A Mild Steroid Oxandrolone
Anavar is the trademark name of the anabolic steroid, Oxandrolone (Oxandrin), created by Pfizer, Inc. Introduced in the US in 1964, Anavar is considered a Class I steroid. It is taken orally and has few known side effects, binding well with the androgen receptor when taken in sufficient dosage.
Compared to other anabolic steroids available in the market Anavar is mildly anabolic, only slightly androgenic, and is not very toxic. It is also mild on the body’s Hypothalamic-Testicular-Pituitary-Axis (HPTA) and does not aromatize or convert to estrogen—a major problem for stronger anabolic steroids, which causes unwanted breast tissue to form (man boobs), called gynecomastia. As with any anabolic steroid however, high dosage of Anavar can reduce the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), halting the stimulation of Leydig cells in testicles to produce testosterone, and therefore can cause the testes to shrink or to atrophy. High dosages of Anavar (about 40-50mg) require Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) to stabilize protein catabolism and normalize the body’s testosterone secretion. Anavar is also very popular because of its fat burning capability. Called a "fat-burning steroid," Anavar is said to reduce abdominal and visceral fat for those with the low to normal natural testosterone range.
Doctors usually prescribe Anavar for halting wasting related to AIDS and recovering involuntary weight loss to promote the regrowth of muscles. The drug Oxandrolone has also been used in treating cases of Osteoporosis in the past, showing partially successful results. Due to bad publicity in the abuse of the steroid however, Searle Laboratories (now Pfizer, Inc.) discontinued the sale of oxandrolone, but was later picked up by Bio-Technology General Corporation (now Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), released in 1995 under the trademark name Oxandrin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Oxandrolone for orphan drug status in treating weight loss caused by HIV, Turner’s syndrome, and alcoholic hepatitis. Oxandrolone has also showed positive results in treating hereditary angioedema and anemia. In a study of the effect of Oxandrolone on burnt victims, those treated with Oxandrolone were found to have improved body composition, reduce hospital stay time, and preserved muscle mass.
Because Anavar is a mild steroid, it may require a higher dosage compared to stronger steroids. It is not without side effects however. Those thinking of upping their dosage for this drug just because it is comparably mild should think twice. Some studies show that there is a link between the prolonged use of Anavar and liver toxicity, similar to the effects of 17α-alkylated steroids. Even in lesser dosages, some users have reported side effects such as nausea, bloating, itching (hives), gastro-intestinal problems, depression, skin rash, diarrhea, yellowing of the skin or eyes, unusual bleeding, swelling, and unusually colored stools. In rare cases, serious or even fatal liver problems can occur, as well as the development of heart disease. Regular laboratory testing is highly recommended when taking this drug, to closely monitor the liver and to ensure that low density lipoprotein (LDL; also called the “bad cholesterol”) has not increased.
For bodybuilders, normal dose for a first time Anavar user is considered to be at 10-30 mg’s per day. However, 10 mg may be sufficient for someone who has never taken anabolic steroids beforehand. Higher dosages may lead to androgen receptor damage, HPTA suppression, and liver damage.