Anadrol (Oxymetholone): The Ultimate Guide

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.


What is Anadrol?

Anadrol (oxymetholone) is a DHT-derived oral anabolic steroid.

In our experience, Anadrol is the most powerful oral steroid in bodybuilding.

Anadrol, also known as A-bombs or Oxy’s, is predominantly used by bodybuilders in the off-season (when bulking), significantly increasing muscular size and strength.

When a pharmaceutical company called Syntex studied Anadrol for research purposes, it first appeared on the scene in 1959. They found Anadrol to be a successful treatment for anemia, osteoporosis, and muscle-wasting conditions such as HIV/AIDS.

Two years later, oxymetholone became available in the UK under the brand name Anapolon. Other brand names also came to the fore, including Adroyd and Anadrol (marketed in the U.S.).

In the early 1960s, Anadrol was widely available for bodybuilders to use for cosmetic purposes.

As Anadrol’s harsh side effects became increasingly well-known, the FDA limited prescriptions of oxymetholone in the mid-1970s. Bodybuilders were now unable to obtain Anadrol from their doctor, with it now being predominantly prescribed to patients suffering from anemia.

Anadrol is one of the few steroids that is still FDA-approved for medicinal purposes today (1), alongside Anavar, Testosterone, and Deca Durabolin.

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

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If you suffer from anemia or cachexia and require Anadrol for medicinal purposes, we recommend Prestige Pharmaceuticals due to their product efficacy and fast worldwide shipping (2–6 days).

Anadrol is legal to purchase in some countries and not in others; thus, it is the responsibility of users to act within the confines of their native law.

Inside Bodybuilding does not condone the use of AAS via illegal means or for cosmetic use.

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Anadrol Benefits

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Muscle-building
  • Enhances strength
  • Oral form
  • Joint support
  • Fat loss

Rapid Weight Gain

Anadrol is quite possibly the best steroid in terms of weight gain and blowing up a user’s muscles fast. This makes it a compound particularly coveted by skinny males who want huge gains.

The weight we see gained on Anadrol is typically comprised of muscle and water retention.

It is not uncommon for users to gain as much as 10 pounds in the first week on Anadrol. By the 6th week, weight gain can increase to 30 lbs. Roughly half of this is likely to be water.

Because Anadrol shifts a lot of water inside the muscle cells, muscle pumps in the gym can be described as skin tearing. Pumps can become so huge that they are actually problematic, with some users describing lower-back pumps as painful.


big muscles

Anadrol will take a bodybuilder’s muscle size to a whole new level, with it being over 3x more anabolic than testosterone.

Some of this size will be temporary intracellular fluid retention, giving the muscles a constantly pumped look.

However, we find the lean muscle gains on Anadrol are still significant, due to skyrocketing testosterone levels, protein synthesis, and increased nitrogen retention.

Scientists regard Anadrol as “one of the most potent steroids ever developed for building muscle,” with participants gaining 14.5 lbs of muscle per 100lb of body weight in studies (2).

However, these results are based on high doses for excessive periods of time; thus, results for a bodybuilder will be slightly less, assuming a shorter cycle and a more cautious dose.

Anecdotally, we find that 18 lbs of lean muscle is common for a first-time 6-week cycle of Anadrol. This will be roughly 60% of the overall weight gained.

Enhances Strength

We have found Anadrol to be one of the most utilized steroids in powerlifting and strongman circles. This is due to the sheer weight gain and the huge surge in testosterone.

We have seen users add 30 pounds to their bench press in the first 10 days on Anadrol.

By the end of a cycle, Anadrol has the ability to add approximately 60 pounds to a user’s squat, deadlift, and bench press.

Usually, the strength gained during these compound lifts will be double the body weight gained on Anadrol.

Strength levels can decrease by 40% post-cycle, which correlates with the same degree of weight loss.

Oral Form

Anadrol 50 is essentially a 50 mg tablet. Thus, no injections are needed to reap the rewards from this steroid.

Injections can be very dangerous if the person doesn’t know what they are doing. One of the most common injection sites is the buttocks, which, if done incorrectly, can injure the sciatic nerve and cause paralysis (3).

Injections, even when done safely, can be uncomfortable, which isn’t ideal when administering steroids with short half-lives (such as Anadrol), which require frequent injections.

Injecting into the buttocks may also mean users have to rely on friends or family to inject them.

Despite orals being more convenient and easier to take, there are drawbacks to taking pills, which will be detailed in the side effects section.

Joint Support

We have found Anadrol to be somewhat healthy for the joints due to its water-retaining properties.

It lubricates the joints, increasing elasticity and decreasing inflammation and/or joint pain.

Thus, if a bodybuilder does have joint problems, taking a steroid such as Anadrol or Deca Durabolin may be preferable to Winstrol, for example, with the latter expelling water and creating more wear on the joints.

Fat Loss

Some people believe anadrol causes fat gain; however, this isn’t accurate.

All anabolic steroids, including Anadrol, are different types of exogenous testosterone.

Testosterone will build muscle and burn fat. Thus, different steroids will build muscle and burn fat to different degrees.

Two studies have concluded that Anadrol burns significant amounts of subcutaneous fat when dosed at 100mg per day (4, 5).

The reason why Anadrol may appear to cause fat gain is due to water retention. The puffiness and bloating from the excess fluid can give the appearance of a higher body fat percentage.

As it’s a bulking steroid, users are likely to combine Anadrol with a high-calorie diet, resulting in fat gain and additional water retention. This, however, is linked to the person’s diet and not directly related to Anadrol itself.

Therefore, if a maintenance-calorie diet is adopted, the person will not gain subcutaneous fat.

However, Anadrol and other steroids can cause increases in visceral fat (6). This is not the fat you can pinch around your stomach, but instead is located internally and wraps around your organs.

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Side Effects

anadrol side effects

Generally, the better the results experienced from a steroid, the worse the side effects are. Although Anadrol produces some of the best strength and mass gains we have seen, it is also a very harsh steroid. Thus, it is not recommended for beginners.

