Nandrolone decanoate is an injectable form of the anabolic steroid nandrolone. The decanoate ester provides a slow release of nandrolone from the site of injection, lasting for up to three weeks. Nandrolone is very similar to testosterone in structure, although it lacks a carbon atom at the 19th position (hence its other name, 19- nortestosterone). Like testosterone, nandrolone exhibits relatively strong anabolic properties. Unlike testosterone, however, its tissue-building activity is accompanied by weak androgenic properties. Much of this has to do with the reduction of nandrolone to a weaker steroid, dihydronandrolone, in the same androgen-responsive target tissues that potentate the action of testosterone (by converting it to DHT). The mild properties of nandrolone decanoate have made it one of the most popular injectable steroids worldwide, highly favored by athletes for its ability to promote significant strength and lean muscle mass gains without strong androgenic or estrogenic side effects.
|Brand name||Deca-Durabolin, Nandrolone decanoate, Extraboline, Deca-Pronabol, Decabolic, Nandrolona D|
Nandrolone Decanoate History
Nandrolone decanoate was first described in 1960, and became a prescription medication in 1962. It was developed by the international pharmaceuticals giant Organon, and sold under the brand name Deca-Durabolin. The name Deca-Durabolin denotes that the product contains a variant of Organon’s previously popular nandrolone injectable Durabolin (nandrolone phenylpropionate) using an ester of 10 carbon atoms. Organon expanded the market for nandrolone decanoate very rapidly following its release. Probably owing to a combination of its favorable properties and the large market presence of Organon, Deca-Durabolin soon became one of the most widely distributed anabolic steroids in the world.
When first introduced to the United States, nandrolone decanoate (like Durabolin) was prescribed for a variety of ailments. Listed indications included pre- and postoperative use for building lean mass, osteoporosis, advanced breast cancer, weight loss due to convalescence or disease, geriatric states (general weakness and frailty), burns, severe trauma, ulcers, adjunct therapy with certain forms of anemia, and selective cases of growth and development retardation in children. The drug was initially sold in a dosage of only 50 mg/ml, owing to the very low recommended doses (usually 50-100 mg every 3-4 weeks). The drug was soon updated to include a 100 mg/ml version, reflecting the need for higher doses in some situations, particularly those with refractory anemia and advanced breast cancer. Later, a 200 mg/ml product was released by Organon as well.
Although the drug had been applied favorably for a great many medical uses for approximately a decade, by the mid-1970’s the indicated uses for nandrolone decanoate were being refined, both in the U.S. and abroad. FDA approved prescribing information from 1975 lists nandrolone decanoate as “probably effective” as adjunct therapy in senile and postmenopausal osteoporosis, as well as for treating pituitary-deficient dwarfism until growth hormone is more available. It was also deemed “possibly effective” in aiding the retention of lean mass, controlling advanced breast cancer, and as adjunctive therapy for certain types of anemia. More time was given to investigate the potential “less than effective” uses of the drug.
Modern (approved) medical applications for the drug are even more refined than they were in the mid-1970’s. In the United States, the drug is now only FDA approved for treating anemia, although it is often also used “off label” to preserve lean mass in HIV positive patients and others suffering from wasting diseases. Outside of the U.S., Organon seems to support the use of this drug mainly with patients suffering from severe anemia, osteoporosis, and advanced breast cancer. The Organon Deca-Durabolin brand of nandrolone decanoate remains widely available today, now distributed by new parent company Merck/MSD. In addition, nandrolone decanoate is produced as a generic drug in many countries, and is also manufactured under numerous other distinctive brand names, both for human and veterinary use.
How is Nandrolone Decanoate Supplied
Nandrolone decanoate is widely available in human and veterinary drug markets. Composition and dosage may vary by country and manufacturer, but usually contain 25 mg/ml, 50 mg/ml, 100 mg/ml, or 200 mg/ml of steroid dissolved in oil.
Structural Characteristics of Nandrolone Decanoate
Nandrolone decanoate is a modified form of nandrolone, where a carboxylic acid ester (decanoic acid) has been attached to the 17-beta hydroxyl group. Esterified steroids are less polar than free steroids, and are absorbed more slowly from the area of injection. Once in the bloodstream, the ester is removed to yield free (active) nandrolone. Esterified steroids are designed to prolong the window of therapeutic effect following administration, allowing for a less frequent injection schedule compared to injections of free (unesterified) steroid. Nandrolone decanoate provides a sharp spike in nandrolone release 24-48 hours following deep intramuscular injection, which steadily declines to near baseline levels approximately two weeks later. The half-life of nandrolone decanoate is 7-12 days.
