What is Oxandrolone?

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  • Written By: Summer Banks
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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Oxandrolone is a mild anabolic steroid marketed under the brand names Anavar and Oxandrin®. Anabolic steroids can be used to help patients regain weight after surgery, or to treat chronic infection or trauma. The drug has also been used by the bodybuilding community to increase muscle mass and decrease visceral fat. These steroids are thought to work in the body like artificial testosterone.

Potential mild side effects associated with taking oxandrolone may include nausea, vomiting, and headache. More severe side effects, including trouble urinating, breast swelling, and prolonged erections, have also been noted. When taken for bodybuilding purposes, side effects, like reduced erectile function, increased anger, and anxiety may result. Severe side effects should be reported to a physician immediately.

Patients prescribed oxandrolone should fill out a complete medical history before taking the drug. A medical history of kidney problems, high blood pressure, and all types of cancer may affect the decision to prescribe oxandrolone. Blood sugar levels may be decreased when taking Anavar or Oxandrin, so diabetic patients should be wary of taking the medication.

Interactions with other medications may increase health risks associated with taking this anabolic steroid. Corticosteroids, blood thinners, and certain herbal supplements can negatively interact with oxandrolone. Taking corticosteroids with Anavar or Oxandrin® may increase the risk of heart failure or edema.


In the bodybuilding community, oxandrolone is often taken as an oral cutting agent. These are thought to increase muscle hardness, maximize lifting strength, and decrease body fat. Taking oxandrolone without a prescription for bodybuilding purposes is illegal in the United States.

As an anabolic steroid, oxandrolone is considered mild. High doses are typically prescribed to deter wasting, or weight loss, associated with disease. AIDS patients, for instance, can be prescribed 20 to 80 milligrams (mg) to counteract weight loss. Bodybuilders typically take 100 mg or more to achieve optimal cutting effects.

Such steroids are typically cycled in and out of a bodybuilding diet. Cycles may include eight to 12 weeks on the drug, followed by several weeks off, before restarting them. These drugs are often stacked, or taken in conjunction, with other supplements or medications.

Psychological dependence has been noted in the bodybuilding community. During the on cycle, increased muscle gains and energy may leave bodybuilders feeling powerful. During off cycles, gains tend to reduce or cease all together and energy may wane. These negative effects on muscle and energy can lead to drug abuse.


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Post 5

@ceilingcat - You're right, anabolic steroids and corticosteroids aren't the same! Anabolic steroids act like testosterone in the body, while corticosteroids are immunosuppressants. Definitely not the same thing!

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that most sporting bodies have banned the use of steroids. So while they help an athlete in the short term, they could potentially ruin their career. I just don't think the potential gains are enough for the risk in this case!

Post 4

I had no idea that anabolic steroids actually had a medical use. I've taken corticosteroids before for asthma and allergies, but as far as a I know corticosteroids and anabolic steroids aren't the same.

I know I definitely associate steroid with bodybuilders. You know, the scary ones with the bulging veins and no neck? I can understand why anabolic steroids would be used to help people gain weight-that's what they seem to do for body builders.

Anyway, it's kind of difficult if you're taking steroids for a health reason. When I was taking corticosteroids for my allergies, I happened to mention it to someone offhand. Their reaction was priceless! I had to explain the them that I was taking steroids for my health, not to get buff!

Post 3

@umbra21 - It is especially bad when people take steroids without really understanding how to use them. What it says in the article about oxandronlone cycles, for example. I'm not sure people would just know that, if they got hold of the drug.

Not that anyone should be taking them in order to supplement their body building.

Frankly, I think it's cheating, and something only a weak person would resort to.

The worst thing I've heard of is coaches who give them to their athletes without telling them what it is. The poor kids have been trained to obey their coach no matter what, and then they get taken advantage of like that.

I think, if that gets found out, the penalties should be quite severe.

Post 2

My father worked with athletes for a long time and he told me once he could tell if someone had been taking steroids just by looking at him.

Of course, this was a while ago, when I think people were less subtle about taking them, since it wasn't quite as well known and easy to determine as it is now.

Dad said he had even come across high school kids who had taken steroids. He said in that case, the worst thing was that they would often not know how to calculate, say the oxandrolone dosage, and could seriously damage themselves.

Post 1

One of my friends son was taking this steroid for a short time. He was not on it very long before he began having some strange oxandrolone side effects.

He has asthma and I don't know if this triggered anything or not, but his heart began racing fast and he said it felt like it was beating outside his chest.

The only thing he had done different was taking the oxandrolone. As soon as he quit taking it, he no longer had the symptoms.

It was kind of scary for him to have a reaction like that, but am glad he was not on it for very long.

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