As mentioned numerous times already, Anavar has always been regarded by athletes and bodybuilders over the decades as a very ‘mild’ anabolic steroid where side effects are concerned, and this is generally true. This androgen is what could be considered the closest there is to a ‘perfect’ anabolic steroid in the sense that it allows the user to experience a strong anabolic effect with very little to no undesirable side effects. This is only partially true, however, as we will soon see that it is not without its undesirable side effects and faults – though these undesirable Anavar side effects and faults are of a far lower caliber than most other anabolic steroids. The truth is that there exists no ‘perfect’ anabolic steroid, but Oxandrolone does come pretty close.
Estrogenic Side Effects
It has been previously determined that Anavar is an anabolic steroid that is a DHT derivative, making it a family member of the DHT derivative anabolic steroid family. DHT is an androgen that is unable to aromatize into Estrogen, and therefore any derivative of this parent hormone tends to (for the most part) possess this same characteristic. Anavar is one such analogue of DHT that inherits this characteristic, and therefore there is no measurable Estrogenic activity associated with Anavar, nor is there any binding affinity for the aromatase enzyme. As a result, side effects do not include any of those that are associated with elevated Estrogen levels due to aromatization. Users can freely use it at any dose without experiencing water retention, bloating, fat retention/gain, or gynecomastia. Anavar side effects also do not include any Progestogenic activity either. Aromatase inhibitors are unnecessary during use, although the user must always be mindful of any aromatizable anabolic steroids that may be stacked which could require the use of aromatase inhibitor in spite of Anavar not requiring one.
Androgenic Side Effects
Although the modifications to Anavar’s chemical structure have actually granted it a far lower androgenic rating than Testosterone (24 for Oxandrolone, and 100 for Testosterone), Anavar side effects still include those of androgenic side effects. Users should experience a far less pronounced risk for androgenic side effects, especially female users (which is why Anavar is commonly used among women and is the best suited anabolic steroid for female users). Androgenic side effects that still pose a potential risk include: increased sebum secretion (oily skin), increased bouts of acne (linked to increased sebum secretion), bodily and facial hair growth, and the increased risk of triggering Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) in individuals that possess the genetic trait required for the condition to manifest itself. Anavar side effects where androgenicity is concerned also include virilization side effects for females, which can include: development of male characteristics (growth of body hair, deepening of the voice), clitoral enlargement, and menstrual irregularities. Because this compound does not interact with the 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme (the enzyme responsible for the conversion of Testosterone to the much more androgenic Dihydrotestosterone), there is no risk of Anavar converting to any stronger androgenic form. Therefore, the androgenic strength associated with Var is the strength one should experience fairly consistently throughout use.
HPTA and Endogenous Testosterone Production Side Effects
Anavar is commonly touted as an anabolic steroid with mild suppression to the Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis (HPTA), but this is in fact only the case with the lowest of common medical prescription doses (i.e. 5mg daily given to children). Bodybuilding doses (such as the doses recommended previously for the use) in fact demonstrate high amounts of endogenous natural Testosterone suppression. One study conducted on the use of Anavar in 6 young male test subjects had demonstrated that after only 5 days of administration at just 15mg daily, the Testosterone levels of the test subjects were significantly reduced by day 5 from 449ng/dl to 282ng/dl – a 37% reduction of Testosterone in 5 days. With such significant suppression after 5 days at only 15mg daily, one can only fathom the amount of suppression that results from the use of bodybuilding doses (30mg minimum or more per day). This is highly indicative that Anavar is in fact a very suppressive compound on the HPTA, necessitating the inclusion of a very strong Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) program following the termination of a cycle, where Testosterone-stimulating compounds are utilized. As evidenced by the studies referenced, the rumors among the steroid-using community of Anavar being a ‘mild’ anabolic steroid where HPTA suppression is concerned should not be taken seriously – all users should be constantly aware that side effects include that of endogenous Testosterone suppression to the same extent as most other anabolic steroids.
Hepatotoxic Side Effects
Anavar side effects do include that of hepatotoxicity due to its nature as an oral anabolic steroid. For an anabolic steroid to be able to be effective through oral administration, it must be modified at the 17th carbon, known as C17 Alpha Alkylation. This allows the anabolic steroid to survive liver metabolism and have a high percentage of the anabolic steroid enter the bloodstream. Anavar is one such compound that is C17 Alpha Alkylated, but Var is also known for being less hepatotoxic than most other oral anabolic steroids, as demonstrated by various studies. For one thing, original recommendations by the manufacturer have stated that Anavar is in fact not metabolized by the liver to as great of an extent as that of other oral anabolic steroids, leading experts to believe that this is one of the primary factors contributing to its lower impact on hepatotoxicity. Studies conducted have also demonstrated that in comparison to the following oral anabolic steroids Methyltestosterone, Norethandrolone, Fluoxymesterone, and Methandriol, Anavar has displayed the lowest markers of sulphobromophthalein (BSP), which is a marker of hepatic strain/toxicity. Regardless of its status as a ‘mild’ anabolic steroid where hepatotoxicity is concerned, it is recommended to run it for no longer than an 8 – 10 week period (one may notice that Anavar can be run for longer periods than most other anabolic steroids, which are recommended to be run for no longer than 4 – 6 weeks at a time, such as Dianabol or Anadrol-50). It is also highly recommended that users supplement with a proven liver support and health supplement, such as TUDCA/UDCA while using oral anabolic steroids.
Cariovascular and Lipid Side Effects
Cardiovascular strain is included under the list of Anavar side effects. Cardiovascular strain and negative cholesterol changes are a side effect common among all anabolic steroids, and especially oral anabolic steroids. This involves the reduction of HDL (the good cholesterol) and increases of LDL (the bad cholesterol). The result of such changes involves an increased risk of arteriosclerosis, and the degree to which these changes occur for the worse are usually dose-dependent (with higher doses increasing the negative changes and the risks). Other factors that affect these negative cholesterol changes are: duration of use, and route of administration. In terms of the route of administration, oral anabolic steroids are known for having a reputation as being much worse for their negative impacts on cholesterol in comparison to injectable anabolic steroids. This is because the liver serves to function as the cholesterol processing center for the human body, and the increased hepatotoxicity associated with anabolic steroids will result in even worse negative cholesterol changes. It is important in this case that any user of anabolic steroids no matter the preparation (oral or injectable) take the appropriate precautions to make the proper adjustments in their diet habits that favor positive cholesterol maintenance and changes, especially when running cycles of anabolic steroids, including supplementation with any cardiovascular health support supplements.
Published reference of personal communication from Saunders F.J. (April 21, 1961) to author of Methyltestosterone, related steroids, and liver function. Arch Int. Med 116 (1965):289-94
 Short-Term Oxandrolone Administration Stimulates Net Muscle Protein Synthesis in Young Men. Melinda Sheffield-Moore, Randall J. Urban, Steven E. Wolf, J. Jiang, Don H. Catlin, David N. Herndon, Robert R. Wolfe and Arny A. Ferrando. Sheffield-Moore et al. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. August 1, 1999; 84 (8): 2705