Common Anadrol side effects we observe:

  • Liver toxicity
  • High blood pressure
  • Water retention
  • Gynecomastia (possibility)
  • It shuts down testosterone
  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  • Increased risk of injury
  • Decreased well-being

Liver toxicity

One of our main concerns with Anadrol is that it is hepatotoxic.

It is a c17-alpha-alkylated compound, which essentially protects Anadrol from being deactivated via the liver. This allows a very high amount of Anadrol to remain active in the bloodstream when taken orally.

However, like all C17-alpha-alkylated steroids, they strain the liver.

Anadrol does have a saturated A-ring, which reduces its toxicity somewhat; however, studies confirm that liver health can deteriorate if high doses are used.

In a 2003 study, 89 men and women who were HIV/AIDS positive took 100–150 mg of Anadrol per day for 16 weeks (7).

25% of the 100 mg group had their ALT/AST liver enzymes increase over 5 fold.

43% of the 150mg group’s ALT/AST increased over 5 fold.

These findings also correlate with our practical experience. Thus, when Anadrol is taken in high doses for excessive periods of time, it is particularly damaging to the liver.

However, bodybuilders should have no reason to go above 100mg per day, as muscle and weight gains largely remained the same between the 100mg and 150mg groups in this study.

In another study, 31 elderly men took 50-100mg per day for 12 weeks. The 50 mg group did not experience any increase in liver enzymes; however, the 100mg group experienced modest ALT and AST elevations (8). Although the 100mg group did not result in any cases of hepatic enlargement or cholestasis.

A 20-year-old Japanese woman who suffered from aplastic anemia was treated with Anadrol, taking 30 mg/day for 6 years (this is an incredibly long time). Despite developing multiple liver lesions, a lab evaluation found her liver function to be normal (9). This is astonishing considering she was taking this high dose (for a female) for 6 years!

Thus, given the resilient nature of the liver and multiple studies of Anadrol abuse not resulting in liver failure, moderate Anadrol use does not seem to pose excessive damage to the liver.

However, users should still take precautions, utilizing low to moderate doses in relatively short cycles (4-6 weeks).

In another study, 28 adults with chronic anemia were given a huge dose of Anadrol, 5 mg/kg of body weight (10).

This translated to doses as high as 450mg per day for men. Surprisingly, hepatic toxicity was only observed in less than 10% of the patients.

Thus, liver toxicity with Anadrol may be somewhat exaggerated in the bodybuilding community. However, caution must be exercised, as we have seen hepatic complications arise from high dosages and excessive cycles. 


To help ease the strain on the liver when taking Anadrol, we have found TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) supplementation to be advantageous. This is a naturally occurring compound found in bile acid, produced in the liver.

The natural healing effects of TUDCA have been used to treat liver disease in Chinese medicine for the last 3,000 years, often in the form of bear bile (containing over 50% of TUDCA). In comparison, only small amounts of TUDCA exist in human bile.

In medical research, TUDCA has been shown to be effective in treating chronic active hepatitis.

In one study, 53 patients took 500mg of TUDCA per day for 3 months (11). It was effective in lowering AST and ALT enzymes within the first month. This effect was dramatic by the third month, with AST and ALT enzymes dropping by 44% and 49%, respectively. The patients also reported no side effects.

Therefore, it would be wise to supplement with TUDCA during or after your cycle for maximum liver protection. Alcohol should also be avoided.

Effective TUDCA supplements can be bought online, typically costing in the region of $20-30. It is an FDA-approved supplement.

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Anadrole 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.

High Blood Pressure

Anadrol is possibly the worst anabolic steroid for blood pressure, based on our lipid profile tests. All AAS will elevate a person’s blood pressure due to exogenous testosterone, causing a negative shift in cholesterol levels.

This results in a dramatic rise in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and a decrease in HDL (good) levels.

With Anadrol, studies have shown an insignificant impact on LDL levels but a dramatic decline in HDL levels (12).

In the previously cited study, the 31 elderly men taking 50–100 mg of Anadrol per day experienced a reduction in HDL by 19 and 23 points.

Anadrol will also spike blood pressure due to its dramatically increasing red blood cell count. We have seen Anadrol users experience up to 5x the number of red blood cells compared to a normal person (13).

Consequently, blood can become more viscous, with blood flow to the heart potentially becoming impaired. When a person retains water, the same blood-thickening effect happens, further reducing circulation.

Due to Anadrol’s drastic effect on HDL cholesterol levels, water retention, and red blood cell count, it is a steroid that has a very negative effect on the heart.

A diuretic may be used to lower blood pressure if a person experiences significant water retention. However, this will result in less muscle fullness and decreased strength gains due to less ATP production inside the muscle cell.

Users with high blood pressure or a history of heart disease in their family should refrain from using Anadrol.

Those who are planning on cycling Anadrol should try to minimize this spike in BP by performing regular cardio (14). We find this improves blood flow, notably to and from the heart.

Nosebleeds and headaches can occur while on Anadrol, which can be a sign of elevated blood pressure. If this happens, get a check-up, and if your BP is very high, cycle off immediately.

Water Retention and Gynecomastia

smooth bloated muscles

Smooth, bloated muscles

Anadrol is a DHT derivative; thus, it does not aromatize and convert into estrogen.

However, we find it to be very estrogenic in real-life settings, having the potential to cause gynecomastia, water retention, and bloating.

It has been theorized that these estrogenic side effects are due to Anadrol acting as a progestin; however, studies show Anadrol to have little effect on progesterone levels.

Instead, Anadrol stimulates the estrogen receptors directly, similar to methandriol.

Water retention can be beneficial during a steroid cycle, as intracellular fluid can aid ATP production and thus increase muscular strength and size.

