What is Anavar? Benefits, Side Effects


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Anavar is the old brand name for the oral steroid oxandrolone. It was initially manufactured in the mid-1960s and was developed for muscle wasting and quick weight loss.

This is a mild anabolic steroid with low androgenic properties. It is not very toxic on your liver and quite mild on the body’s production of testosterone. Basically, it is deemed as one of the mildest steroids on the market.

Origin of Anavar

Developed in 1964, the Oxandrolone (also known as Oxandrin) drug was immediately patented by its parent company Pfizer Inc. under the name of Anavar. Its initial focus was on regaining muscle mass for people who suffer from HIV/AIDS.

Since then, its applications in physical development has been experimented and expanded to a large extent.

What is Anavar?

Anavar is considered to a mild steroid, therefore you will you need to ingest high doses to achieve the desired muscle gain effects. It has been designed to be alpha-alkylated, to pass through the liver mildly and to have a sound level of anabolic activity.

Evidence suggests that Anavar will not produce high levels of liver toxicity that are associated with C17-alpha alkylates. This is good news because high levels of C17-AAs can cause certain cancers, jaundice, hepatitis, etc.

However, there is research that states the opposite and that prolonged use of Anavar of 6 weeks or more can cause high levels of liver toxicity and it's corresponding diseases.

SteroidResearch has also indicated that Anavar can aid wound healing and improve lung function.

These enhancements make it desirable in the mixed martial arts and the boxing industry.

Anavar can have certain fat burning properties and is sometimes referred to as a ‘fat burning steroid’.

Some research has shown that oxandrolone is superior to Deca at reducing abdominal fat in men. Another study noted that the total percentage of body fat was reduced by using only 30mgs per day.

In the follow-up study, 12 weeks after the cessation of Anavar the subjects still had a lower overall percentage body fat. This demonstrates its positive impact on long term weight loss. Therefore, the fat loss during the course of Anavar suggests that it may be permanent.

Can Anavar promote strength gains?

Anavar does promote some strength and muscle gains. However, due to its mild anabolic nature, it is not recommended during the bulking phase of your program.

Therefore, Anavar is used for strength and cutting purposes but not for bulking.

For many bodybuilders, it is widely used during the cutting phase because this is when water retention is a concern and the more solid your gains are, the more muscle that you will keep.

This supports the theory that the more solid muscle that you gain during the bulk phase, the more muscle/weight that you will keep during the cutting phase.

This makes sense as many athletes gain weight or muscle when using the water retention steroids during the bulk phase and lose the biggest amount of their gains afterwards when cutting down.

Can Anavar’s impact testosterone production?

Anavar may have a low impact on the production of testosterone. If your endocrine system is functioning normally, then you can expect the following to occur with low doses:

  1. Serum testosterone levels are slightly reduced
  2. Insulin-like growth factor 1 and growth hormone levels will be raised slightly
  3. Leutinizing hormone levels show signs of a rebound effect, especially after a course of other steroids

Therefore, the natural production of testosterone is slightly altered but is not suppressed and this is related to low doses of Anavar.

However, this may be a different story in terms of testosterone suppression with high doses. Again the jury is out on this issue, as the research is very limited in this area.

Bridging of Anavar

Many bodybuilders take Anavar as a morning only bridging agent in between two cycles. However, 6 weeks plus of this bridging practice can cause high levels of liver toxicity and good practice is to cut down the time as with any other alkylated oral steroid.

Another strategy is to use Anavar to supplement the cycle, as the steroid levels within the body can fall before the time of the next intake, so this ensures that this time period has maximal muscle gains.

Many anabolic steroids have side effects attached to them, especially oestrogenic aromatisation. Anavar does not aromatise making issues like gynecomastia of little concern.

Potential side effects of Anavar

While Anavar may offer numerous benefits we don’t condone or support the use of any steroid.

