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What Is Trenbolone? (Side Effects & Availability)

David Dack
Published by David Dack | Contributor
Last updated: September 22, 2023
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It seems like I can’t get through a week working at the gym and not notice another bodybuilder who has some obvious signs of using anabolic steroids like Trenbolone acetate.

And I'm not just talking about the fact that these guys often increase muscle mass within a few weeks without a change to their routines. As a personal fitness coach, I have learned to identify the most common side effects of steroid use.

But I decided to do some additional research into Trenbolone with the help of a certified physician to see why this might be a particularly risky steroid.

Here's what I found.

Quick Summary

  • Trenbolone is an anabolic steroid meant for animal use, but humans have abused it for enhancing strength, and increase energy.
  • Some side effects of using trenbolone range from liver damage, tren cough, gynecomastia, hair loss, skin conditions, and testicular shrinkage.
  • Consider natural supplements instead of trenbolone, to boost your energy levels when working out, and improve your fitness level.

What Is Trenbolone Acetate, And How Does It Work?

A man thinking while holding weights

Trenbolone acetate is a powerful anabolic steroid developed by French pharmaceutical company Roussel Uclaf in the 1970s.

However, it's important to point out that various brand names, including Trenbolone enanthate and Trenbolone hexahydrobenzylcarbonate, were developed, approved, and marketed as drugs for cattle and not humans [1].

While other steroids often started in a similar way, Trenbolone was never further developed for human use.

Its main use was to counteract muscle wasting and boost the overall muscle mass growth of animals. There are many more products aimed at the cattle industry, specifically for animals raised in confinement [2].

Ultimately, because it works fast and well for overall growth, humans decided to take the risk of using an animal product for muscle bulking.

Is Trenbolone Acetate Banned In Sports?

Yes, Trenbolone is banned in sports and is controlled as a schedule III substance [3]. That puts it in the same category as most other anabolic steroids and would get picked up in a common drug test used in professional sports.

The reason that sports councils have banned it is obvious - the intense effect on muscle mass and overall endurance when the body is under physical strain.

That can give a significant advantage over competitors to athletes willing to risk all the potential side effects of this drug.

What Are The Side Effects?

A man holding his side

The side effects of Trenbolone esters can affect many different parts of the body. And for anyone considering taking this drug who isn't concerned about it not being tested and developed for humans, here are the main reasons to stop taking steroids like Trenbolone acetate [4].

Liver Damage

There is plenty of evidence that steroid use has significant side effects on the liver. But research has shown that Trenbolone may cause multiple different types of liver damage [5].

While some steroid users make the excuse that short-term intake may not cause much damage and that the problems are reversible, this isn't always the case. Health should be the number one reason not to take Trenbolone.

Tren Cough

Another one of the more worrying side effects of injected steroids, including Trenbolone, is that it can cause sudden coughing that is difficult to control [6]. While this doesn't seem to last for very long, it's worrying that it causes such a sudden and strong response in the lungs.

There have also not been any long-term studies on whether this causes lasting damage.


This is one of the more difficult side effects to hide. When men take steroids to boost T-levels, that excess testosterone can eventually be transformed into higher estrogen levels. The result of this is soft breast tissue that you shouldn’t mistake for ripped pecs [7].

Hair Loss

A man losing hair

Increased testosterone levels cause body hair to grow in teenagers.

And when adult men take steroids like Trenbolone, then this impact on hair can reappear.

But this time, it's common that body hair growth increases, while sudden hormone fluctuations can cause the hair on your head to thin and fall out [8].

Testicular Shrinkage

You might think that boosted testosterone would cause all sorts of manly things to happen. But prolonged use of anabolic steroids has some significant side effects on the testicles.

Studies have shown that testicles can shrink, and that can have further effects on fertility, libido, and natural testosterone production [9].

Skin Conditions

We've also heard from people who took Trenbolone and immediately started noticing oily skin and severe acne. This seems to be particularly common in people who had acne as teenagers.

Mood Swings

An angry man screaming

There's something that people in the fitness industry refer to as roid-rage.

And studies can back up the theory that steroid abuse may trigger increased aggression and severe mood swings [10].

This can even happen after the first injection, as hormonal imbalances may directly impact the brain chemistry.

Increased Cholesterol Levels

One research paper has directly linked cardiovascular issues of a patient to the effect Trenbolone had on cholesterol [11]. It seems like it decreases the good HDL and increases the bad LDL cholesterol.

Stunted Growth

The final one of the side effects to mention is that Trenbolone has been associated with stunted growth in children and teenagers. That makes it a particularly high-risk factor for young men [12].

"Steroids taken for a long period of time also can cause stunted growth in teens (by causing bones to mature too fast and stop growing at an early age)."

- Steven Dowshen, MD,

Availability Of The Drug

A health worker crossing his arms

Because Trenbolone is an anabolic steroid designed for animal use, there is no legal way you can get it for human use.

Even your doctor wouldn't be able to prescribe it for legitimate hormone treatment.

Unfortunately, many bodybuilders resort to black-market purchases to get a boost in muscle building and fat loss.

But if your goal is to build muscle mass more effectively, then I would always advise you to pursue that with safe and legal ingredients that are completely natural.

Many natural supplements I use and recommend in my fitness practice have proved to have a direct impact on T-levels, giving my clients boosted long-term results.

Related Articles:


How Does Trenbolone Acetate Make You Feel?

Trenbolone acetate can make you feel full of energy and strength while working out. But it can also make you feel agitated and cause aggressive behavior, especially as the hormone levels start to fluctuate.

What Is the Half-Life of Trenbolone?

Trenbolone's half-life is about three days. But it can still trigger a positive drug test result several months after injecting it as it takes the body a long time to process the remaining amount.

Avoid The Use Of Anabolic Steroids Like Trenbolone

Steroid use almost always leads to significant issues. And the longer you take a product like Trenbolone, the more problems you'll encounter. It can even influence your natural production of testosterone, leading to more severe problems as you age.

A much better approach to getting a boost in your exercise performance and fitness goals is to use natural supplements.

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