Nandrolone Decanoate Side Effects (Estrogenic)
Nandrolone has a low tendency for estrogen conversion, estimated to be only about 20% of that seen with testosterone. This is because while the liver can convert nandrolone to estradiol, in other more active sites of steroid aromatization such as adipose tissue nandrolone is far less open to this process. Consequently, estrogen-related side effects are a much lower concern with this drug than with testosterone. Elevated estrogen levels may still be noticed with higher dosing, however, and may cause side effects such as increased water retention, body fat gain, and gynecomastia. An anti-estrogen such as clomiphene citrate or tamoxifen citrate may be necessary to prevent estrogenic side effects if they occur. One may alternately use an aromatase inhibitor like Arimidex (anastrozole), which more efficiently controls estrogen by preventing its synthesis. Aromatase inhibitors can be quite expensive in comparison to anti-estrogens, however, and may also have negative effects on blood lipids.
It is of note that nandrolone has some activity as a progestin in the body. Although progesterone is a c-19 steroid, removal of this group as in 19-norprogesterone creates a hormone with greater binding affinity for its corresponding receptor. Sharing this trait, many 19-nor anabolic steroids are shown to have some affinity for the progesterone receptor as well. The side effects associated with progesterone are similar to those of estrogen, including negative feedback inhibition of testosterone production and enhanced rate of fat storage. Progestins also augment the stimulatory effect of estrogens on mammary tissue growth. There appears to be a strong synergy between these two hormones here, such that gynecomastia might even occur with the help of progestins, without excessive estrogen levels. The use of an anti-estrogen, which inhibits the estrogenic component of this disorder, is often sufficient to mitigate gynecomastia caused by nandrolone.
Nandrolone Decanoate Side Effects (Androgenic)
Although classified as an anabolic steroid, androgenic side effects are still possible with this substance, especially with higher doses. This may include bouts of oily skin, acne, and body/facial hair growth. Anabolic/androgenic steroids may also aggravate male pattern hair loss. Women are warned of the potential virilizing effects of anabolic/androgenic steroids. These may include a deepening of the voice, menstrual irregularities, changes in skin texture, facial hair growth, and clitoral enlargement. Nandrolone is a steroid with relatively low facial hair growth, and clitoral enlargement. Nandrolone is a steroid with relatively low androgenic activity relative to its tissue-building actions, making the threshold for strong androgenic side effects comparably higher than with more androgenic agents such as testosterone, methandrostenolone, or fluoxymesterone. It is also important to point out that due to its mild androgenic nature and ability to suppress endogenous testosterone, nandrolone is prone to interfering with libido in males when used without another androgen.
Note that in androgen-responsive target tissues such as the skin, scalp, and prostate, the relative androgenicity of nandrolone is reduced by its reduction to dihydronandrolone (DHN). The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for this metabolism of nandrolone. The concurrent use of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor such as finasteride or dutasteride will interfere with site-specific reduction of nandrolone action, considerably increasing the tendency of nandrolone to produce androgenic side effects. Reductase inhibitors should be avoided with nandrolone if low androgenicity is desired.
Nandrolone Decanoate Side Effects (Hepatotoxicity)
Nandrolone is not c-17 alpha alkylated, and not known to have hepatotoxic effects in healthy subjects. Liver toxicity is unlikely.
Nandrolone Decanoate Side Effects (Cardiovascular)
Anabolic/androgenic steroids can have deleterious effects on serum cholesterol. This includes a tendency to reduce HDL (good) cholesterol values and increase LDL (bad) cholesterol values, which may shift the HDL to LDL balance in a direction that favors greater risk of arteriosclerosis. The relative impact of an anabolic/androgenic steroid on serum lipids is dependant on the dose, route of administration (oral vs. injectable), type of steroid (aromatizable or non-aromatizable), and level of resistance to hepatic metabolism. Studies administering 600 mg of nandrolone decanoate per week for 10 weeks demonstrated a 26% reduction in HDL cholesterol levels. This suppression is slightly greater than that reported with an equal dose of testosterone enanthate, and is in agreement with earlier studies showing a slightly stronger negative impact on HDL/LDL ratio with nandrolone decanoate as compared to testosterone cypionate. Nandrolone decanoate should still have a significantly weaker impact on serum lipids than c-17 alpha alkylated agents. Anabolic/androgenic steroids may also adversely affect blood pressure and triglycerides, reduce endothelial relaxation, and support left ventricular hypertrophy, all potentially increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction.