However, the downside to water retention is that the muscles look smooth and their definition is reduced. Bloating is a common side effect we see with Anadrol, especially in high doses or when taken in conjunction with a high sodium diet.

Due to Anadrol causing noticeable amounts of extracellular fluid retention, it’s not the best steroid for vascularity.

Why Anadrol Doesn’t Always Guarantee Water Retention

Our patients do not experience much bloating or fluid retention on Anadrol if their diet is particularly clean and they are already very lean.

For example, men’s physique competitors often get away with taking Anadrol before a competition, helping them to look extra full without any noticeable water retention or bloating.

The reason why they don’t experience water retention from Anadrol when preparing for a show is that the presence of high estrogen levels does not automatically guarantee water retention.

We find that high estrogen simply increases your sensitivity to sodium, thus, if a person’s sodium intake is moderate and they take Anadrol, they will retain more water.

However, if a bodybuilder’s sodium intake is low and they consume large amounts of water (as bodybuilders typically do before a contest), sodium levels will remain low, and thus increased sodium sensitivity is no longer an issue.

Consequently, bodybuilders can appear extremely full and dry on stage.


We have had cases of Anadrol causing gynecomastia via the direct stimulation of estrogen receptors in the mammary gland. Gynecomastia (gyno) is when additional breast tissue starts to form in a male’s breasts.

Mild gyno can resemble swollen nipples, whereas severe gyno can cause a man’s breasts to look like a woman’s.

To prevent estrogenic side effects from occurring, we typically prescribe an anti-estrogen, such as Nolvadex or Clomid.

Note: Aromatase inhibitors, such as Arimidex or Cytadren, will not be effective in reducing estrogenic side effects, as Anadrol does elevate estrogen levels via aromatization (but via direct stimulation).

Shuts Down Testosterone

All anabolic steroids will suppress endogenous testosterone production. The post-cycle crash can typically be hard on Anadrol users; thus, a PCT is essential in accelerating the restoration of mental well-being and natural testosterone production.

Low testosterone levels can cause:

  • Low energy
  • Low motivation
  • Decreased libido
  • Impotence
  • Decreased well-being

Because the ‘come down’ on Anadrol is severe, we sometimes see steroid users opt for a milder steroid such as Deca Durabolin after coming off to aid this transition. Such a protocol may also help users retain more strength and muscle gains experienced from an Anadrol cycle.

However, we find that if a person opts to use a ‘lighter’ steroid following Anadrol, this will delay the time it takes for endogenous testosterone levels to recover. Thus, it is only typically implemented by individuals who have low well-being post-cycle.

We see that natural testosterone levels typically recover within 1-4 months after coming off Anadrol (and other steroids). However, this is only a general rule that applies to those who do not abuse steroids.

If users take high dosages of Anadrol for excessive periods of time, they run the risk of developing hypogonadism, which may require medical intervention to get the testes functioning properly again (15).

Abuse of Anadrol, or other steroids may also lead to infertility due to decreased sperm count and quality. In our experience, this effect can become permanent, preventing men from having children (16).

Discover how to increase your endogenous testosterone production (back to normal levels) in our post-cycle therapy section.

Hair Loss and Acne

acne bodybuilder

Anadrol has a low androgenic rating of 45. This is less than half the rating of testosterone.

However, this mild score does not correlate in real-life settings, where we see Anadrol regularly producing androgenic effects, including hair loss (on the scalp), oily skin, and acne.

This is due to increased sebum production, which is secreted by the sebaceous glands. The role of sebum is to moisturize the skin; however, too much of it can block the pores, leading to acne breakouts.

This side effect is often genetic; thus, if a person has experienced acne during puberty, they may be more at risk.

Anadrol is a DHT-derived steroid, but it also converts into dihydrotestosterone, the hormone responsible for hair loss on the scalp.

DHT causes miniaturization of the hair follicles, causing them to thin or even fall out. Hair loss is a concern when taking any steroid; however, in our experience, it is often determined by a person’s genetics.

For example, we see some bodybuilders take Anadrol, Trenbolone and Testosterone together for several months and keep thick-looking hair. Others can take a mild steroid such as Deca and experience significant hairline recession or baldness after just a couple of cycles.

If you are predisposed to losing your hair, steroids will accelerate this process. Alternatively, if you have strong hair genetics, steroids will not cause you to go bald.

How Does Anadrol Produce Androgenic Side Effects Despite Having a Low Androgenic Rating?

With Anadrol, the conversion of DHT isn’t through the usual pathway, being the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.

Anadrol uniquely contains an additional 2-hydroxymethylene group.

Once in the body, this is metabolized, reducing oxymetholone into 17-alpha-methyl dihydrotestosterone (otherwise known as mestanolone or proviron).

17-alpha-methyl dihydrotestosterone is a very potent androgen, which explains why androgenic side effects are possible despite it having a low androgenic rating.

Because Anadrol does not convert into DHT via the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, we find that medications such as finasteride are ineffective for the treatment of hair loss. Also, it may not be in a bodybuilder’s best interest to reduce DHT levels with such medications, as we have observed reductions in strength and muscle gains.

Increased Risk of Injury

Rapid weight gain from Anadrol places excessive stress on connective tissues. Consequently, we have witnessed several pectoral and bicep tears attributed to Anadrol use.

This is the side effect of fast and enormous increases in strength (+60 lbs on compound exercises).

To reduce the risk of injury, bodybuilders can lift lighter weights and perform more repetitions. This will not reduce muscle gains, as we have found lighter weights to be just as effective for building hypertrophy as heavy weights (17).

Furthermore, performing a sufficient warm-up will help the muscles become more supple and decrease the risk of injury.

Decreased Well-Being

Some of our patients report that Anadrol gives them mood swings and makes them feel miserable. This can be attributed to the sheer power and toxicity of the steroid, i.e., the combination of liver strain, water retention, and high blood pressure.

In some individuals, Anadrol may not produce the same constant euphoria as Dianabol for example. This is because Anadrol is a harsher steroid, so the side effects are also more profound.