Although safer than some steroids, there is still a risk that Anavar use can lead to some unwelcome side effects that can include:

  • Frequent passing of urine
  • Breast tenderness
  • Continued painful erection
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Masculinisation
  • Acne-like breakouts

Less frequent side effects of Anavar include:

  • Anaemia from inadequate iron
  • Prostate cancer
  • Enlarged prostate
  • A high amount of calcium in the blood
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Irritation of the stomach or intestines
  • Leukaemia
  • Liver problems
  • Thickening of skin
  • Visible water retention
  • Altered interest in sexual intercourse
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Leg cramps
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • A high amount of fats in the blood
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver tissue death
  • Microscopic blood-filled cavities in the liver

Despite it being catered towards women and being women-friendly in general, there are a number of adverse issues associated with Anavar. Most of them are caused by high dosages or small intervals between dosages than anything.

Physiological issues of Anavar

Anavar affects the skin in a number of ways. It can cause acne and increase oiliness. Skin colour may also change while taking medications. It has also been found to cause male pattern baldness in men and women alike.

Ironically, it also induces body hair growth on the face, back and pubic areas.

Anavar affects sexuality in a myriad of ways. It enlarges the clitoris and either heightens or lowers sexual urges. It may also lead to irregular menstruation periods.

Consuming Anavar has been found to have led to deepening and coarsening of the voice modelled on a male pattern.

Drinking alcohol after taking Anavar can put a lot of stress on the livers and may cause permanent liver damage.

Also, it may have allergic reactions in the form of swelling of the tongue, face or throat. Additionally, headache, nausea, and vomiting have been reported to be a regular occurrence.

Psychological issues of Anavar

Anavar is also accused of causing shifts in psychology. It can cause mood swings, of which the increased/decreased sexual urge is an aspect of. The mood swings may be sporadic or regular.

It also causes anxiety and depression in many people. The stress of achieving a particular body type may manifest itself in anxiety, and the time being taken may result in depression.

The increased confidence and self-esteem also comes with an increase in aggression and rage. Anavar users are not exempted from “roid rage”. The users may be sulking and brooding one minute and violent the next.

Most of the side-effects are not caused by taking the steroid in an unregulated manner. Anavar should be consumed after preparing an extensive chart to map the Anavar cycle, after consulting a doctor.

The risks mentioned are severe and warrant a well-calculated effort to take them. Anavar is the most successful anabolic steroid for this reason. High risk, high rewards.

Our recommendation would be to look for a safer alternative.

Safe alternative to Anavar

Buy AnvarolA safe alternative to Anavar is Anvarol, which is a supplement available online from the Crazy Bulk website.

Using this supplement will help burn off fat while cutting without losing that hard-gained muscle mass.

Anvarol can help increase ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which gives your muscles the energy needed to push harder and longer during your workouts.

A months supply of Anavar will cost £32.95 ($54.99), and with the buy two get a third free offer, you can make big savings.

Click Here to Read Our Full Review of Anvarol >>









Hi, my name is Jonathan, a fitness blogger and bodybuilding enthusiast and I am the founder of Skinny2Fit. I want to provide you with easy access to good advice that is both simple and to the point. Helping you gain muscle mass and strength!


    • There are no such thing as permanent gains, however to maintain any gains you need to make sure you start a PCT cycle at the conclusion of the Anavar cycle. This will help restart your natural testosterone production.

      Eating a diet rich in protein, with enough calories to maintain those gains is essential too.

    • Anavar does not aromatise so you should not encounter side effects like water retention or bloating. Have you changed your diet recently? This might be the culprit.

      Also, are you actually using Anavar. Sometimes you will find that you maybe using a fake, so side effects are more likely. 🙂

    • Typically Anavar will work pretty fast as it is an oral steroid. Within 10-14 days you should start to see a slight but sufficient difference in strength. Of course this will depend on what this steroid is being stacked with, and what cycle you are using.

    • When stacking Anavar the following steroids should be used Trenbolone, Equipoise, Winstrol, Masteron or Primobolan. It is not advisable to mix two oral steroids, due to the higher risk of encountering side effects.


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