What is Anadrol? (Effectiveness, Side Effects, Availability)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 15, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
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Being a fitness coach, it’s important to me that I prioritize natural substances that work with the body rather than against it.

To optimize results without jeopardizing health, I recommend exploring natural and legal steroids over potentially harmful options like Anadrol 50. However, when discussing ways to boost performance with my clients, steroids often come up as an option.

Understanding the importance of informed decisions, I dedicated weeks to researching Anadrol, consulting colleagues and gym enthusiasts, and reading user reviews. Here's what I discovered.

Quick Summary

  • Anadrol is a synthetic male sex hormone and is normally used to treat individuals with low red blood cell counts, well known as anemia.
  • This anabolic steroid also acts as a performance-enhancing drug, which athletes find appealing to enhance their muscle mass and strength.
  • The recommended dosage for anabolic steroid therapy typically varies, usually falling within the range of 1 to 5 mg/kg/day, with a three to six-month response time.
  • In my opinion, incorporating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise, along with the use of natural testosterone boosters, can safely boost T levels.

What Is Anadrol?

A smiling man holding a pill bottle

Anadrol, also known as Oxymetholone, is a synthetic male sex hormone categorized as an anabolic steroid. It is primarily prescribed for the medical treatment of low red blood cell count (anemia).

According to Cleveland Clinic, the medication can boost the production of erythropoietin, a hormone generated by the kidneys, which subsequently leads to an increase in red blood cell production [1].

Beyond medical use, Anadrol 50's appeal as a performance-enhancing drug lies in its rapid enhancement of muscle mass and strength, coupled with fat reduction, making it attractive to athletes.

What Does Anadrol Do to the Body?

Anadrol 50, a potent androgenic-anabolic steroid, has demonstrated significant efficacy in promoting rapid muscle development, improving protein synthesis, and increasing red blood cell count in the body, as indicated by ScienceDirect [2].

A study published by the National Institute of Health revealed a remarkable average muscle gain of 14.5 pounds per 100 pounds of body weight [3].

Nevertheless, the substantial muscle growth facilitated by Anadrol comes with potential risks. Elevated levels of red blood cells may lead to complications, including blood clots and strokes.

Everything has a risk-to-reward ratio. Who you are and want to be today is not the same as 10 years from now. Your voice, hair growth, fertility—all of these can be altered when you take androgens.”

- Victoria Felkar, Ph.D. Candidate

Dosage and Administration

Someone looking at a pill bottle with a magnifying glass

For medical purposes in treating anemia, the recommended administration is to take Anadrol 50 orally, as prescribed, at the same time each day with food or milk.

In the case of congenital aplastic anemia, a continuous maintenance dose is usually necessary.

Your doctor will determine the optimal dose based on your condition and response to anabolic steroid therapy. According to RxList, it's usually 1 to 5 mg/kg/day, with a three to six-month response time [4].

When used for performance enhancement, people often take Anadrol 50 at much higher doses, risking severe adverse reactions and overdosage.

Athletes and bodybuilders use various dosing schedules:

  • Cycling: taking the drug for some time, stopping, and then restarting again.
  • Plateauing: done to avoid a build-up of tolerance, users will swap, switch, or overlap different steroids.
  • Pyramiding: increasing the dose gradually until you hit a peak, then decreasing slowly to zero. Note this may also include frequency.
  • Stacking: combining multiple steroids, including oral and injectable.

Results may appear in as little as six weeks, but the health cost, in my opinion, remains unacceptably high.

Common Side Effects of Taking Anadrol

A man holding his side

Taking Anadrol may lead to common side effects like diarrhea, insomnia, and nervousness.

According to WebMD. even when used as prescribed at the appropriate dosage, there's a risk of side effects or an allergic reaction with Anadrol [5].

Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that misusing Anadrol 50 as a performance-enhancing drug can pose significant risks of severe physical and mental side effects [6].

In men, potential side effects include:

  • Breast swelling
  • Decreased testicular function
  • Shrunken testes
  • Prolonged erection
  • Difficult urination

In women, these include:

  • Male features development
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Deepened voice

Warning and Precautions

Two people looking at pill bottles

Using Anadrol may cause serious effects like rapid weight gain, difficulty breathing, or painful swelling. Consider important warnings before opting for these supplements despite mentioned side effects.


According to the National Institute of Health, androgenic anabolic steroids can significantly impact the liver, increasing the risk of blood-filled cysts and hepatic tumors. Regular liver function tests are crucial for both elderly and younger patients [7].


According to Mayo Clinic, male geriatric patients undergoing Anadrol 50 treatment may face an increased risk of developing an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer [8].


Steroid treatment in younger patients may lead to stunted bone growth. Furthermore, the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests female children may develop male features, and male children may experience accelerated sexual development [9].

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

According to the Mayo Clinic, Anadrol 50 can cause abnormal development in male and female fetuses. However, it's unclear if women can pass the drug component into breast milk [10].

Limbic System

A frustrated man

The research indicating the impact of anabolic steroids on the physical characteristics of pediatrics also suggests an influence on the limbic system. This impact could potentially result in mood changes such as paranoia, delusions, aggression, and a sense of invincibility.

Drug Interactions

It is advisable to be aware of any possible interactions Anadrol may have with other medications, like blood thinners and insulin, though not limited to these two.


According to Medscape, there's a clinically significant pharmacokinetic interaction between Anadrol 50 and Warfarin. Monitoring by a medical professional is crucial; warfarin dosage may need adjustment until a stable target INR is achieved [11].

Other Medical Conditions

You should call your doctor before taking Anadrol if you have any of the following medical conditions:

  • Breast cancer (males)
  • Breast cancer with elevated blood calcium levels (female)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Severe liver or kidney disease

Related Articles:

What Happens When You Stop Taking Anadrol?

When you stop taking androgenic anabolic steroids, including Anadrol 50, it's crucial to avoid abrupt discontinuation. According to the Addiction Center, doing so can result in unpleasant and severe withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Appetite loss
  • Severe tiredness

“When you completely stop [taking steroids], you might find yourself prone to mood swings, sleeplessness. And then, I found myself emotionally sensitive.”
- Eugene Robinson, Former Bodybuilder

To minimize potential adverse effects, it is advisable to taper off the use of androgenic anabolic steroids gradually [12].


Is Anadrol Legal?

Anadrol is legal, but it is a controlled substance intended to treat specific medical conditions, not to be used as a performance-enhancing drug. It is available by prescription only, so sourcing it from any place other than a medical professional is illegal. Its use in any relevant professional competition is banned as well.

How Long Does Anadrol Stay In Your System?

Anadrol stays in your system 5-9 hours, having a shorter half-life than many commonly misused anabolic steroids. It is detectable in the body for approximately eight weeks.

Does Anadrol Cause Anger?

Yes, Anadrol can cause anger, along with potential side effects such as paranoia, aggression (‘roid rage), and irritability. It's essential to be aware of these mental states and consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on managing potential side effects during its use.


  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14573-erythropoietin
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/veterinary-science-and-veterinary-medicine/oxymetholone
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11365632/
  4. https://www.rxlist.com/anadrol-50-drug.htm
  5. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/index
  6. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548931/
  8. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/anabolic-steroid-oral-route-parenteral-route/before-using/drg-20069323?p=1
  9. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/anabolic-steroids
  10. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/anabolic-steroid-oral-route-parenteral-route/precautions/drg-20069323?p=1
  11. https://reference.medscape.com/drug/anadrol-50-oxymetholone-342785
  12. https://www.addictioncenter.com/stimulants/steroids/steroid-withdrawal-detox/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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