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Oxandrolone is a very popular anabolic androgenic steroid and is considered to be one of the friendliest in terms of side effects. This is one of the few anabolic steroids that carry with it a high rate of success among women, so much so it’s often referred to as “The Girl Steroid.” But this is a title that’s a bit misleading as it is highly effective in men, it just happens to be one of the few women can use without major issues.
Oxandrolone is also one of the most underappreciated anabolic steroids because of its mild nature, but the lack of appreciation some steroid users hold is due to a either ridiculous expectations or simply a purchase of a poor product. Oxandrolone is one of the most commonly counterfeited steroids to have ever existed.
Oxandrolone first came to be in the 1960’s and was brought to the market by G.D. Searle & co under the name Anavar. The compound was reported to hold numerous therapeutic benefits but ceased to exist in 1989. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s there was enormous pressure placed on the steroid market by the FDA and Searle simply discontinued the line. By the mid-1990’s almost all Oxandrolone disappeared from the market place until 1995 when the steroid reappeared through Bio-Technology General CORP (BTG) under the brand name Oxandrin. With the new brand and new ownership and a complete monopoly on the drug, BTG increased the price drastically making it one of the most expensive anabolic steroids to ever exist. In modern times the price has come down some thanks to generic manufacturing, but Oxandrolone still remains one of the more expensive steroids you’ll ever find.
Important Note: Anavar is still the most commonly used name associated with Oxandrolone. However, there is no pharmaceutical company that has manufactured Oxandrolone under that name since 1989. This is an important fact to remember should you ever be in the market.
Oxandrolone is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derived anabolic androgenic steroid. Specifically, Oxandrolone is the DHT hormone with the addition of an oxygen atom in place of the carbon-2 in the A-ring. This simple alternation dramatically increases the hormone’s anabolic power and prevents if from being metabolically broken down. The hormone is then altered again at the 17th carbon position through the addition of a methyl group. This allows Oxandrolone to be ingested orally without being destroyed by the liver and officially classifies it as a C17-alpha alkylated (C17-aa) anabolic steroid.
Oxandrolone has proven to hold as originally touted numerous therapeutic benefits. It is most commonly used to aid in weight gain that is necessary after infection or surgery or any other condition that may lead to severe weight loss. HIV and cancer patients can both benefit from this steroid. Oxandrolone has also proven to be effective in the treatment of over exposure to corticosteroids and has a solid track record for increasing bone density in the fight against osteoporosis. Unfortunately, while successfully used in most of the world use is somewhat limited in the U.S. for such purposes. The hormone has also been successfully used in children who lack hormone production and even in the treatment of certain cases of hepatitis.
Simply by looking at the therapeutic benefits of Oxandrolone we should already have at least a slight understanding as to why the steroid is valued by many performance enhancing athletes. Although considered a mild steroid, Oxandrolone’s anabolic rating is more than triple that of Testosterone. This isn’t to say Oxandrolone is as powerful in terms of mass building as Testosterone, but it should begin to give an appreciation for the compound. When we couple this with its low androgenicity, which is part of what makes it so mild, then we can truly begin to appreciate it.
Oxandrolone possesses many functions that are beneficial but it is in its ability to reduce Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) glucocorticoid hormones and increases in nitrogen retention that make it so valuable. An increase in nitrogen retention creates a more apt anabolic environment where as a reduced one leads to catabolism. The decrease in SHBG promotes higher levels of free testosterone and also frees any and other anabolic steroidal hormones from being bound. Lower SHBG can result in more of a punch from the steroids you’re using. We’re then left with the reduction of glucocorticoids, muscle wasting hormones. These hormones promote fat gain and muscle loss; they literally do the opposite of what you’re after.
Oxandrolone is also known for its ability to increase red blood cell count, which will in turn promote an enhancement in muscular endurance. Some data has shown this steroid may even promote enhanced levels of cardiovascular endurance. Equally exciting is this is one of the only anabolic steroids that can be called a direct fat burning steroid. All anabolic steroids can have a positive impact on the metabolic rate and some are suspected to have some affect on direct fat burning but how much has always been inconclusive. Oxandrolone has been shown to directly promote lipolysis. There are several possible reasons this may occur:
The effects of Oxandrolone can positively impact most any phase of performance enhancement. For the off-season athlete any weight gained will only be muscle tissue. Oxandrolone does not aromatize and there will be no water retention, and like all anabolic steroids it cannot promote fat gain. It’s true a man should not expect massive buildups in size or weight due to this steroid’s use, but the gains will be solid and often easier to keep post use compared to some steroids.
Although not a phenomenal mass builder for men in their off-season, with women it’s a different story. Women are far more sensitive to the hormone and will get far more out of it in terms of growth. Further, most women aren’t looking for the extreme gains a man might be looking for. Couple this with the side effect friendly nature that we’ll discuss later on and this is a tough female off-season steroid to beat.
Man or woman, Oxandrolone will help with the overall metabolism, and due to its lipolysis effects you should be able to stay leaner in an off-season with Oxandrolone compared to without. Other steroids being used will also be more potent. However, as great as all that sounds we must consider the cost and for a man there will be better times to use it.