However, individuals who genetically respond well to Anadrol, can experience increased well-being due to the huge increase in exogenous testosterone.

Note: Fluctuations in well-being can also be dose-dependent, in our experience.

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Is Anadrol safe?

Anadrol remains FDA-approved in the United States for the treatment of anemia. Thus, when administered under a doctor’s supervision, oxymetholone is deemed safe.

However, bodybuilders who take Anadrol remain at risk, as they are thought to be healthy individuals doing this in a non-medical setting. This opens the door for Anadrol to be abused via high doses and excessive cycles.

Also, when Anadrol is taken in recreational settings, it is not guaranteed to be real Oxymetholone due to the purchase of this steroid on the black market.

Despite Anadrol being FDA-approved, it is still one of the harshest steroids we have come across, based on our lipid profile tests. Thus, extreme caution should be used.

Anadrol for Women

anadrol for womenBecause men experience androgenic effects from Anadrol, many assume that it also causes virilization side effects in women, which are:

  • Deepened voice
  • Clitoral enlargement
  • Body hair
  • Hair loss (on the scalp)
  • Masculine facial features (including more pronounced jawline)

However, we have found Anadrol to be a very female-friendly steroid with a low affinity for masculinization side effects. Research also confirms this.

Study: female HIV patients suffering from chronic cachexia were given 100–150 mg of Anadrol per day for 30 weeks (18). This is a megadose by bodybuilding standards and an extremely harsh cycle.

However, virilization did not occur in any of the women. In fact, the only side effects reported were a lack of sexual desire and increased fatigue. The women also did not experience any hypertension or androgenic side effects either (which is contrary to its effects in men).

There are two explanations for why Anadrol does not cause virilization in women. Firstly, we find that masculinization occurs in women when androgen levels are high and estrogen levels are low. Anadrol is androgenic but also very estrogenic, preventing this ratio from becoming imbalanced.

Another reason why Anadrol is female-friendly is due to its low affinity when binding to SHBG (19). High levels of sex hormone-binding globulin aren’t female-friendly, as they cause women’s natural testosterone production to become free or unbound.

In comparison, Winstrol binds strongly to SHBG and consequently produces strong masculine side effects in women. Winstrol also does not convert into estrogen, creating an optimal environment for virilization.

Anavar is a very popular steroid among females; however, we know that Anavar can still produce virilization in higher doses.

Steroid expert Bill Roberts (Ph.D.) states in his experience that:

“5mg of Anavar is roughly the equivalent of 25mg of Anadrol for risk of virilization”.

He also recommends splitting up the doses of Anadrol throughout the day instead of taking 25mg in one go.

In another study, women were given oxymetholone to treat anemia and bone marrow failure (20). They started on a dose of 1mg per kg, then it increased in monthly increments by 50%, up to 100mg per day. Every female was given a dose of at least 50mg of Anadrol per day.

Only mild side effects were reported. Only four women in the study showed slight virilization changes, despite being given huge doses. Such side effects were also reversed after they stopped taking Anadrol. This is also what we see anecdotally among our female patients.

12.5 mg–25 mg is considered an effective dose for women wanting to experience significant strength and muscle gains on Anadrol. These are very modest doses compared to the studies cited above, further preventing the risk of virilization.

Women should also be wary about the liver toxicity of Anadrol. Therefore, women should supplement with TUDCA and refrain from drinking alcohol.

Is Anadrol Legal?

Anadrol is illegal to take (for bodybuilding purposes) in most countries unless a doctor has prescribed it for medical reasons.

In the U.S., Anadrol is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, following the Controlled Substances Act.

Thus, buying or selling Anadrol can result in prison time if caught. Possession of Anadrol (or other steroids) can result in a 1-year prison sentence and a minimum fine of $1,000. Prison time and fines increase for repeat offences.

Selling steroids can result in up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. This is applicable to first-time offenders. Fines and prison time can double for a second offence.

Anadrol can be legally bought in Mexico and Thailand (despite it being an ‘S controlled substance’ in the latter country).

Anadrol Results: Before & After Transformation

Due to Anadrol’s short esters, it kicks in very fast. We find users often feel its powerful effects within the first few days.

In our experience, one cycle of Anadrol can result in 30 lbs of weight gain and 60 lbs of added strength on the three big compound lifts. Additional cycles can lead to enhanced results, especially when stacked with other steroids.

Below are the results from a bodybuilder who took Anadrol and Deca Durabolin for a year.

anadrol before after

In the picture on the left (above), the bodybuilder states that he was already taking SARMs; thus, a user may experience even bigger gains than his if they transition from natural to taking Anadrol regularly.

anadrol results

From natural to using Anadrol

anadrol back results

Huge back gains

As you can see, his muscles have blown up dramatically since he started taking Anadrol and Deca Durabolin. He hasn’t really gained any fat, but his muscles appear smoother and puffier due to some water retention.

These impressive results are typical after a few cycles of Anadrol.

Are Anadrol’s results permanent?

We find the lean muscle gains experienced on Anadrol are often permanent. Just over half of the weight a user gains from Anadrol will be lean muscle (the rest will be water).

Thus, if a person gains 35 lbs from a 6-week cycle, roughly 20 lbs will be lean muscle (which will remain after coming off the steroid).

To increase muscle retention post-cycle, our patients will utilize an effective post-cycle therapy and continue training hard. Once a person stops lifting weights, lean muscle gains from Anadrol will diminish.

Injectable Anadrol vs Orals

Some people believe that by taking injectable Anadrol, you won’t strain your liver.

This, however, is false. Although it will bypass the liver upon entry into the bloodstream, it will have to process through the liver upon exiting your body.

Thus, we record injectable Anadrol being less hepatotoxic than oral Anadrol; however, it still strains the organ.

With injectable Anadrol, you are getting 100% of the true dose, as it is not being broken down by the liver.