To help reduce cardiovascular strain it is advised to maintain an active cardiovascular exercise program and minimize the intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, and simple carbohydrates at all times during active AAS administration. Supplementing with fish oils (4 grams per day) and a natural cholesterol/antioxidant formula such as Lipid Stabil or a product with comparable ingredients is also recommended.
Nandrolone Decanoate Side Effects (Testosterone Suppression)
All anabolic/androgenic steroids when taken in doses sufficient to promote muscle gain are expected to suppress endogenous testosterone production. Studies administering 100 mg per week of nandrolone decanoate for 6 weeks have demonstrated an approximate 57% reduction in serum testosterone levels during therapy. At a dosage of 300 mg per week, this reduction reached 70%. It is believed that the progestational activity of nandrolone notably contributes to the suppression of testosterone synthesis during therapy, which can be marked in spite of a low tendency for estrogen conversion. Without the intervention of testosterone-stimulating substances, testosterone levels should return to normal within 2-6 months of drug secession. Note that prolonged hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism can develop secondary to steroid abuse, necessitating medical intervention.
Nandrolone Decanoate Administration (Men)
For general anabolic effects, early prescribing guidelines recommend a dosage of 50-100 mg every 3-4 weeks for 12 weeks. To treat renal anemia, the prescribing guidelines for nandrolone decanoate recommend a dosage of 100- 200 mg per week. The usual dosage nandrolone decanoate recommend a dosage of 100- 200 mg per week.
The usual dosage for physique- or performance-enhancing purposes is the range of 200-600 mg per week, taken in cycles 8 to 12 weeks in length. This level is sufficient for most users to notice measurable gains in lean muscle mass and strength.It is often stated that nandrolone decanoate will exhibit its optimal effect (best gain/side effect ratio) at 2 mg per pound of bodyweight/weekly, although individual differences in response will likely dictate varying ideal doses for different users. Deca is not known as a very “fast” builder. The muscle-building effect of this drug is quite noticeable, but not dramatic. In general, one can expect to gain muscle weight at about half the rate of that with an equal amount of testosterone.
Nandrolone decanoate is often combined with other steroids for an enhanced effect. A combination of 200-400 mg/week of nandrolone decanoate and 10-20 mg daily of Winstrol, for example, is noted to greatly enhance the look of muscularity and definition when dieting/cutting. A strong non-aromatizing androgen like Halotestin or trenbolone could also be used, again providing an enhanced level of hardness and density to the muscles. Being a moderately strong muscle builder, nandrolone can also be incorporated into bulk cycles with acceptable results. The classic “Deca and D-bol” stack (usually 200-400 mg of nandrolone decanoate per week and 15-25 mg of Dianabol per day) has been a bodybuilding basic for decades, and always seems to provide excellent muscle growth. A stronger androgen such as Anadrol 50 or testosterone could also be substituted, producing greater results, but with more water retention.
Nandrolone Decanoate Administration (Women)
For general anabolic effects, early prescribing guidelines recommend a dosage of 50-100 mg every 3-4 weeks for 12 weeks. To treat renal anemia, the prescribing guidelines for nandrolone decanoate recommend a dosage of 50-100 mg per week. When used for physique- or performance-enhancing purposes, a dosage of 50 mg per week is most common, taken for 4-6 weeks. Although only slightly androgenic, women are occasionally confronted with virilization symptoms when taking this compound. Studies have demonstrated high tolerability (minor but statistically insignificant incidence of virilizing side effects) with a dose of 100 mg every other week for 12 weeks, while long-term studies (+12 months of use) have demonstrated virilizing side effects on a dose as low as 50 mg every 2-3 weeks. Should virilizing side effects become a concern, nandrolone decanoate should be discontinued immediately to help prevent their permanent appearance. After a sufficient period of withdrawal, the shorter-acting nandrolone Durabolin might be considered a safer option. This drug stays active for only several days, greatly reducing the withdrawal time if indicated.
Nandrolone Decanoate Availability
Nandrolone decanoate continues to decline in prominence as a pharmaceutical product due to its limited use in clinical medicine. The drug is presently unavailable in the United States. Many Western nations continue to market the drug, though its production is increasingly being shifted to less regulated markets in Asia. Legitimate pharmaceutical forms are highly sought after on the black market, and thus subject to a great deal of counterfeiting. In reviewing some of the more popular products and changes on the global pharmaceutical market, we have made the following observations.
In November 2009, Organon (a subsidiary of ScheringPlough since 2007) became part of Merck/MSD. All Organon products are expected to transition over to this label. It is unknown what (if any) changes to expect in the global distribution of Deca-Durabolin products.
