Oxymetholone 40mg/ml 30 ml drop bottle
Anadrol (Oxymetholone), is a DHT-derived oral anabolic steroid.
In bodybuilding, Anadrol is considered the most powerful oral steroid on the market.
Anadrol, also known as A-bombs or Oxy’s, is predominantly used by bodybuilders in the off-season (when bulking); significantly increasing muscular size and strength.
Anadrol first came on the scene in 1959, when studied for research purposes by a pharmaceutical company named Syntex. They found Anadrol to be a successful treatment for anemia, osteoporosis and muscle-wasting conditions such as HIV/AIDS.
2 years later, Oxymetholone became available in the UK under the brand name Anapolon. Other brand names also came to the fore, including: Adroyd and Anadrol (marketed in the U.S).
In the early 1960s, Anadrol was widely available for bodybuilders to use for cosmetic purposes.
As Anadrol’s harsh side effects became increasingly well-known, the FDA limited prescriptions of oxymetholone in the mid-1970s. Bodybuilders were now unable to obtain Anadrol from their doctor, with it now being predominantly prescribed to patients suffering from anemia.
Anadrol is one of the few steroids that is still FDA-approved for medicinal purposes today (1), alongside Anavar, Testosterone and Deca Durabolin.
Legal Anadrol Alternative
- Rapid weight gain
- Enhances strength
- Oral form
- Joint support
- Fat loss
Rapid Weight Gain
Anadrol is quite possibly the best steroid in terms of weight gain, and blowing up a user’s muscles fast. This makes it a compound particularly coveted by skinny males who want huge gains.
The weight gained on Anadrol is typically comprised of muscle and water retention.
It is not uncommon for users to gain as much as 10lbs in the first week on Anadrol. By the 6th week, weight gain can increase to 30lbs. Roughly half of this is likely to be water.
Because Anadrol shifts a lot of water inside the muscle cells, muscle pumps in the gym can be described as ‘skin tearing. Pumps can become so huge where they are actually problematic, with some users describing lower back pumps as painful.
Anadrol will take a bodybuilder’s muscle size to a whole new level, with it being over 3x more anabolic than testosterone.
Some of this size will be temporary intracellular fluid retention, giving the muscles a constant pumped look.
However, the lean muscle gains on Anadrol are still significant, due to the steroid skyrocketing testosterone levels, protein synthesis and increasing nitrogen retention.
Scientists regard Anadrol as “one of the most potent steroids ever developed for building muscle“, with participants gaining 14.5lbs of muscle per 100lb of bodyweight in studies (2).
However, these results are based on high doses for excessive periods of time, thus results for a bodybuilder will be slightly less, assuming a shorter cycle and a more cautious dose.
18lbs of lean muscle is common for a first-time 6 week cycle of Anadrol. This will be roughly 60% of the overall weight gained.
Anadrol is arguably the greatest steroid in powerlifting and strongman circles. This is due to the sheer weight gain and the huge surge in testosterone.
It is common for users to add 30lbs to their bench press in the first 10 days on Anadrol.
By the end of a cycle, Anadrol has the ability to add approximately 60lbs to a user’s squat, deadlift and bench press.
Usually, the strength gained during these compound lifts will be double the bodyweight gained on Anadrol.
Strength levels can decrease by 40% post-cycle, which correlates with the same degree of weight loss.
Anadrol 50 essentially is a 50mg tablet. Thus, no injections are needed to reap the rewards from this steroid.
Injections can be very dangerous if the person doesn’t know what they are doing. One of the most common injection sites is the buttocks, which if done incorrectly can injure the sciatic nerve and cause paralysis (3).
Injections even when done safely, can be uncomfortable, which isn’t ideal when administering steroids with short half-lives (such as Anadrol), which require frequent injections.
Injecting into the buttocks may also mean users have to rely on friends or family to inject them.
Despite orals being more convenient and easier to take, there are drawbacks to taking pills, which will be detailed in the side effects section.
Anadrol is somewhat healthy for the joints, due to its water-retaining properties.
