Anavar has a reputation for being safer than other anabolic-androgenic steroids. In particular, it is thought to be safe for both women and men.
While you would not typically use Anavar to bulk up or add significant muscle size, it can help produce gains in lean muscle mass or to get ripped and toned quickly.
Before considering use of any anabolic steroid, research the basics, how it functions in the body, and not only benefits in regard to bodybuilding and athletic performance, but also in potential side effects.Click here to visit our recommended supplier.
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Anavar is the brand name of an oral synthetic anabolic steroid (tablet form). It’s created in a laboratory as a variation of the male hormone testosterone.
It’s also most commonly known in the US by its generic name, oxandrolone.
Oxandrolone has both anabolic and androgenic properties similar to that of endogenous (body-produced) testosterone.
It’s known by a number of other chemical names including but not limited to:
Molecular formula C19H30O3
It’s a discontinued drug product in the US according to the FDA Orange Book .
In medical and therapeutic scenarios, oxandrolone, an endocrine metabolic agent, was often prescribed to help individuals regain weight that was lost due to chronic health conditions, trauma, or surgical procedures.
Oxandrolone ranges in strength from 2.5 mg to 10 mg tablets and is packaged by a number of different companies including American Health Packaging, Watson Laboratories, and Upsher Smith Laboratories, to name a few.
Anavar is also found and available in a number of international brands: Anavar is manufactured by Pfizer, while Oxadrin is manufactured by Savient Pharmaceuticals, and Xtendrol is manufactured by Atlantis.
Anavar (oxandrolone) is known to boost anabolic processes and increase protein synthesis. It belongs to a subclass of compounds called steroid lactones.
Its molecular framework is defined as an aliphatic heteropolycyclic compound that may be indicated for a variety of pharmacological treatment approaches including the promotion of weight gain – after a person loses weight following complicated or extensive surgery, trauma, or chronic infection.
It may also be recommended in specific “failure to thrive” or failure to gain weight scenarios or when a person is unable to maintain normal weight.
In medical situations, it may also be recommended in the treatment of protein catabolism often caused by long-term use of corticosteroids.
The main mechanism of action of oxandrolone is its ability to interact with androgen receptors in target tissues.
It has a half-life of approximately one hour during the first phase of release, and nine hours during the second phase of release.
Its ability to target androgen receptors may regulate and affect cellular proliferation and differentiation, and also applies to muscular cellular tissues that can impact muscle growth – hence its popularity with bodybuilders.
Because of its potential to increase anabolism, it bolsters the retention of muscle tissue and has been used as a treatment to reduce the risk of HIV-related cachexia (muscle wasting), alcoholic hepatitis, and some neuromuscular conditions and disorders.
History of use dates back over three decades in regard to medical treatments, efficacy was positive and beneficial, but only under close medical supervision.
Anavar is considered a “gentler” anabolic steroid in that it does not appear to have the negative impact on liver metabolism as other potent anabolic steroids.
As a result, oxandrolone is not perceived to contribute to otherwise serious liver toxicity side effects including cholestatic hepatitis, Peliosis hepatis, jaundice, neoplasms, and hyperplasia generally linked to C-17 alpha-alkylated anabolic steroids.
It should be noted however, that a potential for liver toxicity and resulting damage to the liver may occur with use of any anabolic androgenic steroid depending on dosage, frequency of dosage, and length of use.
The medical community at large (domestically and abroad) discourages the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids for non-medical use.
This is not only because of the potential risks and dangers, but because the majority of studies (animal and human) have not shown a significant benefit in increasing muscle strength or athletic performance.
Some of the weight gain linked to specific anabolic steroids is in many cases nothing more than fluid retention, a common side effects of anabolic steroids.
As mentioned, Anavar has been used in the treatment of a variety of medical case scenarios including weight gain following a chronic infection or illness.
In such cases, dosage recommendations ranged 2.5 mg to 20 mg a day divided into oral doses every six to 12 hours for two to four weeks.
For the treatment of catabolism associated with long-term use of corticosteroids, a similar dose was also recommended.
Because of its ability to reduce catabolism, Anavar was, and in some locations, still is recommended in the treatment of cachexia or HIV-wasting and muscle wasting, and in the treatment of muscular dystrophy and other muscular loss conditions such as Duchenne’s and Becker’s muscular dystrophy, but this use is not widespread.