Without question, regardless of sex the best time to see the positive effects of Oxandrolone will be during a cutting phase. Due to the powerful anabolic rating it carries as discussed above, this is one of the best steroids for preserving lean tissue that would otherwise be lost during a necessary calorie deficit that’s in place to lose body fat. If we want to lose fat we must burn more than we consume and this puts lean tissue at great risk, and in time at assured risk. Oxandrolone will provide the needed protective measure. Fat loss will also occur at a more efficient rate with this steroid through both an enhanced metabolism and the direct promotion of lipolysis. And once lean, the effects of Oxandrolone will greatly promote a harder and more defined physique.
Oxandrolone is also appreciated by many athletes looking to enhance performance but who are not necessarily looking to cut or bulk. Oxandrolone has nice strength increasing properties, and because it’s not going to promote mass weight gain it’s a great choice for many athletes. This steroid will enhance recovery, a necessary factor for anyone who undergoes regular physical activity and should also significantly increase muscular endurance.
Of all the DHT based steroids and even non-DHT based, Oxandrolone truly is one of the if not the most side effect friendly anabolic steroid there is. There are others that are even friendlier but most of those are of little consequence as they aren’t all that effective either. Make no mistake, there are possible side effects of Oxandrolone use, but it’s not uncommon for side effect free use to occur. In order to understand the possible side effects of Oxandrolone we’ve broken them down into their respective categories below.
Oxandrolone does not carry or possess any estrogenic related side effects. There is no aromatization (conversion of testosterone to estrogen) meaning water retention and gynecomastia cannot occur; in fact, both are impossible with this steroid. Oxandrolone is not a progestin, again making gynecomastia impossible. As there is no possible water retention this means high blood pressure based on water retention is also impossible.
Androgenic side effects are the most common although we can’t call them extremely common. Androgenic activity does exist. Acne, accelerated body hair growth and hair loss in men predisposed to male pattern baldness are all possible. However, these are not common, but they are possible. Genetics will determine quite a bit.
Important Note: Oxandrolone will not be affected by a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor like Finasteride. Such inhibitors are used to combat the reduction of testosterone to DHT, and are taken to combat associated possible hair loss. This will not work with Oxandrolone as it’s already DHT. You cannot block a conversion that doesn’t exist.
The androgenic side effects of Oxandrolone can also include virilization in women. This refers to symptoms such as body hair growth, a deepening of the vocal chords and clitoral enlargement. Fortunately for female users virilization is not common with responsible doses, but it is possible and may occur even in low doses in sensitive women. If virilization symptoms occur the individual will want to discontinue use and they will go away. If symptoms are ignored and allowed to manifest they may become permanent and irreversible. If symptoms do occur perhaps it can be tried later on at a lower dose and you may even be able to ramp up as the body adapts, but some will simply not be able to use it.
As with all anabolic steroids Oxandrolone will suppress natural testosterone production in men. Testosterone suppression does vary from steroid to steroid in terms of the rate and Oxandrolone is one of the milder forms. However, most all men will still need some form of exogenous testosterone if they are using Oxandrolone at any significant dose for any significant time. Those who do not supplement with testosterone have an excellent chance of putting themselves into a low testosterone condition. For the purpose of information a performance level dosing of Oxandrolone will suppress natural testosterone production in most men by dropping serum testosterone levels by 50%. This will put most men into a low level state and if not certainly in a below optimal state.
Once the use of Oxandrolone is done and it along with all anabolic steroids has cleared the body natural testosterone production will begin again. It’s important to note that recovering prior natural levels assumes no prior low level condition existed and that there was no damage done to the HPTA during steroid use. Most men will need a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plan to aid in recovery, but they should also note that PCT will not promote full recovery. It takes several months to recover from anabolic steroid use and there’s no guarantee that you always will even with the best PCT plan in the world.
Like all C17-aa anabolic steroids Oxandrolone is toxic to the liver. Liver enzyme values will be elevated when this steroid is used. However, this is one of the milder C17-aa steroids. Studies have shown therapeutic doses may not increase liver values significantly. Performance doses will certainly increase them into the stressful range, but assuming an other wise healthy liver and use that doesn’t go past recommended times the liver should recover fairly quickly without any damage. Remember elevated liver enzymes do not equate to damage but stress that could lead to damage. In order to protect your liver the following is important:
Oxandrolone is an orally ingested anabolic steroid that is normally prescribed in the 5-10mg per day range with prescribed doses rarely surpassing 20mg per day. Use will normally last 2-4 weeks followed by a short break and repeating the cycle until the issue is resolved. Use of this nature may in some cases last indefinitely.
For the male anabolic steroid user, 20-30mg per day although a low dose will produce an anabolic bump. However, 40-50mg per day is far more common and effective. Some men will use as much as 80-100mg per day, but keep in mind this does increase the chance of side effects.
Female Oxandrolone users will normally dose the steroid at 5-10mg per day. It’s not common for a woman to need more than 10mg per day, but if more is needed it can be increased by 5mg. Doses that surpass 20mg per day will almost assure some level of virilization. 6-8 weeks of use is standard with both men and women.
It’s true that Oxandrolone isn’t one of the most powerful anabolic steroids, but its benefits are also impossible to deny. When we consider the benefits it can provide along with the side effect friendly nature this is one of the better steroids ever made. If you’re looking for as much mass as humanly possible in the shortest period of time this steroid isn’t for you, but if you understand the hormone and what it can do then you may very well find it worthwhile. We then have the female factor and many of the female physiques you admire have been built in part on Oxandrolone. It’s far more common than you might think. And that’s not surprising when we again consider the ease of this steroid in terms of side effects.