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Anavar: Also known as Oxandrolone or Oxandrin

How does Anavar work?

anavar

Anavar, the trademarked name of the drug oxandrolone (a.k.a. oxandrin), is a synthesized steroid that Raphael Pappo of Searle Laboratories (now Pfizer Inc.) originally designed to treat muscle-wasting diseases. Pappo created the Anavar steroid in 1964 by modifying dihydrotestosterone (DHT), using an oxygen atom to replace the 2 carbon and methylation in the 17 position. With this one position in the molecular structure being altered, the body treats DHT, an androgen hormone, like testosterone instead, thus allowing users to gain lean muscle mass, increase their strength, and lose body fat with the right diet and workout routine.

Due to these cosmetic/strength benefits, Anavar has become quite popular among bodybuilders. These benefits are only enhanced by the fact that oxandrolone has few androgenic side effects (acne, hair loss, liver disease) while still remaining anabolic. The anabolic effects have been proven through a large body of research, including one study that showed Anavar can help recover lost muscle mass due to burn-induced catabolism (1). This drug has also been proven to help HIV patients regain significant lost muscle mass when 20-80mg of Anavar are taken every day (2).

However, it must be mentioned that oxandrolone is considered a poor "bulking" steroid among male bodybuilders. But on the other hand, it's a very good drug for women who are looking to add lean muscle mass. Now that we've covered the basics of Anavar and how it works, let's further discuss the benefits, side effects, bodybuilding/sports usage, dosage and legality.

What does Anavar do for the Body?

There are many positive results that can be attained through an Anavar cycle, ranging from the muscle-building benefits that we've already discussed to healing wounds. So oxandrolone actually has a variety of benefits for both bodybuilders and medical patients. Let's take a look at some common Anavar results below.

Fat Loss

One reason why oxandrolone is such a coveted drug among bodybuilders is that it can aid in fat reduction. A 2004 study involving men aged 60-87 years old, who maintained a 20mg daily Anavar dosage, showed a noticeable reduction in body fat over a 12-week period. And 12 weeks after the test subjects stopped using the drug, they retained 83% of their reductions in total, trunk, and extremity fat (3). Another study revealed that men aged 40-60 years old also experienced a significant amount of Anavar weight loss (4).

Healing Wounds

A little-known benefit of Anavar is that it has the ability to help cuts and wounds heal faster. In 2000, researchers administered the drug to rats with wounds on their backs and discovered that oxandrolone enhanced wound healing (5).

Improved Respiratory Function

Anavar has been shown to boost pulmonary function and reduce breathlessness in patients with Tetraplegia (6), which is paralysis resulting from an injury where one loses partial or total use of their limbs and torso. Oxandrin also increases red blood cell counts, leading some endurance athletes to experiment with this drug to boost their performance.

Increasing Strength

A very popular use for Anavar involves using it to increase strength. Research from 2012 saw severely burned children experience an improvement in muscle strength that lasted for up to five years post-burn (7). Another study from 2007 revealed that "muscle strength significantly increased" in burn victims when oxandrolone and exercise were combined (8).

Muscle Building

anavar-for-men

As discussed in the introduction, Anavar is not commonly known as a mass-building drug for male athletes. However, it certainly can help add lean muscle in males when combined with the proper diet. A study from 2011 showed that long-term oxandrin use boosts muscle protein in burn patients (9). Plus, this drug has proven to be very effective at restoring lost lean mass in burn victims, regardless of their age (10). This is why the medical community uses Anavar to stimulate muscle mass in prepubescent boys who are experiencing delayed growth (11). Healthy female athletes also benefit from using an Anavar cycle to increase muscle mass, more so than healthy adult men, giving rise to its billing as the “testosterone for women.”

Treating Muscle-Wasting Patients

Treating patients with muscle-wasting diseases was the original intent behind this drug's creation, and Anavar results have been impressive in this regard. Even at low doses, oxandrolone has been proven to both impede muscle protein catabolism in AIDS patients (12) and help severely burned victims increase signifcant weight (13).

What are the Side Effects of Anavar?

One very attractive quality of Anavar for men is that it doesn't have as harsh of side effects as other oral steroids. This is particularly interesting when you consider that, unlike most steroids that are C17alpha-alkylated (prevents liver from breaking down steroid), oxandrolone doesn't deliver serious hepatotoxic effects like cholestatic hepatitis, hyperplasias, neoplasms, jaundice and peliosis (14).