With orals, they are C-17 alpha-alkylated, so a very high percentage of the steroid remains active, although your body won’t be utilizing 100% of the dose.

Furthermore, we find injectable Anadrol is more difficult to get hold of compared to orals, so there is no significant benefit to taking injectable Anadrol over oral Anadrol, other than slightly less liver strain.

Note: Liver strain is not particularly concerning with Anadrol if a moderate dose or cycle is performed.

Anadrol Dosage

Male bodybuilders will often take 50–100 mg of Anadrol per day for 4–8 weeks.

An effective dose for women looking to build muscle is 12.5–25 mg per day for 4-6 weeks.

Due to Anadrol’s short half-life of 5–9 hours (21), doses should be split up and taken regularly throughout the day. Anadrol typically contains pills in 50 mg doses; thus, by using a pill cutter, you can give yourself 2-4 doses each day.

Important: Anadrol pills are fat-soluble; therefore, eating them with food may decrease their biological availability and hinder results. Thus, for best results, take Anadrol on an empty stomach.

The higher the dose, the more side effects a user will experience. Anything over 100mg per day will dramatically increase side effects without much-added benefit in terms of results.

Anadrol Stacks and Cycles

Anadrol is commonly stacked with powerful injectable steroids, such as Testosterone, Deca Durabolin or Trenbolone.

We see such stacks leading to further mass and strength gains, but also increased side effects. Stacking multiple steroids together will exacerbate testosterone suppression, cholesterol values, and blood pressure.

With Anadrol being a particularly harsh steroid, it would be wiser to stack it with a mild injectable steroid such as Deca Durabolin, as opposed to Trenbolone. Testosterone is also suitable.

Like Dianabol, Anadrol can be cycled alone with good results, especially if the user is a novice to oxymetholone.

Once users have built up a tolerance to Anadrol by cycling it once, they may stack other steroids with it.

Here are some sample Anadrol cycles that bodybuilders use today.

Anadrol-Only Cycle

anadrol only cycle

This cycle is tailored for novices who haven’t used Anadrol before. Although Anadrol is not generally recommended for beginners, the above cycle may be tolerable due to lower doses.

Anadrol-Only Cycle (Experienced Users)

anadrol cycle

The above cycle is tailored for experienced steroid users, hence the higher dose and extended duration.

Anadrol and Testosterone Cycle

anadrol test cycle

Anadrol and testosterone are two of the best duos we have come across for building size, strength, and mass. This stack is suitable for experienced users only.

With the addition of testosterone, the risk of gynecomastia increases greatly due to higher estrogen levels. Thus, we typically prescribe a SERM during this cycle, such as Nolvadex.

SERMS (selective estrogen receptor modulators) essentially block estrogen’s effects directly in the breast tissue, thus preventing the onset of gynecomastia.

Anadrol / Testosterone / Trenbolone Cycle

anadrol test tren cycle

Note: The above cycle is only utilized by very experienced steroid users.

This is an extreme cycle for incredible mass and strength gains. Rich Piana hailed it as his “best ever cycle” (22). The specific testosterone he used was Sustanon 250 and Trenbolone acetate. However, he stated that he didn’t utilize this cycle often, as it is very taxing on the body.

Hormonally, we find this cycle to be very estrogenic and androgenic. Thus, our patients will often take an AI (aromatase inhibitor) to reduce testosterone’s estrogenic side effects. This is usually letrozole or anastrozol. A SERM such as Nolvadex may also be used to prevent the direct stimulation of estrogen in the mammary gland (from Anadrol).

Regular cardio should be performed throughout this cycle to lower blood pressure while avoiding stimulants and high-sodium foods.

It is difficult to prevent androgenic effects from occurring; however, we find these effects aren’t particularly damaging to a man’s health (such as acne or male-pattern baldness).

We have not come across a trio of steroids that produce the same level of strength and mass as these. Equally, it is one of the worst cycles for side effects.

Anadrol PCT (post-cycle therapy)

Post-cycle therapy is needed after taking Anadrol, as testosterone levels will become very suppressed, affecting mental well-being, energy levels, libido, and gains.

In order to recover endogenous testosterone production quickly, an aggressive PCT protocol should be administered. This is especially true if a user is stacking Anadrol with other anabolic steroids.

We typically adopt the following protocol:

  • hCG: 2000 IU administered every other day for 20 days
  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex): 2 x 20mg for 45 days
  • Clomiphene (Clomid): 2 x 50mg for 30 days

This PCT was created by Dr. Michael Scally, a hormone replacement expert. This trio of drugs has been effective in treating 19 men with low testosterone levels (from the use of anabolic steroids).

45 days after using this PCT, all of the men’s testosterone levels fully recovered to normal levels.

Dr. Scally has treated over 100 men for hypogonadism, giving him specialist knowledge and experience in this area.

A PCT should begin as soon as Anadrol has left the user’s body. We can calculate this using Anadrol’s half-life (8–9 hours). To work out when the drug has fully left the body, you multiply the half-life by 5.5, giving us the following sum: 5.5 x 9 hours.

Thus, a PCT for Anadrol should begin 49.5 hours after the last dose. If other drugs are combined with Anadrol, you need to calculate when they will also leave the body. In this scenario, start the PCT when the last steroid has left your system, i.e., the one with the longest half-life.

When using this aggressive PCT, we typically see endogenous testosterone production fully recover after 2 months. 

Where do bodybuilders buy Anadrol?

Anadrol is illegal in most countries, so bodybuilders are forced to buy it through the black market.

Anadrol can be bought conveniently at a local store or pharmacy only in countries where it’s 100% legal (i.e., Mexico).

Bodybuilders will often buy Anadrol from someone they know or an online website. There are two possible grades: pharmaceutical grade and underground lab.

Pharmaceutical grade Anadrol is created by scientists in a lab for medical purposes. Thus, when you buy genuine pharma-grade, it is 100% legitimate. This can be purchased on the black market if someone has been prescribed Anadrol for their anemia. So if they haven’t taken their medication, they may decide to sell it.