Brand name Deca-Durabolin is not available in the United States. All products bearing this label are counterfeit. Watson Labs and Schein Pharmaceuticals generics have also been discontinued. This drug is presently unavailable in the U.S.
Norma Hellas Deca (100 mg/mL nandrolone decanoate in 2 mL vials) from Greece is available, but also widely counterfeited. The firm uses a patented photochromic label to deter counterfeiting, which carries a metallic/holographic watermark of the Norma Hellas logo.
Greek Deca-Durabolin (formerly from Organon) has been another widely counterfeited product. It is one of only a handful of European nandrolone injectables to be found in multidosed vials, making it an easy target for counterfeiters that lack the capacity to produce glass dosed vials, making it an easy target for counterfeiters that lack the capacity to produce glass ampules. This product should be considered fake unless it comes in a box with the proper Greek drug ID sticker. As with all Greek drugs, the sticker should show a hidden mark under UV light.
Greek Extraboline may be in circulation. It is also a common target of counterfeiting. As with all Greek drugs, this product should contain a peel-off pharmacy sticker that reveals a hidden watermark under UV lighting. All Extraboline in circulation will also carry a holographic image directly on the vial label.
Deca-Pronabol from P&B Labs India is no longer in production. The company currently markets only a 25 mg/mL version of this drug in 1 mL ampules. Many counterfeits of the former 100 mg/mL product are still in circulation.
Decabolic from Asia Pharma (Malaysia) is now approved for sale through pharmacies in Thailand, and is fairly popular on the black market. Each box should carry a scratch-off security sticker, which will display a code that can be validated on the company website.
Balkan Pharmaceuticals (Moldova) makes the product Nandrolona D. It is prepared in both 1 mL ampules and multi-dose vials.
Nandrolone Decanoate is produced by Swiss Remedies and available across Europe. Due to numerous fakes of this product, Swiss Remedies offers a convenient online product checker.
Magnus Pharmaceuticals makes the product Nandro D primarily for the EU and UK markets. Due to fake products appearing on the market, Magnus offers an online checker that lets steroid users verify their product originality.
Nandrolone Decanoate is a very anabolic, moderate androgenic form of nortestosterone that was the most commonly used drug to create a rapid build-up of lean muscle mass or as a diet “protein- sparing” drug by athletes of all kinds. This is a longer lasting nandrolone than Durabolin so some water retention resulted with long term administration (especially in higher dosages). A prominent positive nitrogen balance occurs with the use of nandrolones and therefore a high protein intake was a must for all reported users. If you read the section on protein, you know that nitrogen in its bonded form is a part of protein/amino acids. Since nandrolone promotes nitrogen storage in muscle cells (a positive nitrogen balance) then the cell contains more protein for growth and repair than normal. Remember: This could only happen if above normal calories (with a focus on protein) were ingested. Since nandrolone is moderately androgenic, good strength gains also resulted. Another plus for nandrolone was that most users experienced a joint healing effect during cycles and a suppressed cortisol/cortisone activity due to nandrolones ability to long-term block cortisol receptors. Since aromatization was low, in 200-400-mg weekly dosages, anti-estrogens were not commonly necessary to avoid gyno and estrogenic induced side effects. Based upon available research and information available it seems liver toxicity is unknown with nandrolone. So it was not a surprise to find that even those with liver disease have used this drug with great success.
Common dosages for men were 200 600mg weekly. Though dosages over 400 mg weekly caused more water retention. For first time use of dosages over 400 mg weekly, I preferred to add 50-100mg Durabolin to each of the 2 weekly injections. This was because Durabolin is much faster acting and therefore creates chance for water retention and gyno. (This applied to first -time users only)
An added benefit of this method was that nandrolone decanoate begins significant activity at 6 days and peaks at about 8 days after administration. The faster acting durabolin "kicks in" after about 1 day. This also resulted in higher "quality" muscle tissue gain.
Women seemed to do very well with nandrolones due to the lower androgenic/masculining effect. Women consistently reported excellent lean mass and strength gains at dosages of 50-100 mg weekly. Masculine effects usually were avoided by single weekly injections of 25-50 mg nandrolone decanoate and 25-50 mg of Durabolin (nandrolone phenylpropionate). In both men and women, this method seemed to result in more "quality" muscle, less water retention, less gyno for males, and good retention of gains after the cycle ends.
*Metabolites can be found in urine or blood tests for 12-18 months after use of nandrolone is discontinued.
