Avandia is a prescription antidiabetic drug similar in action to Glucophage (Metformin HCI) and belongs to a fairly new class of drugs called thiazolidinediones.
Medical use for Avandia is confined to treating type II diabetes. What the drug actually does is increase cell insulin receptor-site number and sensitivity. This in turn allows the body to better utilize insulin and therefore feed cells nutrients they require for repair and growth. The need for drugs such as thiazolidinediones is due to the tendency of cell insulin receptor-site number and sensitivity down-regulation realized by long term diabetic treatments. This means diabetics become resistant to insulin and their cells begin to deteriorate. In fact, insulin resistance is an underlying cause of type II diabetes. Clinical treatment for diabetes has finally begun to address drug / hormone synergy.
The most elite bodybuilders polled realized that drug/hormone synergy/activity was the key to maximum growth rates. And in the case of drugs such as Avandia, the methodology for application was multifaceted. Insulin is probably the most anabolic hormone there is. It was also noted to be highly synergistic with GH, IGF-1, PGF-2, Anabolic/Androgenic steroids, and several other growth inducing chemicals. However, maximum growth also required maximum receptor-site stimulation. (Which obviously is strongly dependant upon receptor-site number and sensitivity) There were several athletes who had hit growth plateaus due to insulin insensitivity. Sometimes this was due to over abuse of exogenous insulin during cycles and protocols. But it was more often due to either an athletes predisposition toward being a border-line diabetic or genetic limitations the endocrine system has placed upon growth. In either case, most of the elite group realized significant growth progress again by utilizing drugs like Avandia.
*5-10 pounds of additional mass gain were common during a normal seasons period.
Avandia is manufactured by Smith Kline Beech Pharmaceuticals and is provided as 2 ngMG, 4mg, or 8 mg tablets. Athletes generally used Avandia in 12 week cycles with a progressive dosage:
Week 1-3 : 2 mg 2 times daily
Week 4-6 : 4 mg 2 times daily
Week 7-9 : 6 mg 2 times daily
Week 10-12 : 8 mg 2 times daily
According to available literature 12 weeks of continuous administration are required for Avandia to reach full effects in most individuals. A note of interest is that theoretically Avandia improved the results realized from IGF-1 use as well as insulin. This is due to the cross over stimulatory effect each of these hormones has upon the opposite receptor-sites. This may have had some positive effects upon GH use since GH converts to, and triggers IGF-1 release.
*When athletes administered Avandia, hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar) occurred unless additional carbohydrates were ingested.
*The usual ratio of carbohydrates to insulin athletes used was 10 grams of carbohydrates for each I.U. of insulin administered. However, when athletes layered Avandia (or Glucophage) into a protocol that contained insulin or pancreatic stimulators (such as Glipizide) the ratio often increased to 12-15 grams of carbohydrates for every I.U. of insulin. (*See Insulin for more information)
*Failure to ingest adequate amounts of carbohydrates resulted in sweating, blurred vision, tremors, headaches, and confusion. Smarter athletes monitored their blood sugar (glucose) levels with test strips or metes.
*Liver enzyme values should be checked regularly before, during and after the use of Avandia (or Glucophage)
*It should be noted that additional negative side effects factually exist: Black outs, comas, and death to name a few. Insulin drugs were the most dangerous drugs utilized by athletes. FACT!
Since growth induced by Insulin and IGF-1/GH use was dependent upon the hormone's molecules merging with cell receptor-sites, it should seem apparent why Avandia was reported as quite effective for long term progress. Additionally, improved insulin sensitivity translates into an improved muscle to fat ratio body composition.
L. Rea (2002) - Chemical Muscle Enhancement Bodybuilders Desk Reference