Underground labs Anadrol is essentially someone formulating the drug themselves. Thus, we find the risks associated with buying UGL steroids from unknown sellers to be high due to a lack of regulations and non-medical expertise.

Pharma Anadrol is rare, so most of the Anadrol people buy is UGL. Pharma grade is also considerably more expensive than UGL due to it being the real deal and more scarce.

Due to the possible risk of Anadrol containing dangerous substances or simply being a placebo pill, people are advised to only trust sources on the black market that can be verified by someone they trust.

Buying from unknown websites with no reviews or trusting someone at your gym, where no one can vouch for the product, increases the chances of being scammed.

Best Legal Anadrol Alternative

# Preview Product Rating Price
1 Anadrole $54.99

Anadrol Price

The typical price of Anadrol on the black market is:

  • 100 x 50mg pills = $85.

This will last just over 6 weeks, taking 100mg a day.

Or, it can last for 2 x 6-week cycles on 50mg per day.

We have retrieved this price from an anonymous source. Prices will naturally be higher than this for pharmaceutical-grade Anadrol.

Anadrol Brands

The following brands of Anadrol are pharmaceutical-grade: these are still available today and may be found on the black market.

Note: These are not legal to buy or sell, as they are produced in certified labs for medical purposes only.


Manufactured in Turkey by Abdi Ibrahim. This brand contains 20 x 50 mg tablets.


This is produced in Iran and contains 100 x 50 mg tablets.

Oxymetholone IH

This is another Iranian brand, containing 100 pills.


Manufactured by Asia Pharma in Thailand. Boxes come with unique ID numbers, which can be verified on the official Asia Pharma website to prove authenticity.


Produced by British Dispensay, located in Thailand. These are green pills that have ‘BD’ and their snake logo embedded on opposing sides.

British Dispensay implemented a holographic sticker to prevent counterfeit products; however, fraudsters have duplicated this skillfully.

Anapolon, Balkan Pharmaceuticals

This is produced in Moldova, containing 20 x 50 mg pills.


Manufactured by Genepharm in Greece. 20 x 50 mg pills.

Diet on Anadrol

A person’s diet is particularly important when taking Anadrol in regards to water retention. We find bodybuilders often report excessive bloating on Anadrol when eating ‘dirty’ foods in the off-season.

This combination of a high sodium diet and the estrogenic nature of Anadrol causes water to spill outside the muscle cells, giving them a puffy appearance. Facial and stomach bloating are also common.

Drinking lots of water and eating clean has been effective for our patients, keeping water retention at bay. When a person drinks more water, it causes the body to flush out existing water in the body as a self-defence mechanism.

bodybuilder burger

Junk food (high sodium) not a good idea on anadrol

Eating unrefined carbohydrate sources, such as fruit, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain rice, oatmeal, and wholemeal bread, is a good idea, as refined carbs may exacerbate fluid retention, contributing to heightened blood pressure.

Some salty foods that should be avoided are salted nuts, bacon, sausage, anchovies, ham, baked beans, and tuna. Fish sources such as haddock and salmon are better, lower-salt alternatives

We have also found that limiting the intake of dairy products can reduce bloating in some individuals (23).


Does Anadrol Suppress Your Appetite?

Anadrol is designed to stimulate appetite, enabling users to gain weight quickly. However, if doses are too high or the person doesn’t respond well, we find it sometimes decreases appetite. This is usually the result of excess liver strain.

When the liver is being taxed, as a defence mechanism, the body reduces appetite in a bid to decrease the amount of food the organ has to process. This essentially reduces the liver’s workload.

Can You Use Anadrol for Cutting?

Anadrol can be used on a cut to increase fat burning, help retain muscle tissue, and dramatically increase muscle fullness.

However, it is not generally taken during a cutting cycle due to extracellular water retention. This has the potential to decrease muscle definition and increase bloating, which isn’t aesthetically pleasing when trying to burn fat.

However, we know of bodybuilders and men’s physique competitors that will cycle Anadrol just before a show to blow up their muscles and come in exceptionally full. This can be done without significant increases in water retention if a person is extremely lean and keeps their diet clean.

Does Anadrol negatively affect cardio?

In short, yes.

Due to the sheer weight gain on Anadrol, we often discover that cardiovascular activities can become increasingly difficult.

Also on Anadrol, the blood becomes more viscous due to a dramatic rise in red blood cell count. Consequently, blood flow becomes impeded, making it easier to get out of breath.

However, cardio shouldn’t be avoided, as it has the potential to reduce blood pressure and increase circulation. This can help negate some of the adverse effects of Anadrol (including strain on the heart).

Anadrol vs Dianabol

Anadrol and Dianabol are two wet steroids, being very estrogenic and typically causing significant water retention in the off-season. In our experience, they are the two best steroids for putting on mass quickly.

Anadrol is the more powerful steroid out of the two in the typical doses taken. Weight gain is likely to be slightly greater on Anadrol compared to Dianabol, with the same applying to strength gains. However, side effects are likely to be more severe with Anadrol.

Beginners will often take Dianabol but are rightfully wary of Anadrol.

Despite Anadrol being ‘the more toxic steroid’, Dianabol mg for mg is actually the more potent drug. Typical doses of Dianabol range from 30 to 50mg per day. Whereas Anadrol requires double this dose to get similar results (50–100 mg).

In summary, we find Dianabol to be the better steroid when weighing up the pros and cons of each compound. However, people can respond differently to each based on their genetic code.

Anadrol vs Trenbolone

Anadrol and Trenbolone are very different steroids. Both are fast-acting; however, Anadrol 50 is an oral and Trenbolone is an injectable.

Anadrol causes significant amounts of water retention, while Trenbolone is a ‘dry‘ steroid. Therefore, all of the weight gained on Tren will be lean muscle mass, making it a more ‘aesthetically pleasing’ drug.