Additional research suggests that when taken at low doses, Anavar pills are well-tolerated and have a low chance of causing virilization in females or liver problems (15). Shockingly, Anavar has even been shown to have a positive effect on alcohol-included liver damage (16) when added to standard therapy.

Another point about Anavar side effects is that this drug doesn't aromatize (convert to estrogen), meaning male users avoid estrogen-related side effects like gynecomastia and water retention. The lack of water retention leads to muscle gains made on oxandrolone being "clean and dry," as described by bodybuilders. Nevertheless, this is an anabolic steroid and it can have notable side effects, including the following.

Acne

Like all DHT-derived steroids, oxandrin can cause acne and oily skin in users. This side effect is largely dependent on your genetic predisposition to acne, with some people not having this problem at all. Furthermore, thanks to Anavar's mild androgenic properties, breakouts are not always a concern. However, acne is still a possibility with oxandrolone, and even a 9-year-old boy who was treated for delayed growth got facial acne from oxandrolone (17). Keeping your skin clean and dry is the best way to prevent breakouts when on an Anavar cycle.

Changed Lipid Values

One of the most-overlooked side effects regarding Anavar is that it can alter lipid values to unhealthy levels. This is especially true when total cholesterol and triglycerides values are drastically changed, making heart disease a possibility. That's why bodybuilders are encouraged to get a blood test done before, during and after an Anavar cycle.

Hair Loss

Hair loss is another common side effect from steroid derivatives of DHT. Again, genetics factor heavily into this and Anavar is less likely to cause hair loss than most other DHT derivatives. But those who are predisposed to male pattern baldness will take their chances when using oxandrolone. During an Anavar cycle for men, some users will supplement with Finasteride or Propecia. But one must be careful when doing so because this can contribute to the hormonal balance that Anavar already causes.

Harsh Workout "Pumps"

Oral steroids like Anavar are commonly known for producing a workout/steroid "pump," which is an effect that's created by the increased amount of red blood cells in the body. This increased blood volume helps carry more oxygen throughout one's body and makes them feel more energetic. However, this process can also cause an intense pumping feeling in certain parts of the body (i.e. back, biceps, chins) during workouts. And sometimes these pumps are so painful that bodybuilders can't even finish their workout. In this case, one is advised to supplement with 3-5mg of taurine daily and lower their Anavar dosage.

Mild Liver Toxicity

As discussed before, oxandrolone defies the typical liver problems that most users experience with C17alpha-alkylated steroids. However, that's not to say liver problems aren't a concern with this drug. Anavar is still an oral steroid that must be taken seriously, especially regarding daily dosage and cycle length.

Testosterone Suppression and Testicular Atrophy

While Anavar is a mild steroid, it will still suppress natural testosterone production when used over long periods of time. Research from 1995 showed that following a 12-week cycle, where the drug was dosed at 20mg per day, test subjects experienced a drop in their testosterone production 12 weeks post-cycle. During an Anavar cycle, the body recognizes a large influx of testosterone and less luteinizing hormone is produced. This in turn means Leydig cells in the testicles are stimulated less, and testicular atrophy and infertility issues can occur.

Nausea and Vomiting

Those using oxandrolone may experience feelings of nausea, which can lead to vomiting. This is one of the least-serious potential Anavar side effects, but still one worth noting.

Virilization

Concerning Anavar for women, virilization, or the development of male sex characteristics, can occur with higher doses of Anavar (19). These side effects include body hair growth, clitoral enlargement and deepening of the voice. To prevent virilization, a beginning Anavar cycle for women starts with just 5-10mg and increases from there.

Will Anavar Build Muscle?

anavar-for-women

Before, we discussed the many benefits of Anavar, with one being that it can build lean muscle. However, many Anavar studies have revolved around burn victims, children with delayed growth and girls with Turner syndrome. So the inevitable question that many bodybuilders want to know is if this drug will add muscle in healthy adults.

While there is a lack of scientific research on the subject, anecdotal research performed by bodybuilders reveals that oxandrolone can certainly be a muscle-building drug. However, the amount of lean mass gained during an Anavar cycle will depend largely on one's sex, diet, training, and if the drug is "stacked" with other steroids. So judging Anavar results can be a murky proposition, but one that's made easier by understanding much of what has been written in the bodybuilding community. That said, take a look at the following topics, many of which draw from forum threads here at EliteFitness.com.