It lubricates the joints, increasing elasticity and decreasing inflammation or/and joint pain.
Thus, if a bodybuilder does have joint problems, taking a steroid such as Anadrol or Deca Durabolin may be more preferable to Winstrol for example; with the latter expelling water and creating more wear on the joints.
Some people believe Anadrol causes fat gain; however, this isn’t accurate.
All anabolic steroids, including Anadrol, are different types of exogenous testosterone.
Testosterone will build muscle and burn fat. Thus, different steroids will build muscle and burn fat to different degrees.
The reason why Anadrol may appear to cause fat gain is due to water retention. The puffiness and bloating from the excess fluid can give the appearance of a higher body fat percentage.
As it’s a bulking steroid, users are likely to combine Anadrol with a high-calorie diet, resulting in fat gain and additional water retention. This however is linked to the person’s diet and not directly related to Anadrol itself.
Therefore, if a maintenance calorie diet is adopted, the person will not gain subcutaneous fat.
However, Anadrol and other steroids can cause increases in visceral fat. This is not the fat you can pinch around your stomach, but instead located internally and wraps around your organs.
Generally, the better results experienced from a steroid, the worse the side effects are. Although Anadrol produces some of the best strength and mass gains, it is also a very harsh steroid. Thus, it is not recommended for beginners.
Anadrol’s side effects are:
- Liver toxicity
- High blood pressure
- Water retention
- Gynecomastia (possibility)
- Shuts down testosterone
- Hair loss
- Increased risk of injury
- Decreased well-being
One of the main concerns when taking Anadrol is that it is hepatotoxic.
It is a c17-alpha-alkylated compound, which essentially protects Anadrol from being deactivated via the liver. This allows a very high amount of Anadrol to remain active in the bloodstream when taken orally.
However, like all C17-alpha-alkylated steroids, they are straining on the liver.
Anadrol does have a saturated A-ring, which reduces its toxicity somewhat; however, studies confirm that liver health can deteriorate if high doses are used.
In a 2003 study, 89 men and women who were HIV/AIDS positive, took 100-150mg of Anadrol per day for 16 weeks (7).
25% of the 100mg group had their ALT/AST liver enzymes increase over 5 fold.
43% of the 150mg group’s ALT/AST increased over 5 fold.
Thus, Anadrol when taken in high doses for excessive periods of time is particularly damaging to the liver.
However, bodybuilders should have no reason to go above 100mg per day, as muscle/weight gains largely remained the same between the 100mg and 150mg groups in this study.
In another study, 31 elderly men took 50-100mg per day for 12 weeks. The 50mg did not experience any increase in liver enzymes, however the 100mg group experienced modest ALT and AST elevation. Although the 100mg group did not result in any cases of hepatic enlargement or cholestasis.
A 20-year-old Japanese woman who suffered from aplastic anemia was treated with Anadrol, taking 30mg/a day for 6 years (this is an incredibly long time). Despite developing multiple liver lesions, a lab evaluation found her liver function to be normal (9). This is astonishing considering she was taking this high dose (for a female) for 6 years!
Thus, given the resilient nature of the liver and multiple studies of Anadrol-abuse not resulting in liver failure; Anadrol does not seem to pose excessive damage to the liver.
However, users should still take precautions, utilizing low to moderate doses in relatively short cycles (4-6 weeks).
In another study 28 adults with chronic anemia were given a huge dose of Anadrol, being 5mg/per kg of bodyweight.
This translated as doses as high as 450mg per day for men. Surprisingly, hepatic toxicity was only observed in less than 10% of the patients.
Thus, liver toxicity with Anadrol may be somewhat exaggerated in the bodybuilding community. From medical research, it does not seem to be particularly dangerous, yet preventative measures should still be used.
To help ease the strain on the liver when taking Anadrol, users can supplement with TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic acid). This is a naturally-occurring compound found in bile acid, produced in the liver.
The natural healing effects of TUDCA have been used to treat liver disease in Chinese medicine for the last 3,000 years; often in the form of bear bile (containing over 50% of TUDCA). In comparison, only small amounts of TUDCA exist in human bile.