Anavar has been used to treat a number of medical conditions including short stature linked to Turner’s syndrome in female children and as an adjunct treatment of growth failure caused by deficiencies or damage to the pituitary gland and its production and secretion of growth hormone that can contribute to pituitary dwarfism.
One recent study noted the beneficial impact of anabolic steroids on neurons found in the brain and spinal cord.
Another case report described benefits of use on an individual who used oxandrolone for three months (20 mg daily) along with strength training three times a week.
He had been diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Toot 1 (a disease that shreds the myelin from neural fibers).
Following treatment the patient was observed to have increased muscular strength and enhanced neuromuscular muscular efficiency , but this is a one case study, and should certainly not be suggested that anabolic androgenic steroids are always beneficial.
These cases were supervised by medical professionals and controlled doses.
In bodybuilding circles, Anavar/oxandrolone is known to possess relatively high anabolic properties and low androgenic characteristics.
It’s derived from dihydrotestosterone, which in the body is converted from testosterone. It is favored among bodybuilders because of its low estrogenic/progestational side effects.
It can produce muscle gains without the potentially damaging side effects associated with other anabolic steroids, but individuals will react differently to the drug.
It’s also used in cutting or dieting phases to increase speed as well anaerobic performance effects.
While Anavar was recommended in medical scenarios at an average of 5 mg to 10 mg a day, athletes often take very high doses ranging 15 mg to 25 mg a day.
While this doesn’t seem like a dangerous dosage, oxandrolone is often combined with other drugs such as testosterone averaging 200 mg to 400 mg a day.
It’s this combination of other drugs that contribute to the increased risk of side effects.
Bodybuilders often stack other drugs with their steroids and drugs to enhance benefits and/or to reduce the potential for side effects and adverse reactions.
Even in medically supervised scenarios, it’s often extremely difficult to balance hormone levels after they’ve been disrupted.
Diet, age, weight, and other contributing factors also have an impact on this difficulty.
Bodybuilders combining drugs to achieve certain results or to reduce side effects can end up disrupting normal hormonal and metabolic functions in the body.
Before stacking any drugs with Anavar or any other anabolic steroid for that matter, be aware of what those drugs, whether they be growth hormone, anti-estrogenic, anti-progestational, or anti-aromatizing drugs are used for and how they behave in the body.
This takes quite a bit of guesswork on the part of athletes. Yes, it’s common to find recommendations for Anavar stacks on bodybuilding websites, but these differ widely depending on website.
Individuals taking Anavar should be aware of the possibility that these combinations are either too weak or too strong to have much of an effect on reducing estrogenic, progestational, or androgenic effects of their steroid of choice.
For example, various forms of testosterone (testosterone cypionate, testosterone propionate, or testosterone enanthate) are often combined at the end of a stacking cycle to increase potency of the anabolic effects of the steroid.
Some websites recommend anywhere from 200 mg to 400 mg a week, evenly spaced.
This stacking combination is encouraged for those wishing to speed up their muscle mass gains.
In dieting or cutting phases, bodybuilding websites often recommend combining Anavar with a steroid that doesn’t aromatize or convert testosterone into estrogen, or at least resists such activity.
Trenbolone acetate is often suggested at an average of 150 mg a week. Beginners should avoid Trenbolone in any form however, as it’s extremely potent.
It is recommended that bodybuilders new to stacking start at the lowest dosage possible to gauge how the body reacts to the drug/s.
Not all users will experience the same results. Depending on genetics and predispositions, some of the drugs used to counteract estrogenic or androgenic effects may not be effective at all.
Some of the most common drugs used to resist estrogenic effects of anabolic steroids include Nolvadex, Clomid, and Letrozole.
Drugs of that reduce synthesis of prolactin and in turn, progesterone, which is similar to estrogen, include but are not limited to Parlodell (bromocriptine mesylate) and Dostinex (cabergoline).
Prolactin is a form of protein. It’s also known as luteotropic hormone or more simply as luteotropin. This hormone is an estrogenic type hormone that encourages production of milk in pregnant and nursing females.
Anti-prolactin drugs such as those previously mentioned are often somewhat effective in decreasing levels of prolactin and reducing estrogenic effects often associated with anabolic steroids.
