Side Effects of Anavar

Anavar, known generically as oxandrolone, is believed to be one of the milder oral anabolic steroids. It is often used to put on lean muscle mass, and maintain while dieting, but it is not without side effects. Originally approved by the FDA, Oxandrin (oxandrolone manufactured by Gemini Laboratories) was later withdrawn due to the numerous warnings and risks linked to the drug. In the following post, we will delve into its many side effects and discuss potential ways to mitigate the damage it can cause to the body.

Metabolic & Cardiovascular Issues

High Blood Pressure & Abnormal Lipids: Anavar can significantly disrupt lipid profiles, markedly elevating levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly referred to as "bad" cholesterol, while concurrently reducing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol. This shift can heighten the risk of various cardiovascular issues such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke.

Abnormal Glucose Tolerance: Anavar use can adversely affect insulin sensitivity, potentially increasing the risk of developing diabetes by impairing the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels effectively.


Rise in Liver Enzymes & Hepatic Damage: Like many oral anabolic steroids, Anavar can be hard on your liver due to the C17 alpha alkylation (C17aa) required for it to not be broken down and remain active. This stresses the liver which causes an increase in liver enzymes and in severe cases, jaundice.

Hepatic Cancer: Long term repeat exposure to high levels of Anavar causes cellular stress and DNA damage, leading to mutations and cancerous growths.

Hormonal Disruption

While less suppressive than other steroids, Anavar inhibits the natural production of testosterone, leading to hormonal imbalances. This disruption in hormonal levels may lead to various adverse effects in both men and women.

In Men

Testicular atrophy (shrinkage of testicles): Since the production of natural testosterone is suppressed, the testicles may shrink due to reduced activity.

Decreased sperm production: Lower testosterone levels can lead to a reduction in sperm production, sometimes resulting in azoospermia (absence of sperm cells).

Erectile dysfunction: Testosterone is critical for maintaining erectile function. Reduced levels can lead to difficulties in achieving or maintaining an erection.

Prostate enlargement: Anabolic steroids like Anavar can also stimulate the growth of the prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia). While BPH is not cancer, it can increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer due to continuous stimulation and changes in the prostate cells.

Male-Pattern Baldness: Anavar can convert to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), accelerating baldness in men genetically predisposed to it.

Gynecomastia (Gyno): Although Anavar does not aromatize much, suppression of natural testosterone indirectly increases estrogen levels, which can lead to enlargement of the breast tissue.

In Women

Irregular Menstrual Cycles & Virilization: Women may experience disrupted menstrual cycles and virilization, which includes symptoms like voice deepening and increased body hair.

Clitoromegaly: Anavar increases the levels of androgens (male hormones) which can lead to enlargement of the clitoris While some changes might be reversible, others can be permanent depending on the duration and dosage of steroid use.

Skin and Aesthetic Changes:

Acne and Skin Changes: Anavar can increase sebum production, leading to oily skin and acne. This is due to the steroid's androgenic effects, which stimulate the sebaceous glands..

Hair Changes: Apart from baldness, other hair changes may include abnormal growth patterns.

Gastrointestinal Effects

Nausea and Vomiting: These are relatively common side effects as the body adjusts to the presence of the steroid.

Diarrhea: Some users may experience gastrointestinal disturbances, including diarrhea, which can vary in severity.

Changes in Appetite: Users might notice changes in their appetite; some may experience a decrease or an increase, which can indirectly affect gastrointestinal health.

Psychological Effects

Anxiety and Agitation: Anavar can lead to heightened anxiety or agitation in some users, potentially due to hormonal imbalances it induces.

Mood Swings: Like other steroids, it can cause rapid mood swings, from feelings of euphoria to aggressive behavior.

Depression: Upon discontinuation, users might experience withdrawal symptoms, including depression, as the body's natural hormone production tries to rebalance.

Counteracting the Damage

While the most effective measure to counteract damage is simply cessation of use, incorporating the following foods and supplements into one’s diet can offer some protection.

Avocados: Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, which are known to help improve cholesterol levels by lowering LDL and raising HDL cholesterol in the blood. They also contain compounds such as glutathione, which are important for liver health and help protect against cellular damage.

Omega-3 Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, are effective in reducing triglyceride levels and may help in balancing overall cholesterol levels. Its potent anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to have protective effects on the liver.

Flaxseed Oil: Flaxseed oil, like fish oil, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, although it primarily contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. This makes it a good alternative for those who prefer plant-based supplements.

Olive Oil: Olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil, is renowned for its health benefits. Its high content of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, can help lower LDL cholesterol levels while potentially raising HDAM. Additionally, the antioxidants, such as polyphenols (including substances like squalene and tocopherols), can help protect against oxidative stress and improve endothelial function, further supporting cardiovascular health.

Liver Protectants: Supplements such as Tudca & NAC that may offer some protection to the liver.

Regular Blood Work

As with regular usage of any anabolic steroids, we recommend routine blood work to stay ahead of potential health risks and minimize long term health complications. Given that Anavar can significantly disrupt the balance of one’s cholesterol which directly impacts cardiovascular health, regular lipid panel checks are crucial for minimizing risk of coronary artery disease.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider for personal health concerns.