In medical research, TUDCA has shown to be effective in treating chronic active hepatitis.
In one study, 53 patients took 500mg of TUDCA per day for 3 months (11). It was effective in lowering AST and ALT enzymes within the first month. This effect was dramatic by the 3rd month, with AST and ALT enzymes dropping by 44% and 49%. The patients also reported no side effects.
Therefore it would be wise to supplement with TUDCA during or/and after your cycle for maximum liver protection. Alcohol should also be avoided.
Effective TUDCA supplements can be bought online, typically costing in the region of $20-30. It is an FDA-approved supplement.
High Blood Pressure
Anadrol is possibly the worst steroid in regards to blood pressure. All anabolic steroids will elevate a person’s blood pressure, due to exogenous testosterone causing a negative shift in cholesterol levels.
This results in a dramatic rise in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and a decrease in HDL (good) levels.
With Anadrol, studies have shown an insignificant impact on LDL levels, but a dramatic decline in HDL levels (12).
In the previously cited study, the 31 elderly men taking 50-100mg of Anadrol per day experienced a reduction in HDL by 19 and 23 points.
Anadrol will also spike blood pressure due to it dramatically increasing red blood cell count. Anadrol users can experience up to 5x the number of red blood cells, compared to a normal person (13).
Consequently, blood can become more viscous, with blood flow to the heart potentially becoming impaired. When a person retains water, the same blood-thickening effect happens, further reducing circulation.
Due to Anadrol’s drastic effect on HDL cholesterol levels, water retention and red blood cell count, it is a steroid that has a very negative effect on the heart.
A diuretic may be used to lower blood pressure if a person experiences significant water retention. However, this will result in less muscle fullness and decreased strength gains, due to less ATP production inside the muscle cell.
Users with high blood pressure or a history of heart disease in their family should refrain from using Anadrol.
Those who are planning on cycling Anadrol should try and minimize this spike in BP, by performing regular cardio (14). This will improve blood flow to and from the heart.
Nosebleeds and headaches can occur whilst on Anadrol, which can be a sign of elevated blood pressure. If this happens, get a check-up and if your BP is very high, cycle off immediately.
Water Retention & Gynecomastia
Anadrol is a DHT derivative, thus it does not aromatize and convert into estrogen.
However, it does appear to be very estrogenic in real-life settings, having the potential to cause: gynecomastia, water retention and bloating.
It has been theorized that these estrogenic side effects are due to Anadrol acting as a progestin; however, studies show Anadrol to have little effect on progesterone levels.
Instead, Anadrol stimulates the estrogen receptors directly, similar to methandriol.
Water retention can be beneficial during a steroid cycle, as intracellular fluid can aid ATP production and thus increase muscular strength and size.
However, the downside to water retention, is the muscles look smooth and definition is reduced. Bloating is also common on Anadrol, especially in high doses or when taken in conjunction with a high sodium diet.
Due to Anadrol causing noticeable amounts of extracellular fluid retention, it’s not the best steroid for vascularity.
Why Anadrol Doesn’t Always Guarantee Water Retention
Some users do not experience much bloating or fluid retention on Anadrol if their diet is particularly clean and they are already very lean.
For example, Men’s Physique competitors often get away with taking Anadrol before a competition, helping them to look extra full; without any noticeable water retention or bloat.
The reason why they don’t experience water retention from Anadrol when preparing for a show is that the presence of high estrogen levels does not automatically guarantee water retention.
High estrogen simply increases your sensitivity to sodium, thus if a person’s sodium intake is moderate, and they take Anadrol; they will retain more water.
However, if a bodybuilder’s sodium intake is low and they consume large amounts of water (as bodybuilders typically do before a contest), sodium levels will remain low, and thus increased sodium sensitivity is no longer an issue.
Consequently, bodybuilders can appear extremely full and dry on stage.
