- 1 Can it be Taken on its Own?
- 2 Stacking Info
- 3 How it is Administered
- 4 Dosage Info
- 5 Half-life Info
- 6 Positive Effects
- 7 Potential Side Effects
- 8 Androgenic Effects
- 9 Estrogenic Effects
- 10 Cardiovascular
- 11 Hair Loss
- 12 Liver Toxicity
- 13 Other Effects
- 14 Contraindications
- 15 Is this Steroid Best Suited to Cutting, Bulking, or Recomp?
- 16 Is it Safe for Women to Use?
- 17 Type of PCT Needed After the End of the Cycle
- 18 Typical Cost to Buy
- 19 Sports That Use it
- 20 Legality of Purchase and its Usage in the US
Anavar is a steroid that can give some keepable and quality muscle if used correctly.
This guide will help you on your journey with this popular steroid.
Oxandrolone, more frequently referred to as Anavar, was first created in 1964 for medicinal purposes. Working for Searle Laboratories, Dr Raphael Pappo discovered the drug where it was originally intended to treat the muscle wastage caused by certain diseases.
The use of anabolic steroids for building strength started to be realized during the 1960s, and the potential muscle gains quickly became apparent.
Although Anavar was never the most popular on the market, it was considered to be the closest to the creation of the “perfect” drug. Despite being a C17 alpha-alkylated medication, it is well tolerated and the the side effects are far fewer compared to other anabolic steroids.
This safety profile led to the drug being prescribed for HIV and AIDS patients in the early 1980s, to assist with involuntary weight loss and muscle depletion. At the time, little was known about AIDS with the underlying cause not being pinpointed so the only option doctors had was to provide symptomatic treatment. The before and after results were impressive, and together with another steroid Anadrol, it became the treatment of choice.
Searle Laboratories opted to discontinue this drug in 1989, primarily due to the increasing attention the FDA was paying to anabolic steroids. As Searle owned a number of different versions of the Anavar tablets and capsules which were in circulation, availability was dramatically affected and for a while there was a shortage. However six years later Bio Technology General Corp (BTG) released their version of Oxandrolone Anavar, marketed under the name of Oxandrin.
This near monopoly pushed prices up temporarily but within a short space of time, other manufacturers started to produce their own pills too.
Although the benefits for this drug had been well reported since its introduction in 1964, it wasn’t until 2000 when a popular bodybuilding magazine published an article on steroid use – previously a taboo subject – that the results from this compound started to be taken seriously. Described as having a superior benefit to risk ratio when compared to other steroids in the market, what had previously been considered an inferior treatment suddenly rocketed in popularity.
Anavar cycles are typically stacked in order to get the optimal results but a solo cycle is also possible.
Being particularly gentle on the endocrine system and with far less notable side effects, an Anavar cycle is often a good place for a newcomer to anabolic steroids to begin.
Because it’s so well tolerated, using this compound alone particularly during a cutting cycle, can elicit great results even when other drugs can’t be used.
If fat burning is a real priority, Anavar alone can be sufficient to get the desired outcome. Because there’s no fluid retention and gains are lean, it may be all that’s required to get a ripped abdomen that really pops.
For men, this steroid can have significant benefits, but the anabolic steroid really stands out for use in women.
A cycle for women is unlikely to have the same unpleasant side effects as other steroids, but allows the bodybuilding benefits which would otherwise be unachievable. For this reason, an Anavar only cycle could be a major part of a female bodybuilder’s schedule.
Although it can be taken alone, it’s often best administered as part of a stack to achieve the very best results possible.
For men, it is often used to complete a well-balanced stack, while for women it can form the very basis of a stack.
In men, a good steroid stack always includes testosterone. This allows not just the replacement of lost testosterone levels, but also will add an extra intensity to the results.
The Anavar cycle for men could include any of the following in the stack:
• Trenbolone (Tren)
• Turinabol (Tbol)
• Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
• Clenbuterol (Clen)
• Injectable Primobolan
For women, there’s a much narrower range of potential partners, but the benefits from Anavar may be even greater. Some of the stacks used include:
• Injectable Primobolan
• Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
How it is Administered
It is an oral steroid which is taken in a pill form. Some individuals prefer to crush the tablet, mix and drink with grapefruit juice for easier ingestion but this is not recommended as any kind of fluid can cause the potency to reduce.
