What Is Trenbolone? (Side Effects & Availability)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 6, 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 initially designed for animal use, but it's often misused by humans for enhanced strength and energy.
  • Users of Trenbolone may experience a range of side effects, including liver damage, tren cough, gynecomastia, hair loss, skin conditions, and testicular shrinkage.
  • According to ScienceDirect, Trenbolone's primary role was fighting muscle wasting and enhancing muscle growth in confined animals, and people began using it for quick muscle bulking, accepting the risks of an animal-intended product.
  • As a fitness professional, I recommend natural supplements over Trenbolone for safer and more sustainable fitness improvements.

What Is Trenbolone Acetate, And How Does It Work?

A man thinking while holding weights

Trenbolone acetate isa potent anabolic steroid, and was created in the 1970s by the French firm Roussel Uclaf.

Although brands like Trenbolone enanthate and hexahydrobenzylcarbonate emerged, they were solely for cattle, not humans. Unlike some steroids, Trenbolone wasn't developed for human use.

According to ScienceDirect, its primary role was fighting muscle wasting and enhancing muscle growth in confined animals [1]. Despite this, people began using it for quick muscle bulking, accepting the risks of an animal-intended product.

Is Trenbolone Acetate Banned In Sports?

From my experience in the fitness industry, I know Trenbolone is banned in sports and classified as a schedule III substance, reflecting its high risk.

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

In my career, I've seen firsthand how Trenbolone's side effects can impact various body parts, from liver damage to mood swings.

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.

Liver Damage

There is plenty of evidence that steroid use has significant side effects on the liver. But research from the American Journal of Gastroenterology has shown that Trenbolone may cause multiple different types of liver damage [2].

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. 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.

Accordin to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the result of this is soft breast tissue that you shouldn’t mistake for ripped pecs [3].

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.

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 [4].

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, according to NIH, steroid abuse may trigger increased aggression and severe mood swings [5].

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

Increased Cholesterol Levels

One research paper from the National Library of Medicine has directly linked cardiovascular issues of a patient to the effect Trenbolone had on cholesterol [6].

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.

"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, kidshealth.org

Availability Of The Drug

A health worker crossing his arms

Trenbolone, an anabolic steroid for animals, can't be legally obtained for human use, not even by prescription.

Despite this, some bodybuilders turn to the black market for muscle and fat loss gains.

However, for effective muscle building, I suggest sticking to safe, legal, and natural ingredients.

In my fitness practice, I've found that natural supplements directly boost T-levels, offering clients enhanced long-term outcomes.

Comparison with Testosterone and Nandrolone

  1. Chemical Structure:
    • Trenbolone is derived from nandrolone, modified for increased potency, exhibiting a unique molecular structure.
    • Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, serves as a benchmark for anabolic steroids, while others like nandrolone and oxandrolone have distinct structural modifications.
  2. Potency:
    • Trenbolone surpasses many anabolic steroids in both anabolic and androgenic potency, making it a powerful muscle-building agent.
    • Testosterone is a standard reference for anabolic strength, while nandrolone is comparatively less potent, and oxandrolone is milder with lower androgenic effects.
  3. Muscle-Building Effects:
    • Trenbolone's unparalleled potency contributes to rapid and significant muscle gains, making it popular among bodybuilders during bulking cycles.
    • Testosterone and nandrolone also promote muscle growth, but at varying rates, while oxandrolone is favored for lean muscle development with lower water retention.
  4. Side Effects:
    • Trenbolone's increased potency correlates with a higher risk of side effects, including cardiovascular strain, aggression, and potential kidney stress.
    • Testosterone, nandrolone, and oxandrolone exhibit their own set of side effects, but typically with varying severity and profiles, emphasizing the need for individualized consideration and monitoring.
  5. Medical Use:
    • Trenbolone is not approved for medical use in humans and is primarily utilized in veterinary settings to promote livestock growth.
    • Testosterone and nandrolone, however, have approved medical applications for conditions like testosterone deficiency and muscle-wasting disorders, while oxandrolone is prescribed to combat weight loss and muscle atrophy.


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.

Products that our team and clients have had great success with are contained within the CrazyBulk stack. It combines vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs to trigger natural responses for higher testosterone production.

It can even help with burning fat more effectively and doesn't come with all the nasty side effects.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/trenbolone
  2. https://journals.lww.com/ajg/abstract/2019/10001/2390_trenbolone_induced_liver_injury.2391.aspx
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11715139/
  4. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/anabolic-steroids
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636528/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4614617/
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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. 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
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

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