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Anavar – Side Effects, Uses, Risks and Addiction Treatment

Written By:

Alex Kudisch

Man holding a syringe

What Is Anavar?

Anavar is a type of anabolic steroid. It is the brand name for Oxandrolone, an artificial drug created in 1962. Anavar’s popularity makes it one of the most common hormonal drugs in the world.

What Is an Anabolic Steroid?

Dihydroprogesterone, molecule, steroid

Anabolic steroids are drugs that include natural and synthetic androgens. In the body, they act similarly to testosterone.

Also known as AAS, these steroids can encourage and mimic aspects of male puberty. Such aspects can include increased muscle mass and body hair growth. This contrasts with estrogen–another common hormonal drug–which is used to promote feminine traits.

Anavar Compared to Other Anabolic Steroids

Scale, question, importance

Anavar is one of the most common brand names for anabolic steroids. However, there are a few other drugs in steady competition with it. The biggest one is testosterone.


All anabolic steroids are designed to behave similarly to natural testosterone in the body. Slight variations in the chemical composition cause different results in each drug. This allows each form of testosterone-mimicking drug to be used for varying purposes.

The anabolic effects in Anavar are six times more potent than in testosterone. At the same time, Anavar has decreased androgen effects.

Common Uses

Bone Pain

Anavar can stimulate bone marrow, which can treat conditions that result in bone pain and joint pain. It also decreases the rate of bone reduction in older men and can treat osteoporosis in older women.

Turner’s Syndrome

Child, portrait, model

Turner Syndrome is a condition in which a female is born without all or part of an X-chromosome. Often, these girls grow up to have difficulty starting puberty. This causes infertility and a lack of breasts.

Due to puberty being absent, girls with Turner Syndrome often have stunted growth. While data is mixed, some physicians prescribe Anavar as a growth stimulant.

Promote Muscle Growth

Man, board, drawing

As part of mimicking male puberty, patients who take Anavar often experience increased muscle mass and a greater potential to build muscle.


Football, quarterback, sport

As with other steroids, there are instances of illegal Anavar usage in sports. Athletes are attracted to Anavar due to its fat-burning properties and muscle-building effects. The drug also helps in resistance training. Bodybuilders and participants in endurance sports are especially likely to misuse anabolic steroids.


Trans, transgender, flag

Due to its ability to promote male puberty, Anavar and other anabolic steroids are popular within the trans community. People born female who wish to adopt male characteristics seek out these drugs to achieve facial hair growth, greater muscle mass, and voice deepening.

As with the athletic community, there is an issue of using illegal steroids among trans individuals. Drug dealers capitalize on their desperation to sell them products that may be faulty or too high of a dosage for them.

Anavar and similar medications should only be used with a prescription from a trusted physician.

Common Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

When using Anavar, side effects may include…

Stomach pain, infarct, medicine
  • Decreased endogenous testosterone
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • An enlarged clitoris
  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Extreme tiredness or chronic fatigue
  • New or worsening medical conditions
  • Excessive weight gain
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Increased appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Changes in mood

This is not an extensive list of side effects. Any significant changes in a person’s physical state or mood should be documented. Many side effects go unnoticed until they become larger issues.

Potential Risks

As with other drugs, there are risks involved with taking this medication. In addition to the previously mentioned Anavar side effects, a patient is at risk of…

Struggle, acne, self love
  • Damage to blood vessels, the liver, and other organs
  • Low blood sugar
  • Developing cancer
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Infertility
  • Severe acne
  • Paranoia, increased aggression, hallucinations, and other psychological complications
  • Restricted growth in children

Anavar should not be taken by anyone who…

  • Is currently taking or plans to take blood thinners
  • Has heart disease or liver problems
  • Is at increased risk of heart disease or liver problems
  • Has a history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes
  • Is currently pregnant or plans to become pregnant
  • Has an enlarged prostate
  • Experiences chronic infection
  • Has prostate cancer or breast cancer
  • Does not have a prescription from a physician

Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to medications, difficulties breathing, mineral deficiencies, or any form of cancer. Also let your doctor know if you are currently taking any other medication, including ones for mental health.

When to See a Doctor

Woman, doctor, surgeon

A patient taking Anavar should seek medical help immediately if they experience adverse reactions to the medication. This can include swelling, fever, bleeding, or signs of a severe allergic reaction.

Milder side effects should last only a few weeks. Tell your doctor if these do not go away or worsen in time.

Closely monitor new or worsening acne. Any negative side effects should be documented for your next doctor’s visit. This can include “roid rage”, new or worsening depression, and other changes in mood.

If you suspect you may be developing a dependency, stop using Anavar immediately and seek help. Your doctor may move you to a short-term treatment option until a better replacement can be found.


Pill bottle, medicine, prescription

The dosage will depend on the doctor’s prescription. An individual’s age, body mass, medical history, cholesterol levels, and accompanying medications can all contribute to a dosage being higher or lower than the default recommendation.

Taking Anavar more than what was recommended can result in drug dependency or overdose. With higher doses, you are at increased risk of liver damage and heart attack. Side effects may develop or worsen the more you overuse Anavar.

Using less of the drug may render the medication ineffective or inconsistent. Side effects may become difficult to monitor due to irregularity.

Transmen are especially at risk of severe side effects from underdosing. This is because the drug is present enough to influence their natural female hormones but not strong enough to fully block them in favor of synthetic male hormones.

How to Treat Steroid Addiction

Counseling, stress, angry

Abusing Anavar is just as dangerous as any other sort of drug abuse. Athletes, adolescents, and trans individuals are at increased risk of abusing steroids.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be developing an addiction to Anavar, seek help immediately. Addictions can lead to a variety of mental and physical health problems that worsen the longer the problem is ignored.

Your physician will be able to find appropriate treatment options to guide you through addiction recovery. Most likely, you will be referred to an experienced psychotherapist and a support group. Do not attempt to quit Anavar on your own.

Withdrawal symptoms may be severe. Document all the side effects as you recover from your addiction. Any side effects that seem unusual or extreme should be discussed with your physician and your counselor.

After recovering from addiction, do not attempt to use Anavar or any other anabolic steroids. Doing so may trigger a relapse that could significantly harm your body and make a second recovery more difficult. Keep in touch with a support mentor and let them know whenever you experience severe cravings or consider taking the medication again.

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Alex Kudisch
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