How do I take Anavar?

Anavar dosage should be based on one's experience with the drug and their sex. Women who are just starting out with the drug often begin at 5-10mg per day; then, provided they don't experience any harsh virilization, they'll gradually increase dosage to between 10mg and 20mg. Here's an EliteFitness thread about Anavar for women, where the poster begins with 5mg daily (split into two 2.5mg doses), with plans to later increase dosage to 10mg per day.

Switching to male users, many guys begin with a 20mg daily Anavar dosage before increasing this amount throughout a cycle. Here's one thread where a guy asks about a moderate dosage of Anavar, and is told that 40-60mg each day is good. One more point here is that dosing can also be dependent on if one is running an Anavar-only cycle, or stacking it with other drugs like testosterone. In the latter case, dosage is usually kept around 50mg per day.

Anavar Half Life

Anavar's half life is 8 hours, which is relatively short in comparison to other steroids. Due to the short 8-hour half life of oxandrolone, many users break up their daily dosage into 2-3 times throughout the day to keep the drug running strong in their bloodstream.

Anavar Cycle for Women

As previously mentioned, Anavar is referred to as the testosterone for women because it's so effective at building muscle in ladies. However, the key is that proper daily dosage and cycle length must be used in order to earn solid lean muscle gains. In comparison to male usage, an Anavar cycle for women typically consists of much-smaller doses and less weeks (6-8). Below you can see a sample cycle based on an EliteFitness member recommendation:

http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/womens-fitness-female-bodybuilding-training/just-starting-anavar-600492.html

Week

Anavar (Dosage split between am and pm)

1

5mg ED

2

5mg ED

3

10mg ED

4

10mg ED

5

10mg ED

6

10mg ED

7

10mg ED

8

10mg ED

Anavar Cycle for Men

There exists a great debate in the bodybuilding community over whether men should do Anavar-only cycles or stack the drug with other steroids. One group argues that this compound doesn't provide enough lean muscle gains to be used by itself (especially with the high Anavar price). The other group likes the vascular-looking (dry) and keepable muscle gains that they get through an Anavar cycle. While there exist fans of both cycle types, many men stack oxandrolone with at least one other drug like testosterone for optimal muscle gains. Below you can see a sample Anavar test cycle, where Anavar is used as a cycle “finisher” to promote vascularity and harden muscle gains:

http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/anabolic-steroids/help-test-e-anavar-cycle-1st-cycle-need-input-923303.html

Week

Testosterone Enanthate

Anavar

Arimidex (AI for testosterone e.)

1

500mg

0.5mg EOD

2

500mg

0.5mg EOD

3

500mg

0.5mg EOD

4

500mg

0.5mg EOD

5

500mg

0.5mg EOD

6

500mg

0.5mg EOD

7

500mg

50mg

0.5mg EOD

8

500mg

50mg

0.5mg EOD

9

500mg

50mg

0.5mg EOD

10

500mg

50mg

0.5mg EOD

11

500mg

50mg

0.5mg EOD

12

500mg

50mg

0.5mg EOD

PCT: Discussed in forum thread

On-cycle Support

It's highly recommended that male bodybuilders run ancillaries during an Anavar cycle to prevent/minimize side effects. This is an area where one's specific cycle will go a long way towards determining what on-cycle support they use. For example, an aromatase inhibitor like aromasin or arimidex isn't needed for an Anavar-only cycle because this drug doesn't convert to estrogen. However, liver support is always recommended because this is an alkylated steroid. Here's a discussion on ancillaries for an Anavar cycle.

Anavar PCT

Women do not need to worry about post-cycle therapy following an Anavar cycle because they don't have to bring testosterone levels back to normal through the use of drugs. However, in order to combat potential depression and estrogen rebound, some women will eat "clean" (nutritional) foods and use mood-enhancing supplements in the weeks following a cycle.

For men, Anavar PCT is much more important because they want to restore their natural testosterone production, or risk suffering from low sex drive, lethargy, loss of muscle gains and estrogen-related side effects (not with Anavar). PCT will vary based on if other drugs are stacked with Anavar, but some post-cycle compounds used after oxandrolone include Clomid, HCGenerate and Nolvadex. Please review threads for Anavar-only PCT and for Anavar stacked with other drugs.

