Turinabol is one of the anabolic steroids that is regarded as a very ‘mild’ anabolic steroid in regards to side effects. Other similar anabolic steroids in this category include Anavar (Oxandrolone) and Primobolan (Methenolone), both regarded as almost perfect anabolic steroids due to their strong dissociation between anabolic and androgenic effects, as well as the fact that they cannot convert into Estrogen at any dose at all. Turinabol indeed shares all of these characteristics, and in fact possesses an androgenic strength rating that is the lowest out of all three compounds with a measurement of 6 versus 24 for Anavar and 44 – 57 for Primobolan. It can therefore be said that Turinabol side effects are almost nonexistent, but there are still some considerations and risks to be known and understood. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect steroid’, and although Turinabol comes close, it is still not without its potential risks and side effects. However, Turinabol can easily be considered a member of the trio of ‘almost perfect’ anabolic steroids: Anavar, Primobolan, and Turinabol.
Estrogenic Side Effects
Turinabol is a modified form of Dianabol, and while Dianabol does hold a moderate affinity for aromatization into Estrogen, Turinabol does not at all. This is the result of its 4-chloro substitution (the chloro group that has been affixed to the 4th carbon on the steroid structure), which disallows the opportunity for the aromatase enzyme to convert Turinabol into Estrogen. Turinabol is therefore not aromatized at any dose at all, and estrogenic side effects should not be considered a part of Turinabol side effects at all.
Androgenic Side Effects
Turinabol’s chemical modification of holding a double-bond between carbons 1 and 2, as well as the 4-chloro modification, grant it with a significantly reduced androgenic strength. However, this has not eliminated Turinabol’s androgenic capabilities and although it is vastly less androgenic than most other anabolic steroids, there is still a risk with androgenic side effects (especially in those very sensitive to androgenic side effects). At lower to mid-range doses, androgenic effects should rarely be experienced due to its weakness in this department, but higher doses will elicit a greater androgenic effect, especially in females. In addition, Turinabol is indeed metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme into a stronger androgenic metabolite, but the rate of 5AR reduction that Turinabol is exposed to is known to be very minimal, and so the use of 5AR inhibitors such as Proscar, FInasteride, Dutasteride, etc. will likely not greatly reduce any androgenic activity that is resultant of Turinabol.
The potential for androgenic Turinabol side effects include: increased sebum secretion (oily skin), increased bouts of acne (linked to increased sebum secretion), bodily and facial hair growth, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and the increased risk of triggering Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) in individuals that possess the genetic trait required for the condition to manifest itself. Women will increase their chances of experiencing virilization at doses greater than 10mg per day.
HPTA and Endogenous Testosterone Production Side Effects
All anabolic steroids possess the capability to suppress and/or shut down the body’s natural endogenous Testosterone production, and Turinabol side effects are no exception to this fact. Despite the fact that Turinabol exhibits perhaps the lowest androgenic rating out of all anabolic steroids, it would still nevertheless suppressive over the course of a full cycle length. It is therefore highly advised that any Turinabol user engage in a proper PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) protocol, which should always include the use of Testosterone production stimulating ancillary compounds, such as Nolvadex and/or HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) for an average PCT period of 4 – 6 weeks following the end of a cycle of any anabolic steroid regardless of how ‘mild’ it is claimed to be in terms of its impacts on the HPTA. No anabolic steroid cycle, whether it includes a compound that is considered as safe as Turinabol, should ever end without a PCT protocol superseding it. Failure to do so can result in permanent damage to the HPTA, whereby the individual will insufficiently produce proper levels of Testosterone for the remainder of his life, which if left untreated will ultimately medical intervention in the form of TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy).
Hepatotoxic Side Effects
Because Turinabol is in fact a C17-alpha alkylated oral anabolic steroid, it does exhibit negative effects on the liver. Although clinical data in regards to the level of liver toxicity from Turinabol is very hard to come by, logic would suggest that due to its very low androgenic strength, liver toxicity would be minor but still existent. The fact that many East German Olympic athletes prior to 1990 were administered Turinabol for several years without significant liver problems1. However, it is important to understand that in the case of the East German athletes, the dose administered was between 5 – 35mg per day, and often times at the low end of this range. Therefore, there would be a significant difference in potential hepatotoxicity between an individual running Turinabol for 8 weeks at 15mg per day, and an individual running Turinabol for 8 weeks at 80mg per day. Even the original manufacturer pamphlets in the prescription Turinabol packages recommended that regular liver function tests be conducted during use due to the fact that liver function can be significantly affected by high dose use. With that having been said, Turinabol is, however, one of the oral anabolic steroids that is considered the least hepatotoxic (alongside Anavar and Primobolan) – but the risk of possible liver damage cannot be excluded, especially with higher dose use.
Cardiovascular Side Effects
Negative cardiovascular risks, side effects, and cholesterol changes are a known side effect shared by all anabolic steroids, and this side effect does apply to Turinabol side effects. Negative cardiovascular side effects resultant from anabolic steroid use 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.
Although clinical data in regards to Turinabol’s effects on the cardiovascular system is almost nonexistent, it is common knowledge that Turinabol exhibits a very strong effect on the liver’s ability to process cholesterol. This is because of Turinabol’s strong resistance to hepatic metabolism in combination with its non-aromatizable nature, as well as its status as a C17-alpha alkylated oral anabolic steroid.
 Hormonal doping and androgenization of athletes: a secret program of the German Democratic Republic government. Franke WW, Berendonk B. Clin Chem. 1997 Jul;43(7):1262-79.