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Oxandrolone (brand names Oxandrin, Anavar, Lonavar, others), is a
synthetic, orally active anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) that
first become available as a prescription drug in the United States
in 1964. It is a 17α-methylated derivative of dihydrotestosterone
(DHT) that has an oxygen atom in place of the carbon at the 2
Researchers and medical professionals have used oxandrolone to
treat a wide variety of disorders. These include idiopathic short
stature, Turner syndrome, body mass loss from catabolic illness or
long-term corticosteroid treatment, severe burns, surgical or
general trauma, osteoporosis, anemia, hereditary angioedema,
HIV/AIDS-induced wasting, alcoholic hepatitis, and hypogonadism.
Oxandrolone is well-established as a safe treatment for patients
recovering from severe burns.Medical research has also established
oxandrolone's efficacy in aiding the development of girls with
Turner syndrome. Although oxandrolone has long been used to
accelerate growth in children with idiopathic short stature, it is
unlikely to increase adult height and in some cases may even
decrease it. Oxandrolone has therefore largely been replaced by
growth hormone for this use.
Some bodybuilders use oxandrolone for its muscle-building
properties, usually purchasing it from black market suppliers. This
is illegal in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and
many other countries.
This medication is used to help people regain weight they have lost
due to certain medical conditions (such as surgery, chronic
infection, trauma, long term use of corticosteroid medication such
as hydrocortisone/prednisone). It is also used to relieve bone pain
due to bone loss (osteoporosis). Oxandrolone belongs to a class of
drugs known as anabolic steroids. These drugs are similar to male
hormones made by the body.
Abuse of this medication (such as to improve athletic performance
or physical appearance) is very dangerous and may cause serious,
sometimes fatal problems.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the
approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be
prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a
condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so
prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to increase height in girls and
young women with a certain genetic disorder (Turner's syndrome).
How to use oxandrolone
Take this medication by mouth usually 2 to 4 times daily or as
directed by your doctor. It may be taken with food or milk if
stomach upset occurs.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To
help you remember, take it at the same times each day. This
medication is usually used for short-term treatment only.
Abnormal drug-seeking behavior is possible with this medication,
and it is frequently misused for its muscle-enhancing effects. Do
not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or take it for a
longer time than prescribed. Doing so may increase serious side
effects (such as increased risk for heart disease, stroke, liver
disease, ruptured tendons/ligaments, improper bone development in
adolescents). Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it
What conditions does oxandrolone treat?
See also Warning section.
Nausea, vomiting, headache, skin color changes, increased/decreased
sexual interest, oily skin, hair loss, and acne may occur. If any
of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he
or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk
of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have
serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious
side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as anxiety,
depression, increased anger), trouble sleeping/snoring.
If you are male, tell your doctor right away if any of these
unlikely but serious side effects occur: trouble urinating, breast
swelling/tenderness, too frequent/prolonged erections.
Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or
more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and seek immediate
medical attention, or permanent problems could occur.
This medication can decrease sperm production, an effect that may
lower male fertility. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you are female, tell your doctor right away if any of these
unlikely but serious side effects occur: deepening of the voice,
hoarseness, unusual facial/body hair growth, enlarged clitoris,
irregular menstrual periods.
This medication can cause your body to hold on to extra body water
(edema). This can increase your risk of heart failure. Tell your
doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious signs of
water retention or heart failure occur: decreased exercise ability,
hands/ankles/feet swelling, unusual tiredness, shortness of breath
while lying down.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However,
seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a
serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling
(especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice
other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using oxandrolone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are
allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product
may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic
reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical
conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or
pharmacist if you have: breast cancer in men, prostate cancer,
certain mineral imbalance (high calcium blood level).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your
medical history, especially of: heart disease (such as heart
failure, chest pain, heart attack), liver problems, kidney
problems, other types of cancer, high cholesterol, high blood
pressure, enlarged prostate, breathing problems (such as sleep
apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), diabetes.
If you have diabetes, this product may decrease your blood sugar
levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your
doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of low
blood sugar, such as increased hunger, dizziness, or unusual
sweating. Your anti-diabetic medication or diet may need to be
Tell your doctor if you become bed-ridden (unable to walk) for a
prolonged time while using this medication. Your doctor may monitor
your blood calcium level to prevent problems.
Caution is advised when using this drug in older adults because
they may be at greater risk for prostate/liver problems and
swelling of arms/legs.
Caution is advised when using this drug in children because bone
growth may be affected, causing shorter adult height. Your child's
doctor will monitor growth and bone development during treatment.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an
unborn baby. Discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control
(such as condoms, birth control pills) with your doctor. If you
become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. It may
affect milk production and it may harm a nursing infant.
Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult
your doctor before breast-feeding.
What should I know regarding pregnancy, nursing and administering
oxandrolone to children or the elderly?
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug
interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start,
stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with
your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all
prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use,
especially of: "blood thinners" (such as warfarin).
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests
(including thyroid function tests), possibly causing false test
results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know
you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions.
Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or
pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your
medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and
Anavar (oxandrolone), unlike most oral compounds is categorized as
a Class I anabolic steroid, most efficiently stacked with Class II
compounds such as Dianabol or Anadrol.
It adds little if anything to high-dose use of Class I anabolic
steroids such as trenbolone, or to high-dose testosterone, which is
classified as having mixed activity. It can be an aid, albeit an
expensive one, to moderate dose testosterone usage.
Anavar has often been called a weak steroid. Part of the reason for
this is that use of a Class I steroid alone never is maximally
effective. The other cause is that bodybuilders and authors in the
field sometimes make unfortunate and unreasonable comparisons when
judging anabolic steroids.
If say 8 tablets per day does little, then a drug is pronounced
useless or weak. And traditionally, oxandrolone was available in
2.5 mg Anavar tablets, proving only 20 mg daily with such usage,
which totals to only 140 mg/week. For comparison, testosterone at
that dose also gives little results. Indeed, few anabolic steroids
give dramatic results at that dose, but they are not called weak on
The proper conclusion is that such Anavar tablets were individually
weak, but not that the drug lacks potency.
As higher-dose Anavar tablets have become available, the
oxandrolone’s reputation has improved. However, it still is not a
particularly cost-effective Class I steroid, and if used alone
cannot match the performance of a good stack.
Pharmacologically, it has been found that oxandrolone binds weakly
to the androgen receptor. This seems inconsistent with the Class I
/ Class II system, but it is what has been found. Perhaps it is the
case that what occurs in the body is not the same as occurs in in
vitro study, or perhaps there is another interesting phenomenon
From the practical standpoint, however, oxandrolone’s stacking
behavior requires that it be classified as a Class I steroid: it
combines synergistically with those categorized as Class II, but
only additively with Class I compounds. From the practical
standpoint, it is a rather potent drug – that is to say, it has
good effectiveness per milligram. Stacked with a Class II steroid,
Anavar is quite effective at only 75 mg/day, or even 50.
Anavar does not aromatize or convert to DHT, and has an 8 hour
half-life. Thus, a moderate dose taken in the morning is largely
out of the system by night, yet supplies reasonable levels of
androgen during the day and early evening.
One study found oxandrolone to be superior to testosterone and to
Deca (nandrolone) for reducing abdominal fat in men, or at least in
obese older men at the specific low doses studied, which were not
necessarily equipotent. From this, some have made broad
generalizations to bodybuilding. However, this does not necessarily
carry over to anabolic steroid cycles at doses commonly used in
bodybuilding. In the case of the study in question, I expect the
difference in outcomes was dose-related.
In practice, at total androgen doses typically used, one can cut
just as effectively without oxandrolone as with, given any of
various possible substitutions for the oxandrolone. This is not to
say this drug is ineffective, but rather that other androgens
including testosterone are also effective at high dose for
abdominal fat loss.
In the case of low-dose use however, I do think it is a correct
conclusion that for most, low dose Anavar use is more effective for
cutting than equal dosages of most other anabolic steroids. This
may be partly or entirely from additive effect with natural
testosterone: such oxandrolone use may not suppress such its
production, the user may enjoy both the full effect of his natural
testosterone and the effect of the oxandrolone. In contrast,
low-dose testosterone or nandrolone use results in substantial
suppression of natural testosterone, and so there is less total
Oxandrolone, as with other 17-alkylated steroids, is hepatotoxic.
At one time it was thought that it is not, but both clinical and
practical experience with Oxandrin has shown that liver toxicity
can indeed be an issue with prolonged use. I believe the usual
principle of limiting 17-alkylated use to 6 weeks at a time should
be applied when oxandrolone is used, just as with any alkylated
Trenbolone or Primobolan are suitable substitutes for Anavar,
without the liver toxicity issues. As a substitute, Primobolan
shares the property of being low-suppressive, while trenbolone does
An interesting application of the drug that takes advantage of its
oral administration is use as a morning-only bridging agent between
cycles, which in my opinion should be done – if done – only after
fully recovering normal testosterone production from the last
cycle. At least 20 mg is usually acceptable in this application.
Ideally, testosterone levels will be measured to monitor such
bridging. A factor limiting to such bridging is the liver toxicity
With regard to use by women, while there is a common belief that
Anavar is minimally virilizing to female, in fact virilization is
not unusual at 20 mg/day and can occur at considerably lower doses
than that. Even 5 mg/day is not side-effect-free for all.
During a cycle, oxandrolone is not particularly recommended because
there are more cost-efficient choices that will fully accomplish
the same goals and do not add to liver toxicity.
The two best uses for Anavar are in optional bridging periods
between cycles, if such are employed, while keeping care to avoid
excessive duration of continuous 17-alkylated use; and, if
short-acting injectables are not available, to supplement cycles as
levels fall between the time of last injection and the start of
post-cycle therapy so that that time period can remain effective
Oxandrolone is the chemical name of active ingredient in Oxandrin
and Anavar. Anavar was originally the registered trademark of
Searle Laboratories. Oxandrin is a registered trademark of
Bio-Technology General Corp. in the United States and/or other