Anavar is the trade name for an oral anabolic steroid with the chemical name Oxandrolone. The appearance of the drug occurred during the period of active research into anabolic steroids, which lasted from the 1950s to the 1980s. The aim of the research was to develop an anabolic compound that could be considered ideal. And the creators of Anavar, perhaps, managed to get as close as possible to this goal. The drug has an excellent safety profile and the ratio of the risk of side effects to the expected benefit. This is one of the few steroids that can be prescribed for the treatment of children and women. In these two groups of patients, anabolic steroids are used extremely rarely due to the risk of adverse reactions.
For the first time, the drug Oxandrolone became known in 1962. A little later, it was introduced by Searle Laboratories (Pfizer Inc) under the brand name Anavar. Subsequently, various pharmaceutical companies have released Oxandrolone under other trade names. Among them: Protivar, Anatrophil, Antitriol, Lipidex and Lonavar. The drug has become one of the significant achievements of the pharmaceutical industry, which is confirmed by numerous data on the good tolerance of Anavar by the majority of patients.
Anavar is a dihydrotestosterone derivative whose structure has been modified to give new properties to the compound. The first of these changes is C17-alpha alkylation, which allows oral administration of the agent. The second is the replacement of carbon in the 2nd position with oxygen, which enhanced the anabolic properties of the compound. The anabolic efficiency of Anavar is 3-6 times higher than that of Testosterone.
Anavar belongs to the family of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derivatives. In fact, it is dihydrotestosterone with a methylation at position 17. This structural change allows the compound to cross the hepatic barrier when taken orally and makes it more resistant to hepatic metabolism. Another change was made to the structure of the drug: in the first cycloalkane ring of the molecule, the second carbon atom was removed and replaced with oxygen. Thanks to this structural change, Anavar occupies a special place among steroids, because it is the only compound of this group which presents a direct modification of the ring structure: the carbon has been completely replaced by an atom of another element. This characteristic is probably the reason for the increased anabolic activity of the hormonal agent compared to the parent compound. One of the mechanisms responsible for the high anabolic efficiency of this modification of Anavar (compared to DHT) is believed to be an increase in resistance to the enzyme 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. This enzyme present in the muscles catalyzes the conversion of DHT into a non-anabolic metabolite. This explains the lack of anabolic effect of dihydrotestosterone on muscle tissue. The compound is deactivated by 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase before acting on androgen receptors in the muscles.
Anavar belongs to the Dihydrotestosterone family along with other agents such as Masteron, Primobolan, Winstrol and a few others. A common characteristic of these drugs is that they are all derived from DHT. Therefore, DHT is considered the “mother” hormone for all compounds in the family. Anavar has a marked predominance of anabolic action over androgenic effects (this is clearly visible when comparing the anabolic index (322-630) with androgenic (24)). As for testosterone, it has an index ratio of 100:100. Obviously, Oxandrolone has a much less androgenic effect and a much more pronounced anabolic effect than Testosterone. The anabolic activity of Anavar can be 3-6 times higher than the similar effects of testosterone, while the concomitant androgenic activity of Anavar is estimated to be negligible. Additionally, Oxandrolone did not show any estrogenic activity or progestogenic activity.
Obviously, the described properties of Anavar make it very attractive for use in sports and bodybuilding. With it, you can achieve better results in the mass-building and strength-increasing stages, when water retention is undesirable. This steroid is also used in cases where it is necessary to reduce body fat, while maintaining muscle mass, if possible, despite calorie restriction. At this point, again, fluid and fat buildup should be avoided. As can be seen above, Anavar could well be considered a universal drug. In a comparative description of anabolic steroids, it is usually called a “mild” agent, although in fact it has quite an impressive anabolic effect. This is confirmed by the value of the corresponding index from 322 to 630, which is significantly higher than the indices of testosterone (100) and another widely used anabolic Primobolan (88). Therefore, when referring to Anavar, the term “mild” may not refer to its anabolic action as many might think. The reason for this is the oral dosage form of Anavar, due to which a significant part of the anabolic steroid when used internally can undergo hepatic metabolism. In this regard, the structure of oral steroids is changed due to methylation at position 17, which allows to increase the resistance to destruction in the liver. Such a modification significantly increases the proportion of the drug entering the bloodstream, although it does not completely cancel metabolic processes. Part of the drug is still lost, which is why a range of values is given instead of an exact value for some steroids (mainly for oral agents, the anabolic effect of which varies depending on hepatic metabolism).