanism of action of Anadrol (and its original intention) is to improve production as well as excretion (urinary) of erythropoietin in individuals diagnosed with anemia caused by failure of the bone marrow to manufacture adequate levels of red blood cells.
As an anabolic steroid, oxandrolone has been noted to stimulate red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) for patients diagnosed with anemia caused by deficiencies in this regard. Such treatment is effective for individuals diagnosed with:
In addition to its ability to encourage erythropoiesis, oxandrolone/Anadrol is also known to help the body maintain optimal nitrogen balances in the muscles.
Balances of nitrogen are vital in body functions because it serves as a balance between anabolism (tissue building) and catabolism (tissue destruction). Nitrogen is required for the production of protein.
Protein is required for the manufacture of new muscle cells and for life in regard to other cells in the body.
Oxandrolone has also been studied for its ability to inhibit breakdown and excretion of nitrogen and calcium in individuals undergoing long-term corticosteroid therapy, such as those diagnosed with asthma, or in the treatment of burn patients or those diagnosed with HIV dealing with muscle-wasting (cachexia) .
It is also effective in promoting muscle maintenance for patients with chronic illnesses, immobilization due to illness or injury, and other illnesses or disease processes that contribute to muscular atrophy.
In the past, oxandrolone was also used in the treatment of osteoporosis, but is no longer used for this purpose as the risks of side effects and adverse reactions more than outweigh the benefits in regard to bone strength and production of osteoblasts, or bone cells that contribute to bone mass and strength.
In recent years, oxandrolone has mainly been used as an adjunct therapy to highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) for individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS because of its ability to promote regulation of hormone levels as well as metabolism.
In medical situations and in the treatment of adult anemia caused by a lack of production of red blood cells, average dose of oxandrolone is 1 mg to 2 mg per kilogram daily, but may range up to 5 mg per kilogram on a daily basis.
In many cases, doctors caution their patients that optimal results may not be seen for three to six months.
When it comes to medical usage, and to increase red blood cell synthesis, an oral dose of between 1 mg and 5 mg per kilogram per day was often recommended, although the average individual experienced beneficial results at 1 mg to 2 mg per kilogram per day.
A man weighing 80 kg (approximately 176 pounds) would likely be recommended to start at an 80 mg dose and observed for efficacy and results.
Bodybuilding websites often suggest alarmingly high dosages of anabolic androgenic steroids, but not so much with Anadrol.
Anadrol is often recommended in a range of 25 mg to 150 mg (oral) daily, which is fairly close to what medical recommendations would be based on weight, to be used in cycles that don’t last more than eight weeks in order to reduce the risk of liver toxicity.
Nonmedical usage of Anadrol as an anabolic androgenic steroid by bodybuilders is common (though not condoned) because of its ability to increase endurance, stamina, strength, and muscle mass, in combination with its capability to increase red blood cell production and nitrogen retention in the muscles.
Both activities are essential for muscle cell development, growth, strength, and function.
Anadrol produces relatively fast results. Its strong anabolic properties and relatively low androgenic characteristics make it popular. Even though it has low androgenic properties, it does produce high levels of estrogenic activity.
Due to its potency, quick gains are often realized in regard to muscle mass and weight gain, often within less than eight weeks; quite a bit faster than the lower doses recommended by medical professionals.
Note – While Anadrol has the reputation of producing fast and quite impressive weight gains and muscle mass, much of the weight gain and muscular measurement increases are due to water retention or water weight.
Bodybuilders don’t care for this, but often deal with it due to the perception that the extra fluid will help protect the joints.
Excessive muscular growth on a lean frame doesn’t always equate to equal strength, flexibility, or durability of the tendons and ligaments attaching muscle to bone.
Bodybuilders often experience tendon and ligament tears as well as muscle tissue and structural joint damage due to excessive muscle growth on bone and skeletal structures not designed to compensate for that mass.
As a variation of the male hormone testosterone, Anadrol can serve to improve nitrogen balance in the muscles when coupled with adequate dietary protein and caloric intake.
As mentioned, nitrogen is found in a number of amino acids required for the creation of protein.
Even with its ability to increase levels of red blood cells, which transport oxygen and nutrients to muscles, among other functions, it’s important for bodybuilders and athletes to remember that even too much of a good thing can prove detrimental to health.
Higher than needed levels of red blood cells in the body contribute to a condition known as polycythemia. It’s a type of blood cancer caused by excessive amounts of red blood cells in the body.
The prevalence of too many red blood cells can contribute to decreased blood flow and circulation as well as development of blood clots inside vessels.
Because of a potential for adverse reactions and due to the development of newer drugs that provide similar benefits without the extreme risk for side effects, use of oxandrolone/Anadrol for a number of conditions has generally declined, but it is still useful in a number of medical scenarios.
When it comes to Anadrol reviews, pay attention to the milligram strength, dosage, and frequency of dosage of the user when balanced against results.
Some bodybuilders take as much as 100 mg a day in evenly spaced dosages to achieve fast results. Individuals will experience results based on age, weight, body composition, frame, diet, exercise, and so forth.