Injectable Anavar does exist but it doesn’t have any benefits over tabs. Due to orals being much easier to administer than injectables, the tablet form of this steroid is by far the most widely used.
The dosages will depend on both your gender and whether you are in a cutting or bulking cycle.
Women in a cutting cycle are possibly the group who will benefit from this steroid the most, and significant results can be seen from just 10mg per day. To get the optimal effect, some females athletes opt to increase to 20mg per day, but at this dose there is an increased risk of virilization. It’s therefore recommended to increase in 5mg increments to monitor for unwanted side effects.
Males in a cutting cycle will typically use Anavar at a much higher dosage, with 50mg being the average starting daily dose. It is possible to begin at 30mg, but for the majority of men, there will be few benefits at such a low dose. Anavar is so gentle on the system that most men can increase to 80mg and still remain free of nearly all noticeable side effects. At this level the benefits will be far more significant.
For women looking to bulk, the dosing range of 10-20mg remains unchanged. Combined with an increased calorie intake, the gains will be lean with no fluid retention.
Men who are in a bulking cycle won’t find a huge benefit from using this steroid unless they use it at higher doses. Typically 80-100mg is required to secure the lean muscle gains desired.
The half-life is quite long compared to other types of anabolic steroids, approximately 8-9 hours.
This means that to get the most out of a cycle, a divided dose is often used, typically split and taken twice a day. Splitting and timing the dosage will prevent blood levels peaking and troughing and will create a far more stable base.
Certain other steroids such as Dianabol have a shorter half-life and some bodybuilders find a benefit to taking a single dose. Because of the relatively long half-life of Anavar, the same benefits to create a spike in serum levels have not been proven. For this compound, the consensus of experts appears to be that stability provides optimal results.
In the cutting cycle, when calorie intake is reduced, there’s the risk of lean muscle tissue being lost along with unwanted fat. This steroid is anti catabolic and can help to eliminate this problem, by retaining muscle tissue even when dietary intake is restricted.
Anavar will increase power and also help to make lean tissue harder by changing the metabolic rate, making the muscles appear more defined. Once the effects of this steroid is in full swing you can expect to experience crazy muscle pumps and vascularity. Veins will be more prominent than when off cycle.
It will also help repair muscle faster, greatly decreasing the bodies recovery time between workouts, which will help the user to workout more often and harder.
These transformation effects can be seen in both men and woman and will appear relatively quickly, becoming evident within just 4-6 weeks of use.
To get the most from Var you must eat high quality foods and consistent physical exercise week after week. Nutrition is the most important aspect of making the most of a cycle.
Some oral steroids such as Dbol can make cardio workouts impossible due to shin pain pumps. Anavar should not cause such issues and may even raise endurance performance levels.
This steroid also strengthens joints and tendons.
Potential Side Effects
The side effects are relatively low when compared to other anabolic steroids. Even a common side effect such as gyno which is linked with most steroids is not possible with this. This is one of the reasons that in the past it has been mistakenly considered as being relatively ineffective. Some minor side effects that is possible are things like, increased aggression, headaches, loss of appetite, depression, tiredness, and lowered libido.
Anavar causes some androgenic activity but this is extremely low when compared to other anabolic steroids. The side effects don’t typically include acne and male pattern baldness but there remains a small possibility of this occurring. For those who are sensitive to androgenic effects, hair loss, acne and possibly an enlarged prostate could still occur.
Using any anabolic steroid will suppress natural production of testosterone and Anavar is no different, but the degree to which men could be affected is generally much lower. Even when Anavar is taken in a high dose, testosterone levels may only drop by around half. For some men, this can mean that they remain within the normal range and will only feel slight lethargy or mood swings.
But some studies have suggested that in some individuals testosterone production can be impacted to a much greater degree than previously thought. Research on the endocrine system revealed a 40% drop in the production of testosterone after just 5 days of an Anavar dose of 15mg. Such happenings can result in loss of sex drive.
Therefore, taking testosterone is generally recommended plus PCT to return the body to its previous state.
