Despite the fact that Anavar is one of the mildest and most widely-tolerated anabolic steroids available on the market, it still carries with it the potential for side effects in men and women alike.
Fortunately, it is possible to completely avoid Anavar side effects with a few simple tips.
The majority of Anavar side effect reports come from men who often need much more of the steroid than women to achieve their desired results.
Anavar is most commonly used during calorie-deficient cutting cycles to help protect and preserve muscle gains, but it can also facilitate a small amount of lean muscle growth when paired with a high-calorie diet and workout routine. Side effects that have been reported by men include:
- Oily skin with or without acne;
- High blood pressure;
- High cholesterol;
- Suppressed testosterone production;
- Mood changes;
- Changes in libido and sexual performance;
- Hair loss in men who are predisposed to male pattern baldness; and
- Nausea or vomiting.
Fortunately, some of the aforementioned side effects are completely avoidable by taking a responsible dose of Anavar, which ranges from 80mg to 100mg per day maximum for bulking and between 40mg and 60mg per day for cutting.
Cycle lengths are also a consideration since the longer one takes anabolic steroids, the greater the risk for Anavar side effects becomes. Men should keep their Anavar cycle lengths to about six to eight weeks and take breaks of equal length between their cycles.
Finally, in order to avoid sexual side effects and mood changes related to testosterone suppression, men should also supplement with an appropriate amount of testosterone during their cycles.
Whereas many men use Anavar during their cutting cycles, it is a powerful bulking agent in women.
Anavar is one of the mildest steroids available, which makes it the ideal choice for female athletes and bodybuilders interested in performance enhancement.
At very low doses, Anavar is very useful during women’s cutting cycles, as well. Despite its overall mildness, though, it does present the risk of side effects. These include:
- Deepening of the voice;
- Body hair growth;
- Clitoral enlargement; and
- Nausea or vomiting;
Because the dose of Anavar for women is much lower than for men, side effects such as oily skin and acne, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are generally not concerns.
Mitigating Side Effects in Women
The average dose for Anavar in women is anywhere from 5mg to 20mg per day, depending on whether a woman is cutting or bulking.
Bear in mind that not all women will benefit from 5mg, even during a cutting cycle, and many women will never need to take 20mg to pack on lean muscle.
The best way to mitigate the signs of virilization is to use a responsible dose of Anavar for a short cycle length of no longer than six weeks. Women who experience any of the aforementioned Anavar side effects should immediately lower their doses or stop using the steroid altogether.
One of the best ways for men and women alike to avoid Anavar side effects is to use it responsibly. This means using a dose that is beneficial, but not high enough to cause problems.
This also means adjusting cycle lengths based on daily doses. The chart below gives an example of recommended cycle lengths for men based on their goals and daily doses.
|Goal||Dose per Day||Cycle Length in Weeks|
Remember that not all men will tolerate a dose of 100mg per day, and not everyone will tolerate a cycle length of 12 weeks at any dose. This represents the “responsible” range of use, but it is up to you to determine what works for your body.
A Note about Hepatotoxicity
You may have heard that oral steroids are hepatotoxic; in other words, most oral steroids can cause liver damage when they aren’t used responsibly. Anavar is certainly no exception to this rule.
As a note, though, when compared to other oral steroids such as Dianabol and even Winstrol, Anavar is quite mild. Dianabol, Winstrol, and certain other steroids are metabolized almost completely by the liver. While Anavar does pass through the liver, it is only minimally metabolized there.
Statistically, liver enzyme tests will show slightly elevated levels, but there is no significant damage. Even people with marked damage due to alcohol abuse did well with Anavar. Hepatotoxicity is generally not a concern with this steroid.
For men, especially, the risk of Anavar side effects increases once their cycles end. Anavar is a testosterone-derived steroid, and because they are so similar in molecular makeup, they bind to the very same receptors in the body.
As Anavar begins to fill androgen receptors, it essentially takes the place of testosterone. Filled androgen receptors cannot signal the production of two very important hormones – follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) – which are responsible for triggering the production of testosterone.
This occurs very quickly. In fact, it only takes a few days before the male body stops making its own testosterone. For this reason, most men will supplement their cycles with some form of testosterone and use it regularly until their Anavar cycle ends.
Unfortunately, this is not enough. When men stop using steroids and testosterone at the end of their cycles, their natural testosterone production will eventually start again. It may take weeks, and according to some studies, even years before it returns to normal.
Post-cycle therapy consists of a drug called a SERM, or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator. These drugs serve two purposes.
First, they help to combat the effects of excess estrogen, which is beneficial in preventing estrogenic side effects like gynecomastia and weight gain after your cycle.
More importantly, they stimulate the production of LH and FSH, easing your body back into natural testosterone production in mere days rather than weeks, months, or years.
Failing to use a SERM could result in fat gain, muscle loss, and even testicular atrophy. For this reason, post-cycle therapy is a requirement – especially for men.
Overall, Anavar is one of the safest and most trusted anabolic steroids among men and women alike. Anavar side effects are generally mild, even in women, who are the most susceptible to the effects of anabolic steroids.
Using it responsibly at the right doses and for short periods of time is usually all it takes to mitigate the associated risks.