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Pharmaceutical Name: Oxandrolone
Chemical Structure: 5 alpha-androstan-2-oxa-17 alpha-methyl-17
Molecular Weight Of Base: 306.4442
Active Life: 8-12 hours
Anabolic/Androgenic Ratio (Range): 322-630/24
Oxandrolone was designed as an extremely mild anabolic, one that could be
safely used as a growth stimulant in children. The compound will not actually
aromatize and the anabolic effect of oxandrolone has been shown to promote
linear growth. It was also once prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis
in women, something that again demonstrates how truly mild it is. However, for
the most part it is now manufactured for the purpose of treating HIV/AIDS
related wasting syndrome(1). The expediting of wound healing, particularly the
treatment of burns, is another use but is far more rare (2).
For bodybuilders and strength athletes, the mild nature of oxandrolone is a
definite draw to the compound. The lack of aromatization of the compound makes
it ideal for cutting cycles as there is little bloat to deal with. Oxandrolone
does not reduce body fat itself, but can play a major role in the maintenance
of lean mass while dieting. Strength increases are also common and mixed with
less than dramatic weight gains, the compound is very beneficial to athletes
participating in sports that have weight divisions or where extra weight can
be a hindrance.
Similar to nearly all oral anabolic steroids oxandrolone's half-life is quite
short with frequent doses of the drug being needed to be taken to ensure that
blood levels remain fairly constant. Oxandrolone is relatively quick to be
metabolized by the body with concentrations of the drug falling rapidly after
ten to eighteen hours after administration (3). This would indicate that at
least two doses should be taken per day so that blood levels of the compound
remain stable and that no major flucuations occur.
The majority of first time male users of oxandrolone tend to take doses
ranging from 30mg to 50mg per day, as reported anecdotally. Experienced users
have reportedly used doses up to 150mg per day or more. As is the case with
most anabolic steroids, as one increases the doses one also increases the
chances of developing negative side effects.
Due to the relatively mild nature of the drug, oxandrolone is also a favorite
of women. Doses as low as 5mg per day have reportedly produced dramatic muscle
growth and hardness (1). However as with most compounds doses far larger have
also been used with varying degrees of success.
As discussed later, due to the unique nature of oxandrolone and it's
relatively mild nature in terms of hepatotoxicity, this compound can be run
far longer than other 17 alpha alkylated oral steroids. Cycles of the compound
lasting ten to twelve weeks are not uncommon, with some users extending their
cycles of the drug further. Of course, risks still remain. They are however
less substantial than if a user was administering a more toxic compound.
Oxandrolone does not aromatize or convert to DHT and therefore hair loss
should not be a concern with this compound. It causes little or no
virilization properties, somewhat surprising since oxandrolone does not
aromatize either. This of course is one of the major reasons why this steroid
is so popular with female athletes.
If used without stacking it with testosterone, oxandrolone can lead to a loss
of libido in males as it will shut down your HPTA. However, some users
indicate that no libido problems occur. As usual, it varies from individual to
Liver enzymes will likely rise while a user is taking this compound, however
the actual damage that occurs to the liver is very minor to non-existent. As
noted by William Llewellyn in Anabolics 2004, "One study comparing the
effects of oxandrolone to other agents including as methyltestosterone,
norethandrolone, fluoxymesterone and methAndriol clearly supports this notion.
Here it was demonstrated that oxandrolone causes the lowest
sulfobromophthalein (BSP; a marker of liver stress) retention among all the
alkylated orals tested. 20mg of oxandrolone in fact produced 72% less BSP
retention than an equal dosage of fluoxyrnesterone, which is a considerable
difference being that they possess the same liver-toxic alteration" (p. 77).
This would seem to indicate, as stated earlier, that oxandrolone can be run
safely for longer periods of time than most other 17 alpha alkylated oral
steroids. However, liver damage is still a possibility and precautions should
be taken. Also, Oxandrolone has been shown to have a negative effect on users'
blood lipid profiles, another indication that long terms use of the compound
should be avoided (4).
Bridging with Anavar: Is it possible?
Similar to methandrostenolone, there are some individuals that suggest
Oxandrolone can be used in small doses to "bridge" between cycles. The theory
that is proposed tries to argue that by taking a small dose of Oxandrolone
upon awakening, this will provide an anabolic "boost" to an individual's
natural testosterone levels, help combat catabolism, all while supposedly not
interfering with the recovery of the HPTA. When one looks at the evidence, it
is apparent however that this theory is not based on any credible information.
The fact that Oxandrolone can be suppressive to the HPTA even at small doses
for several hours alone would prevent it from being useful during PCT or
between full cycles. As stated by Sheffeild-Moore et al. in their study:
"Total serum T concentrations were within normal physiological range on day 0
(449 ± 35 ng/dL) and day 3 (441 ± 44 ng/dL) of OX treatment. However, by
day 5, total serum T concentrations were significantly reduced (282 ± 45 ng/dL;
P < 0.05) below day 0 and day 3 values [emphasis mine]..."(3). This means
that even at a dose of 15mg per day an individual will be shut down, thus
nullifying any attempt at PCT.
It is for this reason that running Oxandrolone as an attempt to "bridge"
between cycles will not aid in maintaining muscle mass during PCT while
allowing your HPTA to recover.
1. Llewellyn, William, Anabolics 2004, 2003-4, Molecular
2. Demling RH, Orgill DP., The anticatabolic and wound healing
effects of the testosterone analog oxandrolone after severe burn injury., J
Crit Care 2000 Mar;15(1):12-7
3. Short-term oxandrolone administration stimulated net protein
synthesis in young men. Sheffeild-Moore et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 84(8)
4. Effects of Oxandrolone on Plasma Lipoproteins and the
Intravenous Fat Tolerance in Man. Atherosclerosis 19: 337-46, 1974
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