Anavar Results

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact results that one will obtain through using oxandrolone, especially regarding lean muscle gains. Generally men won't experience huge muscle gains, but most of what they do earn stays after a cycle because there's no water retention involved. Women, on the other hand, may gain a significant amount of mass following an Anavar cycle. As for a large strength increase, which oxandrolone is well known for producing (18), this is also very likely to stay. Take a look at this thread, where users discuss some of their Anavar results and how much of the muscle/strength gains they kept.

Where can I buy Anavar?

It is illegal to buy Anavar without a doctor's prescription in most countries throughout the world. However, there are a few places where one can find Anavar for sale for personal use such as Mexico and Turkey. But for the most part, bodybuilders look to buy Anavar online from underground labs that sell this drug.

Given this unregulated market, one needs to be cautious when buying Anavar online because it could be an underdosed product, or even a totally different steroid (like Dianabol). Be aware that the average Anavar price is around $2 per 10mg tablet. But one may find Anavar for sale at higher or cheaper prices; in the latter case, you may not always receive the best product. One more aspect worth adding is that oxandrolone normally comes in pill form, but there are also places that sell quality liquid Anavar too.

Anavar in Sports

Oxandrolone is banned by every major sports organization due to its exceptional performance-enhancing abilities. Competitive advantages stemming from Anavar include increased strength, lean muscle gains, enhanced fat reduction and more stamina. But despite these advantages, Anavar is not one of the more-common performance-enhancing drugs that athletes test positive for.

There could be multiple explanations for this, including that oxandrolone isn't a popular PED among professional athletes due to the intense workout pumps that it can cause. Or, it's also possible that the short Anavar half life allows athletes to quickly pass the drug through their system without being caught. In the latter case, the anti-doping industry has been improving its methods of detecting oxandrolone metabolites in athletes (20).

Is Anavar Legal?

As mentioned in the section about buying Anavar, this drug is illegal without a prescription in most places. This includes the United States, where oxandrolone is classified as a Schedule III drug as part of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This means that simple possession of Anavar pills could result in up to a $250,000 fine and three years in prison. However, it should be mentioned that any penalty this harsh is highly unlikely.

One can purchase oxandrolone with a prescription in the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. But it doesn't appear likely that bodybuilders will be able to legally buy this drug for cosmetic use any time soon in these countries.

There are, however, certain countries where Anavar and other steroids can be purchased without a prescription. Greece, Iran, Mexico and Turkey are among the most-prominent, which is why it's no surprise that underground labs that sell Anavar online are based in these countries.


References
1. Burns. 2003 Dec;29(8):793-7.
2. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Mar;41(3):304-14.
3. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Oct;89(10):4863-72.
4. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1995 Sep;19(9):614-24.
5. Wound Repair Regen. 2000 Mar-Apr;8(2):97-102.
6. Mt Sinai J Med. 1999 May;66(3):201-5.
7. J Am Coll Surg. 2012 Apr;214(4):489-502; discussion 502-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2011.12.038.
8. Pediatrics. 2007 Jan;119(1):e109-16. Epub 2006 Nov 27.
9. Surgery. 2011 May;149(5):645-53. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2010.12.006. Epub 2011 Feb 18.
10. Burns. 2001 Feb;27(1):46-51.
11. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Jun;14(6):725-7.
12. Ann Surg. 2001 Apr;233(4):556-64.
13. J Trauma. 1997 Jul;43(1):47-51.
14. Drugs. 2004;64(7):725-50.
15. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014 Jan;61(1):11-9. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24617. Epub 2013 Sep 9.
16. Am J Gastroenterol. 1991 Sep;86(9):1200-8.
17. Horm Res. 1998;50(1):46-8.
18. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Mar;96(3):1055-62. Epub 2003 Oct 24.
19. Horm Res Paediatr. 2014;81(5):289-97.
20. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2013 Oct;405(25):8285-94. doi: 10.1007/s00216-013-7218-1. Epub 2013 Jul 23.



Tags- Anavar, Oxandrolone, Bodybuilding, anabolic-androgenic steroid, Anabolic Steroids, Estrogen, Luteinizing Hormone, Testosterone, Androgen, Bodybuilders, Oxandrin