Anadrol can also cause gynecomastia via the direct stimulation of estrogen receptors in the mammary gland. Gynecomastia (gyno) is when additional breast tissue starts to form in a male’s breasts.
Mild gyno can resemble swollen nipples, whereas severe gyno can cause a man’s breasts to look like a woman’s.
To prevent estrogenic side effects from occurring, users can take an effective anti-estrogen, such as Nolvadex or Clomid. However, reducing estrogen levels may further decrease HDL levels, increasing blood pressure.
Note: Aromatase inhibitors, such as Arimidex or Cytadren will not be effective in reducing estrogenic side effects, as Anadrol does elevate estrogen levels via aromatization (but via direct stimulation).
Shuts Down Testosterone
All anabolic steroids will suppress endogenous testosterone production. The post-cycle crash can typically be hard on Anadrol-users, thus a PCT is essential in accelerating the restoration of mental well-being and natural testosterone production.
Low testosterone levels can cause:
- Low energy
- Low motivation
- Decreased libido
- Decreased well-being
Because the ‘come down’ on Anadrol is severe, some steroid-users may opt to use a milder steroid such as Deca Durabolin after coming off it; to aid this transition. Such a protocol may also help users retain more strength/muscle gains experienced from an Anadrol cycle.
However, if a person opts to use a ‘lighter’ steroid following Anadrol, this will delay the time it takes for endogenous testosterone levels to recover. Thus, it is only typically implemented by individuals who have low well-being post-cycle.
Natural testosterone levels often recover within 1-4 months after coming off Anadrol (and other steroids). However, this is only a general rule that applies to those who do not abuse steroids.
If users take high dosages of Anadrol for excessive periods of time,
they run the risk of developing hypogonadism, which may require medical
intervention to get the testes functioning properly again.
Abuse of Anadrol, or other steroids, may also lead to infertility;
due to decreased sperm count and quality. This effect can become
permanent, preventing men from having children.
Discover how to increase your endogenous testosterone production (back to normal levels) in our post-cycle therapy section.
Hair Loss & Acne
Anadrol has a low androgenic rating of 45. This is less than half the rating of testosterone.
However, this mild score does not correlate in real-life settings, where Anadrol often produces androgenic effects, including hair loss (on the scalp), oily skin and acne.
This is due to increased sebum production which is secreted by the sebaceous glands. The role of sebum is to moisturize the skin; however, too much of it can block the pores, leading to acne breakouts.
This side effect is often genetic, thus if a person has experienced acne during puberty, they may be more at risk.
Anadrol is a DHT-derived steroid, but it also converts into dihydrotestosterone – the hormone responsible for hair loss on the scalp.
DHT causes miniaturization of the hair follicles, causing them to thin or even fall out. Hair loss is a concern when taking any steroid; however, it is often determined by a person’s genetics.
For example, some users may take Anadrol, Trenbolone and Testosterone together for several months and keep thick-looking hair. Whilst others can take a mild steroid such as Deca, and experience significant hairline recession or baldness from just a couple of cycles.
If you are predisposed to losing your hair, steroids will accelerate this process. Alternatively, if you have strong hair genetics, steroids will not cause you to go bald.
How Does Anadrol Produce Androgenic Side Effects, Despite Having a Low Androgenic Rating?
With Anadrol, the conversion of DHT isn’t through the usual pathway, being the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.
Anadrol uniquely contains an additional 2-hydroxymethylene group.
Once in the body, this is metabolized, reducing oxymetholone into 17-alpha methyl dihydrotestosterone (otherwise known as Mestanolone or Proviron).
17-alpha methyl dihydrotestosterone is a very potent androgen, which explains why androgenic side effects are possible, despite it having a low androgenic rating.
Because Anadrol does not convert into DHT via the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, medications such as Finasteride are ineffective for the treatment of hair loss. Also, it is not in a bodybuilder’s best interest to reduce DHT levels with such medications, as they can decrease strength and muscle gains.
Increased Risk of Injury
Rapid weight gain from Anadrol can place excessive stress on connective tissues. Thus, pectoral and bicep tears aren’t uncommon on Anadrol.
