Anadrol vs Dbol: Which is the Better Steroid?

Dr George TouliatosDisclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and does not promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultation.

In our experience, Anadrol (Oxymetholone) and Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) are the two most potent bulking steroids when trying to gain mass.

They are also very similar, being wet and oral compounds; however, there are a few distinct differences that we’ll cover in this article.

Anadrol: Pros and Cons


  • Exceptional strength increases
  • Big increases in muscle mass
  • Trapezius and deltoid hypertrophy
  • Big pumps
  • Suitable for women


  • Very high blood pressure
  • Extremely liver-toxic
  • Hair loss is common
  • Acne is common
  • Can suppress appetite
  • Water retention

Dbol: Pros and Cons


  • Big strength gains
  • A big increase in muscle mass
  • Less likely to experience hair loss
  • Big pumps


  • High blood pressure
  • Liver toxic
  • Water retention
  • Unsuitable for women

Disclosure: We do not accept any form of advertising on Inside Bodybuilding. We monetize our practice via doctor consultations and carefully chosen supplement recommendations, which have given our patients excellent results.

Legal Dianabol Alternative

dianabol rating

D-Bal is our #1 rated legal Dianabol product. It replicates the muscle-building and strength-enhancing effects of Dianabol, but without the unwanted side effects.

It is FDA-approved and can be purchased online without a prescription.

D-Bal is best suited for men wanting to build significant amounts of muscle; without shutting down their testosterone, straining their liver or elevating blood pressure levels.


Muscle Size and Weight Gain

We have seen Anadrol and Dianabol both cause hefty weight gain in users, approximately 20–30 lbs in those new to these compounds. Approximately 30% of this weight gain will be in the form of water, which is thus temporary. We have found that the majority of the remaining muscle tissue is retained post-cycle if the person continues lifting weights.


Both steroids will cause significant increases in strength; however, Anadrol has the edge in this department in our experience, being a DHT (dihydrotestosterone) derivative—a potent androgen.

Anadrol and Dianabol can add 30–50+lbs of strength to users’ main lifts, with Anadrol being at the higher end of this range and Dianabol towards the lower end.


Both anabolic steroids will increase intracellular water retention and glycogen, thus enhancing pumps in and out of the gym.

During workouts, this may even be a drawback, as pumps can become painful. Some of our patients have reported deadlifting and experiencing an excessive pump in the lower back, causing their workouts to cease. To prevent this, users can take longer rests in between sets and take potassium and taurine supplements.

High Blood Pressure

Anadol and Dianabol will significantly increase blood pressure due to them both being c-17 alpha-alkylated compounds, thus stimulating hepatic lipase, a liver enzyme that has an adverse effect on HDL and LDL cholesterol.

Equally, they are both estrogenic steroids that cause the body to retain water. We have found this to be problematic from a cardiac perspective, as water retention causes blood to become more viscous, effectively impeding blood flow to vital organs.

Liver Toxicity

Both are oral steroids and, thus, hepatotoxic steroids that will cause inflammation and damage to the liver. Our patients have had success in supplementing with 500 mg/day of TUDCA to reduce hepatic inflammation.

We often see ALT and AST markers rise significantly on-cycle but commonly drop back down to normal levels post-cycle. However, taking large doses or excessively long cycles increases the risk of liver injury.

Both Can Cause Gynecomastia

Dianabol has the aromatase enzyme present, thus converting testosterone to estrogen and potentially causing gynecomastia in users.

Anadrol is also estrogenic, albeit with a different chemical structure. It doesn’t aromatize; however, it does directly stimulate the estrogen receptors.

We have found an AI (aromatase inhibitor) to be effective in preventing gynecomastia on Dianabol, but not on Anadrol. Instead, a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator), such as Nolvadex, should be used on Anadrol to inhibit estrogenic effects directly in the mammary glands.


Trapezius and Deltoid Hypertrophy

We commonly see Anadrol causing greater muscle growth in the trapezius and deltoids due to both muscle groups possessing a higher number of androgen receptors.

Thus, with Anadrol being more androgenic than Dianabol, these muscles are more likely to blow up.

The Severity of Side Effects

Anadrol typically causes slightly harsher side effects than Dianabol, causing higher elevations in blood pressure and liver enzymes in comparison.

This is most likely due to Anadrol being taken in significantly higher dosages compared to Dianabol. A typical dosage of Anadrol is 50–100 mg/day, whereas Dianabol’s is 20–40 mg/day.

Thus, Dianabol is actually the more potent steroid mg for mg, but because Anadrol is typically taken in higher quantities, side effects can be a little more troublesome in our experience.

Anadrol can also cause acne vulgaris and accelerate male pattern baldness due to elevated DHT.

We have seen some beginners take Dbol and remain relatively unscathed. However, we have treated other beginners who utilized Anadrol as a first cycle and consequently experienced notable hepatic and cardiac damage.


Anadrol can suppress appetite, which is indicative of its destructive nature in the liver.

As the liver becomes strained processing Anadrol, the body, as a self-defense mechanism, reduces hunger in a bid to reduce the workload on this organ.

However, because Dianabol’s hepatotoxicity is lower, users can often experience the opposite effect, which is an increase in appetite.

Users are typically taking Anadrol or Dianabol for bulking purposes, where a calorie surplus can complement their gains. Thus, a stimulated appetite is advantageous.

Fat Loss

All anabolic steroids burn subcutaneous fat, as they are all forms of exogenous testosterone (a fat-burning hormone).

However, we have found Anadrol to burn slightly more subcutaneous fat than Dianabol, as it is more androgenic, with the AR (androgen receptor) playing a crucial role in adipose tissue atrophy.

This more pronounced fat-burning effect with Anadrol may not be obvious to some users, especially as it can be disguised with water retention (on cycle).

Also, users typically will eat in a calorie surplus when bulking on both of these steroids; thus fat accumulation is common in their diet. In this instance, Anadrol will do a better job at minimizing fat gain when eating generously.

Due to its fat-burning properties and ability to fill out the muscles, we see Anadrol commonly utilized as a cutting steroid, especially among men’s physique competitors. To avoid water retention, they will typically lower their sodium intake, as the combination of estrogen and moderate amounts of sodium is what causes extracellular water distribution.

Suitability for Women

Dianabol is a steroid that we find causes virilization in women, resulting in clitoral hypertrophy and deepening of the voice (1).

Anadrol, however, is very well-tolerated by women in our experience. In one study, females experienced zero virilization side effects, even when taking megadoses of 100–150 mg/day for 30 weeks (2).

The reason for this is likely related to Anadrol’s low affinity when binding to SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). High levels of SHBG can cause masculinization in women (3), as their testosterone becomes free or more active.

Winstrol is a good example of a steroid that has a high affinity when binding to SHBG, consequently causing higher virilization rates in women (4).

Anadrol vs Dbol: Which is the Better Steroid?

The answer to this depends on what the user hopes to achieve. For example, if a person has lagging deltoids or trapezius muscles and wants them to grow as big as possible, Anadrol is the best choice.

However, if someone wants to maintain the hair on their scalp, keeping it as thick as possible, Dianabol is a better option due to its decreased androgenicity (5).

Generally, Dianabol remains the more popular steroid among men in our clinic, as it can match the anabolic nature of Anadrol but with less severe side effects.

For women, Anadrol is the only suitable option out of the two.

It is very much a battle of Anadrol vs. Dbol, instead of being able to take them both in a stack together. This is because in our tests, liver and cholesterol values rise to dangerously high levels when both are taken simultaneously.

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