Anavar is not estrogenic and does not cause any progestin activity either, so there’s no risk of some of the undesirable effects such as gynecomastia. It does not carry water so fluid retention isn’t an issue, which in turn virtually eliminates the risk of increasing blood pressure too.
Although there is minimal risk to the blood pressure, Anavar can negatively impact the cardiovascular system via the levels of cholesterol. Oxandrolone has an established effect of reducing the healthy cholesterol, HDL, while simultaneously pushing up the “bad” cholesterol, LDL. The typical dosage taken for performance enhancement can cause a reduction of HDL by up to 50% while increasing LDL by 30%.
Because of these effects, the steroid should not taken by anyone who has a pre-existing problem with their cholesterol, and regular monitoring is highly recommended. A healthy diet which is low in saturated fats is essential, together with regular cardiovascular exercise and possibly the addition of an antioxidant supplement too.
Compared to certain other types of anabolic steroid, Anavar has very low levels of androgenic activity which means the potential for hair loss is far less.
However, although the risk is greatly reduced, it is not eliminated entirely and individuals who are particularly sensitive to the androgenic effects caused by anabolic steroids could be at risk. In general hair loss is only experienced by those who carry the gene for male pattern baldness. Taking this steroid simply accelerates the process but if it does occur, the results may be irreversible.
Take note that if this steroid has triggered hair loss during a cycle it may still carry on even after you stop taking it.
Although hair loss might be the pressing concern for many male bodybuilders, liver toxicity is an issue that every user should take seriously.
As Anavar is a C17 alpha-alkylated drug, there is toxicity to the liver which is unavoidable. However, although it is potentially harmful to the liver, it is far less toxic than some other anabolic steroids.
For this reason, it’s possible to have Anavar cycles of up to 8-10 weeks in length, but PCT and breaks are necessary before the cycle is repeated. Liver enzymes are likely to not rise quite so significantly while using this steroid, but alcohol should still be avoided during the cycle. An additional liver detoxifier can be beneficial.
The next cycle should not be commenced until liver enzyme levels have normalized.
While taking any C17 alpha-alkylated steroid, extreme care should be exercised when using any over the counter medications. Many of these are extremely stressful to the liver and this combined with the effects of Anavar, could be detrimental and permanently damage the liver.
There are no other significant side effects of note.
The question of “Is Anavar safe?” is something which every individual should consider before starting to take the steroid. The answer is that for the majority, providing recommendations about the cycle, dosage and PCT are adhered to, it should be a perfectly safe addition to any regime.
However, just like any other anabolic steroid, it’s a powerful drug and there may be some people who should not take it under any circumstances. If any of the following pre-existing conditions are present, then the use of Anavar is contraindicated:
• Prostate cancer
• Breast cancer
• Enlarged prostate
• Liver disease or inflammation
• Raised total cholesterol (or high LDL cholesterol and/or low HDL cholesterol)
• Heart failure
• Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
• Raised calcium levels in the blood
It should also not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Is this Steroid Best Suited to Cutting, Bulking, or Recomp?
One of the biggest benefits of Anavar is its ability to rid the body of unwanted bloating and to create a really shredded appearance.
Using this drug when dieting down is infinitely the best use of the steroid as it helps to eliminate fluid retention, providing much greater definition to the abdomen. Using it towards the end of a cutting cycle will elicit optimal results as the body will be much leaner, allowing the effects of the Anavar to be fully appreciated.
Because there is no associated bloating or fluid retention, weight loss results can be excellent. But there’s more to its effects than simply eradicating unwanted fluid retention; fat loss is also a key benefit. The steroid preserves muscle while helping to burn and get rid of fat, particularly in the abdomen area.
Although using Anavar for weight loss and cutting is more common, it can also be utilized during the bulking cycle too. The weight gain is less than when using traditional bulking steroids, but some sources report that they are much easier to retain.
Even at a higher dosage for men, gains won’t be spectacular but everything which is packed on will be lean muscle, which is a significant advantage.
Many of the Anavar user reviews may focus on its fat burner attributes, but for a different approach to bulking with stability, it can be extremely useful.
Is it Safe for Women to Use?
Anabolic use can be problematic for girls, but this steroid and women is generally considered a relatively safe combination.