This is the side effect of fast and enormous increases in strength (+60lbs on compound exercises).
To reduce the risk of injury, bodybuilders can lift lighter weights and perform more repetitions. This will not reduce muscle gains, as lighter weights are just as effective for building mass and size as heavy weights (17).
Furthermore, performing a sufficient warm-up will help the muscles become more supple and decrease the risk of injury.
Decreased Well Being
Some users report Anadrol giving them mood swings and making them feel miserable. This can be attributed to the sheer power and toxicity of the steroid i.e. the combination of liver strain, water retention and high blood pressure.
In some individuals, Anadrol may not produce the constant euphoria feel, compared to Dianabol for example. This is because Anadrol is the harsher steroid, thus the side effects are also more profound.
However, individuals who genetically respond well to Anadrol, can experience increased well-being due to the huge increase in exogenous testosterone.
Note: Fluctuations in well-being may also be dose-dependent.
Is Anadrol Safe?
Anadrol remains FDA-approved in the United States for the treatment of anemia. Thus, when administered under a doctor’s supervision, Oxymetholone is deemed safe.
However, bodybuilders who take Anadrol remain at risk, as they are thought to be healthy individuals doing this in a non-medical setting. This opens the door for Anadrol to be abused, via high doses and excessive cycles.
Also when Anadrol is taken in recreational settings, it is not guaranteed to be real Oxymetholone, due to the purchase of this steroid on the black market.
Despite Anadrol being FDA approved, it is still one of the harshest steroids used in bodybuilding, thus extreme caution should be used.
Anadrol for Women
Because men experience androgenic effects from Anadrol, many assume that it also causes virilization side effects in women, which are:
- Deepened voice
- Clitoral enlargement
- Body hair
- Hair loss (on the scalp)
- Masculine facial features (including more pronounced jawline)
However, research shows that Anadrol is actually a very female-friendly steroid, with a low affinity for masculinization side effects.
Study: female HIV patients suffering from chronic cachexia, were given 100-150mg of Anadrol per day for 30 weeks (18). This is a mega-dose by bodybuilding standards and an extremely harsh cycle.
However, virilization did not occur in any of the women. In fact, the only side effects reported were a lack of sexual desire and increased fatigue. Unlike men, the women also did not experience any hypertension or androgenic side effects either.
There are two explanations for why Anadrol does not cause virilization in women. Firstly, masculinization often occurs in women when androgen levels are high and estrogen levels are low. Anadrol is androgenic, but also very estrogenic; preventing this ratio from becoming imbalanced.
Another reason why Anadrol is female-friendly is due to its low affinity when binding to SHBG. High levels of sex hormone-binding globulin aren’t female-friendly, as it causes women’s natural testosterone production to become free, or unbound.
In comparison, Winstrol binds strongly to SHBG and consequently produces strong masculine side effects in women. Winstrol also does not convert into estrogen, creating an optimal environment for virilization.
Anavar is a very popular steroid among females; however, in clinical settings, Anavar can still produce virilization in higher doses.
Steroid expert, Bill Roberts (Ph.D.), states in his experience that;
“5mg of Anavar is roughly the equivalent of 25mg of Anadrol for risk of virilization”.
He also recommends splitting up the doses of Anadrol throughout the day, instead of taking 25mg in one go.
In another study, women were given Oxymetholone to treat anemia and bone marrow failure. They started on a dose of 1mg per kg, then it increased in monthly increments by 50%, up to 100mg per day. Every female was given a dose of at least 50mg of Anadrol per day.
Only mild side effects were reported. Only 4 women in the study showed slight virilization changes, despite being given huge doses. Such side effects also reversed after they stopped taking Anadrol.
12.5mg-25mg is considered an effective dose for women wanting to experience significant strength and muscle gains on Anadrol. These are very modest doses compared to the studies cited above, further preventing the risk of virilization.
Women should also be wary about liver toxicity on Anadrol. Therefore women should supplement with TUDCA and refrain from drinking alcohol.