There is no denying that the Anadrol steroid is one of the most popular – and most beneficial – among bodybuilders and athletes seeking performance enhancement. However, unlike other anabolic steroids designed for the purpose of performance enhancement, It was originally developed to treat certain medical conditions.
A brand name for a chemical compound called oxymetholone. It was first released in 1959 by a pharmaceutical company called Syntex for the purpose of treating a variety of conditions in which muscle wasting and weight loss were concerns. As time went on, researchers and doctors discovered that the steroid improved erythropoiesis, or the process via which the body produces red blood cells. This led to an increasing number of prescriptions to treat cases of anemia. Finally, following its release, some physicians had success utilizing it for the treatment of specific infections.
Role in Medicine Today
It is no longer a widely-prescribed medication, although some physicians turn to it when other treatment options fail. Currently, it is most commonly given to patients with AIDS who experience lack of appetite and weight loss, although it is also of benefit to patients with other muscle-wasting conditions. These days, North American doctors turn to other treatment options with fewer side effects for anemic patients. However, in certain other countries, namely in Europe and Asia, the steroid is more commonly prescribed. It has other uses in today’s medicine, as well. For example, doctors may prescribe it to anemic patients who display signs of unwanted weight loss. Some studies have shown that it may help improve bone density, but it is rare to see a patient prescribed an anabolic steroid for this reason in today’s day and age. There are other products available that provide outstanding results without the same risk of side effects.
From Medicine to Performance Enhancement
Since the 1940s, people have turned to a variety of steroids to improve strength, build muscle, and burn stubborn body fat. In many cases, athletes and their coaches utilize the very same mechanisms that make anabolic steroids so beneficial in medicine. In the case this steroid, the following properties benefit patients and athletes alike:
- Increased Appetite and Weight Gain – Bodybuilders and athletes utilize the steroid for the same reason that doctors prescribe it to AIDS patients. It increases their appetites and improves the anabolic processes in their bodies, allowing for tremendous muscle gains.
- Increased Red Blood Cell Count – For patients with anemia, improving the red blood cell count is life-saving. For bodybuilders, though, it translates directly into improved energy and stamina. The more red blood cells that are present, the more oxygen and nutrients are delivered directly to muscle tissues.
However, when using the steroid in a performance enhancement setting, bodybuilders use far more than what doctors prescribe to their patients. This means that it is crucial that they monitor themselves for the development of side effects.
Dosage: Medicine vs. Performance Enhancement
It is important to note that dosage for medical use often exceeds doses used in performance enhancement by a great deal. This is because patients using it for anemia and muscle wasting need far more of the product to reap the medical benefits.
For medical use, itl is typically dosed at 1mg or 2mg per kilogram of body weight. The chart below shows the differences in doses based on various goals assuming that a man weighs 175 pounds and a woman weighs 120 pounds.
Goal Average Anadrol Dose (Men) Average Anadrol Dose (Women)
Doses that exceed 100mg for men or 50mg for women can be dangerous for people who do not have an immediate medical need. For this reason, you should never exceed recommended performance enhancement doses, even though the doses used for patients in the healthcare setting are far higher.
Comparing Side Effects
At any dose, it can cause liver damage, bloating, and estrogenic side effects such as gynecomastia. It is also known to suppress testosterone production, which can cause fatigue, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and testicular atrophy in men. In the medical industry, physicians work to tailor doses to their patients in order to minimize these risks. Bodybuilders do not have the same medical conditions as patients prescribed steroids, which causes it to have different effects in their bodies. As a result, they must often utilize supplements and cycles to prevent the side effects. Testosterone supplementation, aromatase inhibitors, and post-cycle therapy can go a long way toward prevention. When used for the treatment of muscle wasting or anemia, physicians carefully monitor their patients for these side effects, and they may prescribe supplements designed to keep them at bay. For example, doctors may prescribe diuretics to help with any bloat and fluid retention that may occur. In women, it can cause virilization. There is some evidence to suggest that a drug called dexamethasone can act as a preventative measure against virilization, but the results are mixed.
Best Practices for Steroids
If your doctor prescribes it to you for a medical condition, you should use it exactly as directed to manage your condition. Using more or less than prescribed can lead to significant side effects that may become permanent over time. If you have questions about the dose you are given, you should speak to a pharmacist or your doctor for advice.
Conversely, if you are using the steroid for performance enhancement, you should never use more than the maximum dose. This threshold has been established in the bodybuilding community for a reason – using more than recommended puts you at serious risk. As you can see, the steroid has come a long way in its 75-year lifespan. What was once a very popular treatment for anemia, muscle wasting, and infections is now one of the most sought-after performance enhancers on the market today.