Trenbolone is the better steroid for cutting purposes due to its superior fat-burning properties. We see Tren also helps users look more vascular due to its diuretic properties (less water collecting between the muscle and skin).

Both are very harsh steroids that will elevate blood pressure, shut down testosterone, cause androgenic side effects, and pose risks to the liver.

Trenbolone does have the ability to raise liver enzymes, as seen in our LFTs. However, this effect is thought to be less than on Anadrol.

Both of these compounds complement each other very well when stacked together. However, this stack will also produce some of the worst side effects among all steroids.

Anadrol vs Deca Durabolin

phil heath bradley martyn

Deca Durabolin is a bulking steroid like Anadrol, but a much milder compound.

Deca is an injectable steroid, whereas Anadrol is mostly in pill form.

Deca has long esters and is slow-acting, whereas Anadrol hits you like a train within the first few days of a cycle. Thus, Deca cycles are typically longer than those of Anadrol (usually 8–10 weeks), as it takes longer to kick in.

We find that muscle and strength gains on Anadrol will be superior compared to Deca Durabolin, simply because the former is more anabolic. 

Deca is not estrogenic; however, we do see some estrogen-like side effects occur due to moderate progesterone activity. However, the risk of gynecomastia and bloating is notably less on Deca.

Androgenic side effects will also be significantly less on Deca compared to Anadrol, so if you are prone to acne or are worried about hair loss, Deca is the better steroid.

In our experience, Deca often needs to be stacked with other steroids in order to see tremendous gains in muscle mass, whereas Anadrol is a powerful drug by itself.

Anadrol vs Testosterone

Testosterone is mostly an injectable steroid, whereas Anadrol 50 is an oral steroid.

These two steroids have somewhat similar effects. Both are powerful for adding lean mass and increasing strength; however, Anadrol will produce more water retention.

Weight gain is often more noticeable on Anadrol; however, lean muscle gains will be somewhat similar (with Anadrol having the edge). Our patients often report that Anadrol is the better steroid for strength purposes.

Testosterone is more suitable for beginners as it’s less toxic to the body. We find that test-only cycles are considerably better tolerated among novices compared to Anadrol.

Both steroids will produce estrogenic, androgenic, and cardiovascular side effects. However, we often see these being dialed up a notch or two on Anadrol.

Anadrol vs Anavar

Anavar is another oral steroid and a DHT derivative like Anadrol.

Anavar is predominantly used during cutting cycles due to its fat-burning effects and being a ‘dry’ steroid with no water retention. Anadrol, however, is a wet steroid due to its very estrogenic nature.

Anadrol will cause a lot of weight gain, whereas Anavar won’t.

Anavar is a better fat burner due to its stimulation of T3 levels in the thyroid.

Anavar will increase lean muscle mass, but nowhere near the extent of Anadrol.

Anavar is a very mild steroid, in regards to side effects, and thus is popular among beginners and women. In medicine, Anavar is even prescribed to children and is deemed safe.

Anadrol is a lot more toxic than Anavar in our testing, producing more severe side effects. Particularly in regard to blood pressure, testosterone suppression, and estrogenic effects.

Should I take Anadrol with Grapefruit Juice?


There was a study that measured whether grapefruit significantly increased the absorption and bioavailability of the sex steroids estradiol and progesterone.

Surprisingly, 200 ml of grapefruit juice increased estradiol by 117% and progesterone by 125% 24 hours after consumption (24).

In another study, researchers wanted to see if blood pressure medication, when taken with alcohol, had any interactions. To disguise the taste of alcohol, they mixed it with grapefruit juice.

They concluded that alcohol had no interactions with the medications; however, grapefruit juice increased the absorption of the medication in the bloodstream by fivefold.

The science behind grapefruit juice increasing the absorption of medications is that it inhibits an enzyme in the liver and intestines known as CYP3A4.

CYP3A4’s job is to remove foreign molecules by detecting toxins in the body. This process greatly decreases the biological availability of many drugs.

It is believed that flavonoids and/or furanocoumarin present in grapefruit juice are what inhibit CYP3A4 from functioning properly (25).

Another study found that grapefruit juice’s CYP3A4-inhibiting effect was most effective when drunk 1 hour before taking the medication (26).

Research has shown that grapefruit can cause this effect for up to 24 hours, of which 1/3 of the effect still remains.

We have had patients drink 250 ml of grapefruit juice every 12 hours, which kept CYP3A4 consistently deactivated throughout the day.

Interestingly, many medications will say on the box: do not drink with grapefruit juice, as medications are obviously dosed based upon the CYP3A4 enzyme working as normal.

On a bodybuilding thread, one person shared his experience with grapefruit juice:

That’s very interesting, because I am in the 2nd week of my Dianabol cycle and I didn’t feel much difference at first, but this week I’ve been drinking a lot of grapefruit juice (instead of water) and I’ve had insane pumps which I’ve never experienced before, particularly in my legs.

There have been no studies conducted on mixing grapefruit juice with oral anabolic steroids; however, anecdotally, we have seen this work. However, if users are going to drink grapefruit juice orally, they need to be cautious of overdosing, as 50 mg of Anadrol may effectively become 100mg with the inhibition of CYP3A4.

Thus, this methodology has the potential to increase results but also the severity of side effects.

If this protocol is successful, the cost of an oral cycle may effectively decrease, as users will be able to take fewer tablets for the same level of results (or better). 

Note: Research shows that eating grapefruit is also effective in blocking CYP3A4.

Can I use Anadrol year-round?

This certainly isn’t recommended, as Anadrol is one of the harshest steroids you can take. This will almost certainly cause excessive damage to the heart, suppress endogenous testosterone production enormously, and place incredible strain on the liver.

Also, there is not much benefit to doing this, as gains will plateau due to your body adapting to the steroid.

You don’t want to condition your body to need mega doses of Anadrol in order to make further gains, which will be the case if someone chooses to blast and cruise Anadrol.

