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Oxandrolone: ​​find out if you lose weight and side effects

Oxandrolone: ​​find out if you lose weight and side effects

Developed in the 60s under the name of ANAVAR, oxandrolone was used as a medicine for male infertility. It was later used for the treatment of hepatitis, for growth stimulus, for the treatment of osteoporosis, for the recovery of tissue with burns and, currently, it is very much sought for the increase of muscle mass. (3)

What is oxandrolone?

Oxandrolone is a synthetic compound derived from testosterone, consumed in the form of capsules or tablets. Its most recurrent use is as an option for the injectable testosterone replacement therapy for the treatment of clinical conditions leading to the testosterone deficiency, ie diseases that lead to low testosterone and related symptoms. (1)

Indication of oxandrolone

Oxandrolone should not be used for cosmetic purposes. The medical prescription of this asset is focused on chronic diseases and critical patients who present muscular loss due to consuptive diseases (involuntary weight loss), such as malnutrition, malignant tumors, AIDS and serious burns, for example. (1)

Oxandrolone in muscle gain

Oxandrolone has a similar effect to testosterone and is part of the so-called anabolic steroid group. This type of drug is produced synthetically from the change of one or more chemical bonds in the testosterone molecule.

It was developed to increase muscle anabolism thus increasing muscle mass without the masculinizing effects of testosterone. Anabolism is a set of processes of our body responsible for synthesizing the most complex substances from other simpler ones.

It offers this effect by acting directly on the receptors of the muscles, stimulating their cellular development, especially when associated to a hypercaloric diet and physical activity.

In the case of muscle, the synthesis of muscle fiber occurs from simple molecules of the digestion of sugars and fats. By acting directly on the muscle fiber, it increases protein synthesis and, therefore, acts on increasing muscle mass. However, despite its anabolic effect and its ability to improve muscle strength, oxandrolone has not been created for this purpose and should not be used for athletic performance. (1, 2)

Oxandrolone slimming?

In recent times, a myth has been created about oxandrolone to lose weight. The remedy, however, does not contribute directly to weight loss, but rather to an increase in appetite. However, as it also helps increase the intensity of the workouts, this equation ends up balanced, facilitating weight loss. What oxandrolone does is provide a change in body composition, aiding lean mass gain, which in turn helps to eliminate fat.

Weight loss can occur as a consequence, since the patient who has indication of use will have benefit in strength and explosive drills. However, as stated earlier, such remedy should not be prescribed for this purpose. (1, 2, 3)

Effects of oxandrolone

The main effect in both sexes is the gain of muscle mass and decrease of fat. In men, specifically, the advantage over testosterone is that it does not cause gynecomastia (enlargement of the breasts) because there is no enzymatic activity that converts testosterone to estradiol (female hormone).

In addition, both men and women , oxandrolone tends to promote anabolic effects, presenting an increase in muscle mass and reduction of fat percentage, improvement of symptoms such as fatigue and low libido. These would be the positive effects of treatment when indicated correctly. (1, 2, 3)

Risks and side effects of oxandrolone

The risks of oxandrolone are mainly related to the consumption of high doses and prolonged use. They are:

  • Hepatic toxicity
  • Bone age advancement in children
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Increased body hair
  • Clitoral augmentation in women
  • Testicular atrophy in men
  • Increased concentrations of glucose and fats in the blood
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sexual impotence
  • Water retention
  • Hair loss
  • Body oil
  • Acne
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Liver problems
  • Oily skin
  • Increased risk of thrombosis
  • Emerging types of cancers (1, 2, 3)

Oxandrolone may be prescribed for mass gain?

Although some doctors prescribe oxandrolone for mass gain for patients without clinical indication, it is worth remembering that the Federal Medical Council does not approve the use of estrogen for esthetic purposes.

The prescription of oxandrolone is authorized for patients with chronic diseases and critical patients who present with muscular loss by some disease. The recreational use of oxandrolone is also not authorized by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). (1, 3)


  • Hypertensive patients
  • Cardiopathy
  • Persons with hepatic abnormalities
  • Patients with coagulation disorders
  • Pregnant women
  • Infants
  • Patients with a history of cancer
  • Patients with a history of prostate cancer
  • People with diabetes (1, 2, 3)

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