The side effects for a lady are largely the same as for males, but there is the added risk of virilization. This is because the androgenic activity, while low, is still present and can be sufficient to cause symptoms in some females.
Potential side effects include deepening of the vocal chords, enlargement of the clitoris and growth of body hair. If experienced, Anavar use should be discontinued immediately and these unwanted effects will disperse. If use is continued, there is the risk of the virilization effects becoming permanent.
Providing there are no unwanted side effects, usage by women remains not just possible, but an extremely beneficial addition to any program.
Type of PCT Needed After the End of the Cycle
As Anavar is generally considered to be one of the gentlest anabolic steroids on the body, the side effects are usually fewer. Although milder than other steroids full testosterone shut down is possible in some cases.
Nevertheless, it’s still important to carry out PCT to ensure that the body returns to its optimal state for future cycles (or other steroids). In addition to supplementing with testosterone, PCT should include a HCG and a SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) such as Clomid or Nolvadex.
Anavar has never been the most economical anabolic steroid available, particularly during the mid-1990s due to the stranglehold that BTG had on the market. However, as other manufacturing labs started to produce cheap generic versions of the drug, it started to become more affordable.
Another issue is that the demand for it isn’t particularly high compared to other types of anabolic steroids and bodybuilding supplements, and this means that there are no economies of scale. For this reason, prices still remain relatively expensive by comparison.
Although it’s not used by everyone, this steroid can be relatively easy to order on the internet. However, when you buy Oxandrolone online the standards can vary significantly, and you may not be getting the full grade potency that you’d expect.
When you’re buying this drug, you might have to pay up to $4 per 10mg capsule, but it can also be found for as little as $1 for the same amount depending on the brand.
When purchasing, the sales cost can be an indicator of quality so it’s a good idea to only buy reputable brands from a trusted supplier. In some cases when you buy this steroid, you could end up receiving a cheaper powder such as Winny.
Although the two steroids may be similar, the results and also the side effects can be very different and not knowing exactly what you’re using could cause very significant problems, ruining a carefully planned schedule. This is another reason why it’s essential to only purchase from a source that you can trust.
If you suspect you bought a fake product you can do some research online regarding the color of the pills. Each lab will have specific colors for different oral steroids so its easy to get an idea if yours may not be genuine. It is worth checking to determine if you are wasting your time cycling fake steroids.
Sports That Use it
The best uses of Anavar are for cutting, and for packing on lean muscle gains that will be retained even after the steroid cycle has ceased.
For that reason, sports which require particularly lean muscle mass and low levels of fat can find it extremely beneficial.
Bodybuilding is the primary sport which Anavar can help competitors greatly. When taken normally during the cutting cycle to get a lean and shredded appearance.
However, other sports such as swimming, mixed martial arts, boxing, CrossFit, and cycling can all benefit from the inclusion of this compound. If you play sports at a professional level, detection of this steroid in your system will almost certainly result in a ban.
Anavar is not suited for endurance type sports. For example, long distance runners would be best avoiding it.
Legality of Purchase and its Usage in the US
Like other types of anabolic steroid, the use of Anavar is illegal in the USA for recreational purposes. It is classed as a controlled substance under Schedule III.
The question of “is Anavar legal?” is one which potential users may be concerned about. It is only legal in the US when prescribed, just like other anabolic steroids. A physician is not permitted to prescribe this drug, or any other form, for anything other than a medical condition.
Therefore, it cannot be prescribed for the purposes of bodybuilding, according to the FDA.
But that’s not all, buying this steroid in the US isn’t just illegal, it’s also illegal to possess the steroid as well. US law is one of the strictest in the world in its treatment of anabolic steroids and prohibits both the buying and selling, as well as possession too.
Not all countries adopt the same approach. In Canada for example, there are similar restrictions on the buying and selling of Anavar, but possession isn’t considered a crime. The UK and many parts of Europe are less strict also.
Countries such as Mexico have the most lenient laws and the price is greatly reduced as a result. Steroids can be found at local pharmacies in Mexico.
The problem is that although it’s possible to nip over to a pharmacy over the border to buy or sell this steroid legally, it can’t be brought back through customs. Therefore, the only real option is to shop for it online.
We have lots of amazing information about so many other anabolic steroids which can be found here.