Bodybuilders are fond of claiming that when anabolic androgenic steroids are used responsibly, the potential for side effects and adverse reactions is decreased.
It’s also no secret that bodybuilders and athletes seeking accelerated and impressive results when it comes to muscle growth, size, and physique often take much higher doses of an anabolic androgenic steroid than recommended for the treatment of a medical condition.
In a medical environments, use of oxandrolone/Anadrol is determined on a case-by-case basis. Side effects, contraindications, and warnings in regard to long-term damage to body organs and functions are increasingly prevalent.
Side effects and case studies involving non-medical use as well as medical use of oxandrolone have been reported in medical journals. Some recent studies have reported negative effects including:
Anadrol, even in low doses, does cause a number of estrogenic or female-like side effects. One of the most common (of concern to male athletes and bodybuilders) is gynecomastia.
Anabolic androgenic steroids can cause hormonal imbalances that contribute to breast enlargement in men and gynecomastia can occur in one or both breasts.
The aforementioned water retention is also common in regard to the estrogenic effects of Anadrol. To combat the estrogenic side effects, bodybuilders often combine or stack Anadrol with anti-estrogen drugs like Clomid or Nolvadex.
Both of these drugs are known as estrogen modulators and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) that are commonly used to treat infertility in women. Use of such drugs also come with their own potential side effects.
Though not controlled substances, they are prescription-only and banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency .
Side effects associated with use of anabolic androgenic steroids like Anadrol are one thing, but drugs like Clomid and Nolvadex can cause side effects and frustration in their own right. Common side effects associated with Clomid include:
Nolvadex (generic tamoxifen) is often recommended for women to decrease the risk of breast cancer in the presence of other types of cancers such as uterine cancer. Side effects associated with this drug include but are not limited to:
Hormone levels in the body must be carefully balanced. This is the responsibility of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Once hormone levels are disrupted, imbalances can have a huge impact on other hormones, hormone levels, and endocrine and metabolic as well as other activities and functions in the body.
It’s difficult even in medical scenarios to achieve hormone balances with prescribed drugs under medical supervision. Bodybuilders experimenting with a variety of dosages may experience numerous unexpected and often alarming side effects.
Anadrol can have a negative impact on cardiovascular function and contribute to peripheral edema (water retention) in the extremities, as well as potential risk for development of coronary artery disease.
The central nervous system may also be affected by Anadrol. Increased anxiety, “excitation” and possible sleeping difficulties and/or insomnia are also possible.
Because of its effect as a metabolic-endocrine agent, Anadrol can interfere with cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and libido. It can also increase levels of creatinine and in turn affect kidney function.
In addition to the potential side effects and adverse reactions associated with Anadrol/oxandrolone, manufacturers have cautioned numerous contraindications or warnings against use.
Some people are hypersensitive to the drug and various components found in it. Any man or woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer should not use Anadrol. The same applies to anyone diagnosed with prostate cancer or liver conditions.
Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid use of any anabolic androgenic steroid.
Individuals diagnosed with liver or kidney issues should discuss use of Anadrol with a physician.
Dosage adjustments may be offered, but because of the risk of water retention/edema, Anadrol is not recommended for anyone diagnosed with any kind of kidney impairment, dysfunction, or disease.
It’s also important for anyone taking an anabolic androgenic steroid to be aware of potential interactions with other drugs; not just prescription drugs, but over-the-counter medications as well.
Anadrol/oxandrolone should not be used by anyone taking drugs in the treatment of diabetic conditions. The same applies to C1 inhibitors or drugs prescribed for anti-clotting treatments such as warfarin/Coumadin.
This applies to over-the-counter use of vitamin K as a natural blood thinner as well. Use of corticosteroids, common in asthma treatments, as well as treatments for COPD or other lung disorders in combination with Anadrol may contribute to fluid retention.
Anadrol/oxandrolone is a prescription-only drug. Because a reputable doctor will not recommend anabolic androgenic steroids for non-medical use, bodybuilders must resort to black-market and underground labs for their drugs.
Some of these underground “pharmaceutical manufacturers” operate out of garages and basements. Even larger operations receive components for their products from questionable sources around the world.
Drugs manufactured in underground labs in foreign countries often contain expired ingredients, questionable and often dangerous fillers, contaminated products, and even heavy metals such as arsenic and lead.
In addition to the potential for receiving a counterfeit or otherwise useless product, be aware of the legal ramifications of shipping or receiving anabolic steroids through domestic and international delivery services.
In some countries around the world, use of anabolic androgenic steroids for personal use is perfectly legal.
Receiving those drugs through domestic and international mail carriers, general delivery services, and global shippers is not.
For competing bodybuilders and athletes, remember that methods for testing for anabolic steroids, metabolites, and even over-the-counter steroid alternatives have become more technologically advanced and stringent.
Before turning to potent anabolic androgenic steroids like Anadrol, learn as much as you can about the drug; how it affects the body, benefits as opposed to risks of use, and most importantly, the potential for long-term side effects and adverse reactions to organ and system functions in the body.