Testosterone is a safer steroid for blasting and cruising.

I have taken 400 mg of Anadrol and felt nothing. Why isn’t it working?

Never take more than 100 mg of Anadrol per day (100mg is even a high dose).

Many bodybuilders will verify that Anadrol is one of the most powerful steroids on the market. You will certainly feel it; therefore, the ‘Anadrol’ you have is almost certainly not authentic oxymetholone.

How do I know if my Anadrol is real?

You can simply order a testing kit online. With different tests, you can detect the substance and its purity. This will tell you if it is real Anadrol and how many mg’s are actually in the pill.

These tests are often inexpensive and certainly worth doing.

Will Anadrol shrink my testicles?

There is a good chance that a man’s testicles will decrease in size on Anadrol, signifying less sperm count (27).

This is the consequence of lowered endogenous testosterone production. This effect can be quite severe, hence why a powerful PCT protocol is needed to quickly restore normal test levels and sperm count. Several months (4–12) after using Anadrol or other steroids, we see users’ testicles often return to their normal size.

Will Anadrol show up on a drug test?

ronnie coleman police

This depends on the type of test.

For example, if someone is in the police or army, they are often tested for other substances such as amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana. Thus, steroids generally won’t cause a failed test. Hence, Ronnie Coleman was able to be a police officer and not have any problems.

However, if someone suspects you are taking steroids after you talk openly about your use, it’s possible for them to order a steroid test specifically for you to take. Although talking so abrasively about steroid use in such environments isn’t common, people generally don’t want to get caught.

If you are a bodybuilder competing in a natural show and they conduct random testing, they certainly will be testing for Anadrol, among other anabolic steroids. Thus, as you do not know the date of the test, it is likely you will fail this test.

However, if there is a set date for a test, you can pass it by coming off Anadrol two months prior.

Anadrol’s detection time is 2 months. Thus, from your last dose until this time, trace amounts remain biologically present, which can cause a failed test. If a user leaves plenty of time and cycles off 2.5 months before a test, they will be fine.

Note: If the person has taken any other steroids in the past, alongside Anadrol, they will need to calculate the detection times of those too.

Anadrol vs Superdrol

Superdrol is a very powerful oral steroid, nicknamed ‘oral Trenbolone’.

Superdrol, like Anadrol, is a DHT-derived steroid, despite being falsely marketed as a prohormone in the early 2000’s, later causing it to get banned (28).

Superdrol is the more powerful steroid mg for mg. For example, a high dose of Superdrol is 30mg, whereas a high dose of Anadrol requires over 3x that amount (100mg).

In terms of weight gain, we see Superdrol users gain roughly 10 pounds of lean muscle after a short 4-week cycle. In comparison, Anadrol will produce roughly 30% more lean muscle (in most users) once the water is flushed out post-cycle.

Both steroids are incredible for strength, with powerlifters known for using both compounds.

One bodybuilder even developed a hernia from the sheer strength gains of Superdrol, while performing heavy tricep pushdowns in the gym. This caused him to be hospitalized, requiring emergency surgery (29).

The main difference we observe between Superdrol and Anadrol is that Superdrol doesn’t cause estrogenic side effects (30). Thus, Superdrol is a dry steroid, causing no water retention or gynecomastia. This is the polar opposite of Anadrol, which has wet attributes.

We find some bodybuilders will use Superdrol while cutting too, being a very aesthetic steroid that causes no water retention.

Therefore, with Superdrol, users will retain a very high percentage of the weight gained, as this is almost all lean muscle tissue. However, a PCT is still needed to help keep your gains.

Superdrol is liver toxic like Anadrol (31), so bodybuilders don’t typically take them together or with any other orals. We also see that Superdrol affects cholesterol levels in a negative way, raising LDL and lowering HDL. Thus, blood pressure will rise significantly on both.

So, if it’s beach season and someone wants to gain some lean muscle without the risk of bloating or developing gynecomastia, Superdrol is the better choice. But if someone is bulking in the off-season and wants to really pack on as much mass as possible, Anadrol is the better steroid.

Should I take Anadrol before a workout?

anadrol meme goku

This is an effective strategy for immense energy, strength, pumps, and motivation in the gym.

However, Anadrol should be divided into multiple doses throughout the day to maintain maximum concentrations of the compound in your bloodstream. So, only 1/3 or 1/2 of your daily dose should be taken pre-workout.

I Can’t Sleep on Anadrol

We have found that anabolic steroids, including Anadrol, can cause insomnia in some users due to excessive CNS stimulation.

If this is greatly affecting sleep duration or quality for a sustained period of time, users should take Anadrol earlier in the day, or the dose should be lowered.

This is the best protocol rather than taking medications such as Diazepam, as they put further strain on the liver (32). Even natural sedative supplements, such as valerian root, are capable of having an adverse effect on liver values.

Also, if you are suffering from insomnia, completing your workout earlier in the day may help, as weight training stimulates the nervous system and increases adrenaline levels before bed.

We find that consuming tea, coffee, energy drinks, or pre-workout supplements also negatively impacts sleep due to the caffeine content (33). Thus, avoiding or decreasing the number of stimulants in a person’s diet will help.

Anadrol Summary: Pros vs Cons


  • Huge muscle gains
  • Incredible strength
  • Easy to take (oral)
  • Suitable for women (according to studies)


  • Very high blood pressure
  • Testosterone suppression
  • Water retention
  • Liver toxic
  • Gynecomastia risk

Extreme caution should be used when taking Anadrol, with it being one of the worst steroids for side effects. It will place a lot of strain on the heart, with blood pressure rising to high levels.

It will also cause a dramatic drop in natural testosterone levels. However, its virilization effects in women and liver toxicity are often exaggerated in our testing.

We do not encourage the use of Anadrol; however, if readers are going to use this compound, they should get regular checkups with their doctor to monitor their health.

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