Anadrol (Oxymetholone)

Overview and History of Anadrol

Oxymetholone (commonly known by its brand name as Anadrol and Anadrol-50) is an oral anabolic steroid, known to be the most powerful conventional oral anabolic steroid in existence. There is in fact much debate as to whether or not Anadrol is the strongest conventional oral anabolic steroid, or if that title belongs to Dianabol. What the use of the term ‘conventional’ refers to is the fact that anabolic steroids such as Anadrol and Dianabol have been developed and marketed for use, and are therefore well known anabolic steroids that have been conventionally used and known by bodybuilders and athletes for decades. ‘Conventional’ anabolic steroids do not include designer anabolic steroids, newly created and poorly known compounds, and/or anabolic steroids that never left the R&D phase of development. The fact is that there do exist anabolic steroids far stronger than Anadrol, but they are designer anabolic steroids, not commonly found or used (and are for the most part considered far too dangerous to justify use). The details concerning Oxymetholone were first published and released in 1959[1]. Following the publishing of Anadrol’s information and data, it was marketed in the US during the early 1960s by Syntex as Anadrol-50 and Parke Davis & Co. produced and sold it under the Androyd brand name. Confirmed medical uses included: debilitating geriatric conditions, muscular atrophy related to disease or disability, weight gain, preservation of mass during diseases or treatments, combating infection, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal diseases, and a number of other catabolic medical conditions. One particular medical condition for which Anadrol was widely used for was that of anemia, where it was used to bolster red blood cell and hemoglobin production, as its well known to be one of the anabolic steroids that stimulates erythropoiesis to greater lengths than other anabolic steroids (although this is a characteristic of all anabolic steroids). Oxymetholone in particular has been shown to stimulate red blood cell production 5 fold[2].

Adrol 50The original productions were supplied in 2.5mg, 5mg, and 10mg tablets with the recommended dose at approximately 2.5mg three times daily. As with many anabolic steroids, in later years the FDA had narrowed and limited its medical uses to essentially treating anemia exclusively. This is where the tablets produced had increased in strength to 50mg tablets, hence the name ‘Anadrol-50’, in order to elicit a stronger red blood cell production effect. With the developments of better treatments and techniques to treat anemic patient, Anadrol’s life on the US market would soon be at an end. The mass anti-steroid hysteria of the early 1990s in combination with the increasingly limited use was the last straw, causing it to be pulled from the US (as well as most international countries) in 1993. In the late 1990s, however, Syntex sold the rights for the compound and the drug was reintroduced in 1998 to North American markets by Unimed Pharmaceuticals with its medical uses expanding to treating HIV/AIDS patients.

Chemical Characteristics of Anadrol

Anadrol is derived from Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), belonging to the family of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derived anabolic steroids. This means that A50 is basically Dihydrotestosterone modified. Other compounds belonging to this ‘DHT family’ of anabolic steroids include Winstrol, Primobolan, Masteron, Anavar, as well as several others which are all derivatives of the parent anabolic steroid DHT. The common factor in all of these DHT-derivative analogues is that, in one way or another, they are all modified forms of DHT and thus DHT could be considered the ‘parent’ or ‘progenitor’ hormone of these anabolic steroids. Anadrol differs from its parent hormone DHT by the addition of a methyl group attached to it, as well as a 2-hydroxymethylene group attached to a carbon in the first cycloalkane ring of the steroid structure. These modifications allow it to remain active in muscle tissue, which is where Dihydrotestosterone would normally be rendered inactive by its reduction to other metabolites once it enters muscle tissue. The enzyme responsible for doing this to Dihydrotestosterone, which is present in large amounts in muscle tissue, is 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. With the chemical modifications mentioned, this enzyme does not interact with Anadrol. This allows this compound to be heavily active in muscle tissue, and lends to its very strong potency. Oxtmetholone possesses an anabolic rating of 320 (a little more than 3 times the strength of Testosterone, with its anabolic rating of 100). It has also been determined that Drol also possesses reduced androgenic strength compared to that of Testosterone, where Anadrol holds an androgenic rating of 45 (compared to Testosterone’s androgenic rating of 100).

anadrol tabletsOne of the unique and mysterious characteristics possessed by Anadrol is that although it is a derivative of DHT, it possesses a very high level of Estrogenic activity. It is typically known that DHT-derivative anabolic steroids should be unable to convert into Estrogen via the aromatase enzyme and therefore elicit no Estrogenic effects, but this is very different. Anadrol is well known for causing water retention, bloating, gynecomastia, and other Estrogenic effects on the body even though it does not convert into Estrogen. It is believed it acts as an estrogen in certain tissues. This will be further expanded upon and discussed later on, but it is imperative for any potential user to understand that first and foremost that although Anadrol is a DHT-derivative, one will not experience the lean hard gains typically seen with DHT-derivatives. Its fairly notorious for its Estrogenic effects that cannot be combated with aromatase inhibitors due to its inability to convert into Estrogen.

Oxymetholone is an orally active anabolic steroid, which means it has been C17 Alpha Alkylated in order to allow the anabolic steroid to make the first pass through the liver without suffering destruction through liver metabolism. However, its very well known for its very harsh hepatotoxicity, which will be explained in greater detail shortly. Anadrol’s chemical modifications and chemical structure (including its C17 Alpha Alkylation) makes it very resistant to hepatic breakdown (liver metabolism). The greater resistance a substance has to hepatic breakdown, the more toxicity and strain on the liver will be experienced, and is perhaps regarded as the most liver toxic oral anabolic steroid conventionally available.

AnadrolOxymetholone (AKA Anadrol, Anadrol-50)
Chemical Name: 17β-hydroxy-2-hydroxymethylene-17-methyl-5α-androstan-3-one
Molecular Weight: 
332.48 g/mol
Original Manufacturer: 
Half Life: 
8 – 9 hours
Detection Time: 
2 months
Anabolic Rating: 
Androgenic Rating: 


Anadrol References:

[1] 2-Methyl and 2-hydroxymethylene-androstane derivatives. Ringold HJ et al. J am Chem Soc 1959;81:427-32

[2] Oxymetholone treatment for the anemia of bone marrow failure. Alexanian R, Nadell J, et al. Blood. 1972;40:353-6.