For the most part, Winstrol is well-tolerated and even recommended to beginners. However, like all anabolic steroids, it does come with some inherent risks. Below, you can learn all about Winstrol side effects: what is guaranteed, what may happen, and what you can prevent with supplements and responsible use.
Guaranteed Winstrol Side Effects
A derivative of testosterone with a few molecular changes that give it its unique properties. Because it is very similar to testosterone, it binds to your testosterone receptors. This stops the pituitary gland from producing substances known as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which tell the testicles to produce more testosterone. When these hormones do not exist in the same amounts, your testicles do not produce testosterone in the same amounts. This means that if you are going to use Winstrol, you will inhibit your body’s natural testosterone production and you must supplement with an exogenous form of testosterone for best results and to avoid unnecessary sides. There are several types of testosterone, and each one has its own set of unique benefits. Testosterone esters with a longer half-life require less frequent dosing, which is great for men who want to avoid frequent injections. The chart below shows popular testosterone esters and their half-lives. Doses are roughly the same for a cutting cycle no matter the form; you must take at least 100mg weekly for HRT purposes, and maximum doses should not exceed 300mg to 500mg a week on a cutting cycle stack.
Forms of Testosterone Half-Life (Days)
Many men prefer testosterone enanthate for their cycles because it only calls for twice-weekly dosing. Others prefer testosterone propionate because it is quick-acting and provides a ready supply of energy, even though it must be injected daily (or every other day, at the very least.)
Main Concern with Side Effects
This steroid is very hepatotoxic, which means it is hard on the liver in both its tablet and injectable forms. There are several ways to mitigate the risk of side effects related to the liver, and they include:
- Taking in responsible doses of no more than 50mg per day.
- Keeping your cycle length as short as possible – six to eight weeks is the maximum recommended cycle length.
- Giving your body a break from anabolic steroids for a period of time equal to your cycle length. For instance, if your cycle length was eight weeks, take a break from steroids for at least eight weeks after your cycle ends to give your liver time to recuperate.
- Avoiding other oral steroids to reduce the risk of liver-related side effects. Taking more than one oral steroid at a time can multiply these risks significantly.
You should not use if you have any kind of kidney or liver condition, and you should not drink alcohol while you are on your cycle. What’s more, some experts suggest avoiding OTC medications like acetaminophen, which are also hepatotoxic.
Painful Adverse Side Effects
A “dry” steroid, which means it removes water from cells throughout the body. Though this is a good thing when it comes to muscle tissue as it provides incredible definition and a ripped physique, it can have a negative effect on your joints, especially. Joint pain is by far one of the worst side effects, and people experience it to varying degrees. Some may have only mild discomfort, but others may find it difficult to push through that pain and continue their workouts. Fortunately, there are several ways to help mitigate the risks and improve the condition of your joints during your cycle. First, you should consume plenty of water – even more than you normally would. Some experts believe that up to a gallon each day can help prevent joint pain. Glucosamine supplements are also helpful, but you need to start these about four weeks before your cycle for maximum effectiveness. Finally, adding potassium to your diet through food or supplements can help you avoid muscle cramps, which is also one of the most common Winstrol side effects.
Adverse Androgenic Side Effects
Based on dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is a highly androgenic form of testosterone. Because of this, certain groups of people may experience other side effects related to these androgenic properties. Men, especially, may notice an acceleration of male-pattern baldness, particularly if they are genetically predisposed to the condition. Men and women alike may also experience significantly oily skin and acne, but usually only if they are prone to these conditions to begin with.
One of the most common side effects for men and women alike involve sleep disturbances. Some people have trouble falling asleep during their cycles, and other people seem to have difficulty staying asleep or getting good quality sleep. You might choose to reduce your dose somewhat to see if this alleviates the problem. Otherwise, you can purchase over-the-counter sleep aids like diphenhydramine or doxylamine succinate, which can help gently ease you into a restful sleep without the fear of dependence.
Changes in the Bedroom
Of all the Winstrol side effects, libido changes are some of the most common. Men and women alike may experience increased or decreased desire, which tends to go away on its own over time since it is the result of hormonal fluctuations. Some men report mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, and women often report vaginal dryness, as well. If any of these symptoms last longer than a few weeks, or if they become severe or particularly bothersome, you should decrease your dose or stop using it altogether. Not everyone can tolerate it, and if you happen to be one of those people, there are alternatives available to you for your cutting cycle.
Female Specific Side Effects
One of the only anabolic steroids recommended for women. It is possible for female bodybuilders to use it safely. While women may experience many of the side effects for men in much the same way, they are presented with a unique challenge – virilization. By using it in small doses (10mg to 20mg) for short cycles of eight weeks or less, women can avoid virilization, which is always a primary concern. Symptoms of virilization include:
- Deepening voice
- Excess body hair growth
- Signs of male-pattern baldness
- Clitoral enlargement
Women who notice signs of virilization should immediately stop using to allow their bodies to return to normal. Continued use may lead to permanent physical changes. This is also true if any of the Winstrol side effects for women become severe or particularly bothersome. For the most part, the Winstrol side effects are mild and easy to mitigate with responsible use – even for women. Always pay attention to your body’s cues and lower your dose (or stop using it altogether) if you notice significant side effects.