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

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 30, 2022

Being a fitness coach, it’s important to me that what I put in my body is natural and works with my body, not against it.

I give this same advice to my clients when talking about different avenues to enhance their performance, energy levels, and stamina. Unfortunately, one of the options that comes up in these conversations quite often is Anadrol.

I find it crucial to help my clients make informed decisions, so I set out to learn all I could about this product. For several weeks I talked to colleagues and fellow gym enthusiasts and read countless user reviews, and this is what I found out about Anadrol.

Quick Summary

  • Anadrol 50 is in a class of drugs called androgenic-anabolic steroids.
  • Misuse of Anadrol can cause serious side effects.
  • There are several drug interactions to consider when taking Anadrol 50.

What Is Anadrol and How Is It Used?

A smiling man holding a pill bottle

Anadrol 50 (Oxymetholone) is one of many synthetic male sex hormones known as anabolic steroids and is medically used to treat low red blood cell count (anemia).

Anadrol increases the amount of erythropoietin, a hormone produced by the kidney, which in turn increases the production of red blood cells [1].

Besides its legitimate, prescribed use, Anadrol 50 appeals to some as a performance-enhancing drug as well.

Classified as an androgenic-anabolic steroid, it quickly increases muscle mass and strength and decreases fat, which is why athletes find it so alluring [2].

While androgenic anabolic steroid therapy is beneficial for some medical conditions, the risks of using it to bolster athletic performance far outweigh any potential benefit.

“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

Anadrol 50 is an incredibly potent steroid, some three times stronger than the naturally occurring testosterone hormone, which is why it’s highly effective for rapid muscle building and bulking as it boosts muscle protein synthesis and red blood cell count [3].

One study showed an astonishing average of 14.5 pounds of muscle gained per 100 pounds of body weight [4].

Dosage and Administration

Someone looking at a pill bottle with a magnifying glass

Anadrol 50 is taken orally as a tablet, and when prescribed to treat anemia, it should be taken at the same time each day and with food or milk to alleviate any stomach upset.

Generally, a continued maintenance dose is required, especially when treating congenital aplastic anemia.

The doctor will determine the best dose given your condition and response to the anabolic steroid therapy. The amount is usually calculated based on body weight at 1-5 mg/kg/day, and it has a response time of three to six months, at which time the doctor can evaluate its effectiveness [5].

When people turn to Anadrol 50 for performance-enhancing use, they usually take it at much higher doses, well above the maximum recommended clinical dose, which dramatically increases the risk of serious adverse reactions and acute overdosage.

Athletes and bodybuilders I have spoken to describe a variety of dosing schedules and amounts for Anadrol 50.

The following are the most common practices I heard:

  • 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.

It is not unheard of to see unprecedented results in as little as six weeks when combined with a workout routine and diet that encourages muscle building, but nonetheless, the cost for health remains unacceptably high, in my opinion.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Anadrol?

A man holding his side

There are numerous side effects of taking Anadrol including some life-threatening conditions like liver failure and weakened function of the heart.

Under prescribed use at the appropriate dosage, there are still risks of side effects or an allergic reaction with Anadrol 50. Common side effects for both men and women receiving oxymetholone are diarrhea, insomnia, and nervousness.

Other serious side effects may occur, and you should immediately call your doctor if you experience rapid weight gain, difficulty breathing, or painful swelling, particularly of the ankles and feet [6].

According to the considerable research done by experts in clinical pharmacology, anabolic steroids, like Anadrol 50, misused as a performance-enhancing drug, comes with a significant risk of severe physical and mental side effects [7].

In men, these include:

  • Breast swelling
  • Decreased testicular function and shrunken testes
  • Developing prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate)
  • Painful or prolonged erection
  • Painful or difficult urination

In women, these include:

  • Developing male features, including Increased facial hair
  • Inconsistent menstrual periods
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Hoarse or deepened voice

There are also numerous sinister side effects that both men and women may experience, and these include severe acne, liver tumors, decreased cardiac function, and even life-threatening liver failure.

It’s important to note that androgenic anabolic steroid use, including Anadrol 50, should not be stopped abruptly.

Doing so can lead to wildly unpleasant and severe withdrawal symptoms, including [8]:

  • Depression or thoughts of suicide
  • Sleeplessness
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Appetite loss
  • Severe tiredness
  • Restlessness

“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.

Warning and Precautions

Two people looking at pill bottles

There are many warnings you should keep in your mind if you still decide to take these supplements despite the aforementioned side effect.

Liver

The impact that androgenic anabolic steroids have on your liver is significant. Notably, research has shown an increased frequency of blood-filled cysts and hepatic tumors in users [9].
Periodic liver function tests need to be standard in both elderly and younger patients.

Geriatric

Geriatric male patients treated with anabolic steroids like Anadrol 50 may be at increased risk for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

Pediatric

Younger patients may experience stunted bone growth with anabolic steroid treatment. There is also a risk for female children to develop male features and for male children to rapidly develop sexually.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Anabolic steroids like Anadrol 50 can cause abnormal development in both male and female fetuses. It is also unknown if women can pass Anadrol 50 into breast milk [10].

Limbic System

A frustrated man

Anabolic steroids, including Anadrol, cause harmful effects on the part of the brain that controls mood, the limbic system.

Unlike other drugs that provide a high, Anadrol can lead to feelings of paranoia, delusions, aggression, and invincibility [11].

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.

Warfarin

There is a clinically significant pharmacokinetic interaction between anabolic steroids like Anadrol 50 and Warfarin. Monitoring by a medical professional is essential as the Warfarin dosage may need to be adjusted until a stable target INR is achieved.

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:

FAQs

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 and a whole host of other mental states like paranoia, aggression (‘roid rage), and irritability.

Should You Risk Your Health With Anadrol?

I will not argue that Anadrol 50 is effective in its anabolic and androgenic effects.

However, the severe physical and mental risks greatly overshadow any benefit of muscle gain and strength or significant fat loss.

To get the best reward without putting the body in jeopardy, I would turn to natural and legal steroids before harming my body with Anadrol 50 or any other anabolic steroid.

While these natural products won’t provide immediate results, combining them with a healthy diet and strong workout ethic will make reaching your goals much more obtainable without putting your health at risk.


References:

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/14573-erythropoietin-stimulating-agents
  2. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds/why-are-anabolic-steroids-misused
  3. https://experts.nebraska.edu/en/projects/protein-synthesis-initiation-in-red-blood-cells 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11365632/
  5. https://www.rxlist.com/anadrol-50-side-effects-drug-center.htm
  6. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6459/anadrol-50-oral/details
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134
  8. https://recovery.org/steroid-addiction/quitting/
  9. https://www.healthgrades.com/drugs/feed/anadrol-50/warnings
  10. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/anabolic-steroid-oral-route-parenteral-route/precautions/drg-20069323?p=1
  11. https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/steroids-anabolic

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