Reductase inhibitors such as Proscar (finasteride) or Avodart (dutasteride) are deemed effective in reducing or blocking activities of an enzyme (5-alpha reductase) that is responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a potent hormone (androgenic) linked to maintenance of male physical characteristics in the body.
The most commonly mentioned steroids on bodybuilding websites regarding reductase inhibitors include Proscar, Jalyn, and Avodart.
Be aware that all of these drugs: the anti-estrogenic to anti-prolactins, and the reductase inhibitors, are also prescription-only.
As always, use caution when ordering drugs without a prescription online, and especially from foreign underground labs and black-market resources.
The same dangers that apply to purchasing illegal anabolic steroids also apply to any and all drugs that are associated with anabolic steroid use by bodybuilders: what you think you’re getting may not always be what you get.
The potential for counterfeit, contaminated, or the possibility of dangerous fillers in drugs received online is always present.
Anabolic activities of Anavar are deemed effective by bodybuilders because of its structure – designed to encourage resistance to catabolism in skeletal muscle tissues.
Because of its low estrogenic effects, oxandrolone resists conversion from testosterone into estrogen (aromatization), so bodybuilders don’t feel compelled to use anti-estrogenic drugs to prevent typical estrogen-like side effects such as water retention, increase in body fat, and gynecomastia.
However, that doesn’t mean that such side effects may not occur depending on individual reactions to the drug.
Side effects among men and women using oxandrolone (Anavar) are case dependent.
Individual reactions and results when using anabolic steroids depend on age, weight, overall health status, diet, exercise and exercise intensity, and genetics.
Among women, virilization is the most undesired, yet common side effect. For example, women may note growth of hair on the face and on the body.
Amenorrhea or irregularities in menstrual cycles are also a potential side effect of anabolic-androgenic steroid usage. Women may also experience a deeper or hoarser voice and enlarged clitoris.
Some of these side effects of virilization are irreversible, even if the steroid is discontinued at the first sign of such reactions.
Be aware that although anabolic steroids like Anavar may prove beneficial in some cases, non-medical use does not negate the numerous and negative reports of damaging effects of anabolic steroids on the central nervous system.
Liver damage may occur with use of oral anabolic steroids like oxandrolone due to the substituted 17-alpha-carbon. Men are at risk for testicular atrophy and prostatic hypertrophy. Men also can experience a number of side effects, including priapism.
A recent case study of the 24-year-old man experiencing repetitive incidence of priapism (along with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, use of street drugs, and admitted long-term usage of oral oxandrolone) was treated in an emergency room for his seventh episode of priapism, the most recent lasting 36 hours.
While oxandrolone and other anabolic steroids can have a positive effect on increasing synthesis of proteins in muscle and other tissues, use of anabolic steroids can also have a negative impact.
Even though Anavar produces fewer extreme androgenic effects than other anabolic steroids does not make it perfectly safe for users.
Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breast-feeding should avoid use of Anavar and other anabolic-androgenic steroids due to possible dangers of fetal development as well as risks to infant growth and health.
Also be aware of the emotional and mental side effects associated with anabolic steroid usage. The most common side effects in this regard include irrational or erratic behavior, increased aggressiveness, and erratic mood swings.
A number of bodybuilding forum discussions state that they’ve read that anabolic steroids don’t have an effect on brain function directly, but in a way they do.
In animal studies, anabolic steroids have been shown to influence synthesis of dopamine in the brain.
Some studies have sought to explore and assess the relationship between dopamine and steroids, especially in regard to Parkinson’s patients, and the potential of steroids to have a beneficial impact on a number of central nervous system disorders.
These studies are years away from determining whether benefits overwhelmingly outweigh risks of use.
In the meantime, it’s important for bodybuilders to accept the fact that misuse, overuse, and abuse of anabolic steroids can have a negative impact on brain chemical activities and pathways including production and function of dopamine and serotonin, both of which have a vital influence on emotional aspects of health.
Before considering use of Anavar or other anabolic-androgenic steroids for physical performance enhancement, physique, or bodybuilding competitions, understand that gains are temporary.
As the drugs are discontinued, those gains will gradually disappear.
The same cannot always be said of the side effects and adverse reactions to drug use, not only limited to the anabolic steroid itself, but other drugs as mentioned that are designed to enhance benefits or negate or reduce side effects and adverse reactions.