Dianabol Side Effects


Dianabol is well known for its specific side effects, despite its various features such as having a lower androgenic strength in comparison to Testosterone. It has been mentioned earlier that the modifications to Dianabol’s chemical structure grants it a lower androgenic rating, but this does not mean that it does not possess androgenic activity at all. One should also understand that just because it possesses a lower androgenic strength, it is not an excuse to take it lightly or underestimate the potential for these side effects to occur. All anabolic steroids share a universal list of side effects across the board, while certain anabolic steroids possess side effects that are unique to that particular compound. This androgen generally does not possess any side effects unique to itself, but it does have the potential for side effects that are commonly seen in all anabolic steroids. These common universal side effects include: cardiovascular side effects, HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis) suppressive side effects, androgenic side effects, and estrogenic side effects.


Estrogenic Side Effects of Dianabol

Dianabol interacts moderately with the aromatase enzyme (as mentioned earlier, this is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of androgens into Estrogen). This makes Estrogenic side effects a potential. The first concerning side effect associated with Dbol is that of gynecomastia (the development of breast tissue). Gynecomastia is known to be a common side effect reported and experienced by users, and is seen in increasing frequency and severity at higher and higher doses. The combination with other aromatizable anabolic steroids such as Testosterone can potentiate this side effect. If Dbol is run without the addition of an ancillary aromatase inhibitor, or at the very least, a SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) that blocks the activity of Estrogen in breast tissue, then Estrogenic side effects can become quite an issue. Either an aromatase inhibitor or a SERM is advised to be kept on-hand at the very least when using this steroid. SERMs such as Nolvadex or Toremifene effectively block Estrogen from attaching to and activating receptors on breast tissue, but they will not reduce total blood plasma Estrogen levels in the body. Therefore, certain Estrogenic side effects will still remain present (such as bloating) when using SERMs to combat gynecomastia. The use of an aromatase inhibitor, such as Aromasin (AKA Exemestane) or Arimidex (AKA Anastrozole), acts on the aromatase enzyme effectively disabling it and preventing it from converting androgens into Estrogen. The use of an AI in this sense will effectively reduce total Estrogen levels in the body and resolve any other Estrogenic issues caused by Dianabol converting into Estrogen, such as water retention where the use of a SERM would not solve these issues.

Androgenic Side Effects

When it comes to Dianabol’s androgenic strength, it has been mentioned countless times already that it possesses a much milder androgenic strength than its progenitor hormone Testosterone, and was in fact designed with this intention in mind. However, this is not a free ticket for any potential users to underestimate the androgenic nature or minimize the risks associated with it. Androgenic side effects indeed do exist and can and do present themselves in cycles. The typical androgenic side effects experienced are generally the same as most other anabolic steroids: increased sebum secretion (oily skin), acne (in relation to the increased sebum production), the possibility of triggering male pattern baldness if the user possesses the gene responsible for it, as well as hair growth. Where female use is concerned, these side effects still present themselves along with other symptoms of virilization (development of male characteristics, deepening of the voice, clitoral growth, growth of hair, etc.). Androgenic side effects are not as great of a concern as they are from a hormone such as Testosterone or Trenbolone, but they can still be prominent. Individuals that tend to experience androgenic side effects from Dianabol and find them intolerable may decide to utilize what is known as a 5-Alpha Reductase inhibitor (5AR inhibitor), such as FInasteride or Proscar. These compounds inhibit the 5AR enzyme (much like how aromatase inhibitors work on aromatase) and effectively block the enzyme’s ability to convert it to the more androgenic metabolite. It is well known, however, that Dianabol does not have a very high binding affinity for the 5AR enzyme[1]. Therefore, a limited amount of androgenic side effects that may be caused by Dbol itself (rather than its more androgenic metabolite) can be treated with the use of a topical androgen blocker, such as Nizoral shampoo. Rubbing this shampoo on the afflicted areas (the scalp for prevention of male pattern baldness, or on an area of the body that is exhibiting severe androgen-related acne) should effectively block androgens from binding to receptors in that area.

Hepatotoxic Side Effects

Liver toxicity is an issue with Dianabol due to its nature as a C17-Alpha Alkylated oral anabolic steroid. C17-Alpha Alkylation allows Dbol to be effectively absorbed through the oral route of administration, but this places an amount of hepatic (liver) strain. High doses or excessively prolonged periods of use can possibly result in severe liver damage and/or complications in the worst cases. Dianabol’s use should be limited to periods of no longer than a 6 week period in order to limit the hepatotoxic effects and allow the liver to recuperate. It is highly advised that any user of oral anabolic steroids invest in a proper and proven liver support supplement/compound such as UDCA/TUDCA in order for proper liver health and maintenance. Studies have demonstrated that doses of 15mg per day or more displayed elevated bromosulphalein levels (an indication of increased hepatic strain), and at doses of 10mg or less per day displayed minimal hepatic strain[2].

Cardiovascular Side Effects of Methandrostenolone

Dianabol side effects include cardiovascular strain, which is a side effect common among all anabolic steroids. This involves the reduction of HDL (the good cholesterol) and increases of LDL (the bad cholesterol). The result of such changes is 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 as being the worst for their negative impacts on cholesterol in comparison to injectable anabolic steroids. This is due to the fact that the liver is essentially the body’s cholesterol processing and production center, and increased hepatotoxicity is associated with negative cholesterol changes. It is important in this case that any user of anabolic steroids no matter the preparation (oral or injectable) take exquisite care to make proper adjustments in their diet habits that favor positive cholesterol maintenance and changes, especially when running cycles of anabolic steroids.

HPTA and Endogenous Testosterone Production Side Effects

Lastly, all anabolic steroids are known to be suppressive to the HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis), which results in a suppression and/or total shutdown of endogenous natural Testosterone production. This is one of the reasons why cycles must be kept as short as possible, as the longer a cycle is run the more difficult it is for one to restore their endogenous production of hormones. Dbol is very well known for its strong suppressive nature. Studies have been conducted on Dianabol’s suppressive nature in particular, and they have demonstrated that doses as low as 15mg per day for 8 weeks caused mean plasma Testosterone levels to decline by 69%[3]. It is very important that following any cycle, the user engages in a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) program, which includes the use of Testosterone-stimulating compounds (such as Nolvadex) for a 4-6 week period in order to ensure full restoration of the body’s endogenous production of Testosterone and related hormones. Without a proper PCT program, the user risks damaging and/or shutting down his HPTA for the rest of his life.



Medical References:


[1] Relative importance of 5alpha reduction for the androgenic and HL-inhibiting activities of delta-4-3-ketosteroids, Steroids 29 (1997):331-48.

[2] Anabolic steroids in clinical medicine. Liddle GW, Burke Jr. H A Helvetica Medica Acta, 5/6 1960:504-13.

[3] Effect of anabolic steroid (metandionon) on plasma LH-FSH, and testosterone and on the response to intravenous administration of LRH. Holma P. Adlecreutz. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 1976 Deca;83(4):856-64