Anabolic Steroid Guide reference
Deca-Durabolin is a brand name of Organon Company, the manufacturer of the drug containing the substance nandrolone decanoate. Although nandrolone decanoate is still contained in many generic compounds, almost every athlete connects this substance with Deca-Durabolin. Most common are the administrations of 50 mg/ml and 100 mg/ml. Deca-Durabolin is the most widespread and most commonly used injectable steroid. Deca's large popularity can be attributed to its numerous possible applications and, for its mostly positive results. Deca-Durabolin causes the muscle cell to store more nitrogen than it releases so that a positive nitrogen balance is achieved. A positive nitrogen balance is synonymous with muscle growth since the muscle cell, in this phase, assimilates (accumulates) a larger amount of protein than usual. The same manufacturer, however, points out on the package insert that a positive nitrogen balance and the protein building effect that accompany it will occur only if enough calories and proteins are supplied. One should know this since, otherwise, satisfying results with Deca cannot be obtained. The highly anabolic effect of Deca-Durabolin is linked to a moderately androgenic component, so that a good gain in muscle mass and strength is obtained. At the same time, most athletes notice considerable water retention which, no doubt, is not as distinct as that with injectable testosterones but which in high doses can also cause a smooth and watery appearance. Since Deca also stores more water in the connective tissues, it can temporarily case or even cure existing pain in joints. This is especially good for those athletes who complain about pain in the shoulder, elbow, and knee; they can often enjoy pain-free workouts during treatment with Deca-Durabolin. Athletes use Deca, depending on their needs, for muscle buildup and in preparation for a competition.
Deca is suitable, even above average, to develop muscle mass since it promotes the protein synthesis and simultaneously leads to water retention. The optimal dose for this purpose lies between 200 and 600 mg/week. Scientific research has shown that best results can be obtained by the intake of 2 mg/pound body weight. Those who take a dose of less than 200 mg/week will usually feel only a very light anabolic effect which, however, increases with a higher dosage. Most male athletes experience good results by taking 400 mg/week. Steroid novices usually need only 200 mg/week. Deca works very well for muscle buildup when combined with Dianabol and Testosterone. The famous Dianabol/ Deca stack results in a a fast and strong gain in muscle mass. Most athletes usually take 15-40 mg Dianabol/day and 200-400 mg Deca/week. Even faster results can be achieved with 400 mg Deca/week and 500 mg Sustanon 250/week. Athletes report an enormous gain in strength and muscle mass when taking 400 mg Deca/week, 500 mg Sustanon 250/week, and 30 mg Dianabol/day. Deca is a good basic steroid which, for muscle buildup, can be combined with many other steroids.
A conversion into estrogen, that means an aromatizing process, is possible with Deca-Durabolin but occurs at a lower rate than ex: testosterone. During competitions with doping tests Deca must not be taken since the metabolites in the body can be proven in a urine analysis up to 18 months later. The risk of potential water retention and aromatizing to estrogen can be successfully prevented by combining the use of Proviron with Nolvadex. A preparatory stack often observed in competing athletes includes 400 mg/week Deca-Durabolin, 50 mg/day Winstrol, 228 mg/week Parabolan, and 25 mg/day Oxandrolone.
Although the side effects with Deca are relatively low with dosages of 400 mg/week, androgenic-caused side effects can occur. Most problems manifest themselves in high blood pressure and a pro-longed time for blood clotting, which can cause frequent nasal bleeding and prolonged bleeding of cuts, as well as increased production of the sebaceous gland and occasional acne. Some athletes also report headaches and sexual overstimulation. When very high dosages are taken over a prolonged period, spermatogenesis can be inhibited in men, i.e. the testes produce less testosterone. The reason is that Deca-Durabolin, like almost all steroids, inhibits the release of gonadotropins from the hypophysis.
Women with a dosage of up to 100 mg/week usually experience no major problems with Deca. At higher dosages androgenic-caused virilization symptoms can occur, including deep voice (irreversible), increased growth of body hair, acne, increased libido, and possibly clitorihypertrophy. Women who experience disturbance even at a weekly dose of only 50 mg/week of Deca-Durabolin, are often better off taking the earlier mentioned and faster-acting Durabolin. Unlike the long-acting Deca, when Durabolin is administered once or twice weekly in a dosage of 50 mg, no concentration of undesired amounts of androgens occur. Since most female athletes get on well with Deca-Durabolin a dose of Deca 50 mg +/week is usually combined with Oxandrolone 10 mg +/day Both compounds, when taken in a low dosage, are only slightly androgenic so that masculinizing side effects only rarely occur. Deca, through its increased protein synthesis, also leads to a net muscle gain and Oxandrolone, based on the increased phosphocreatine synthesis, leads to a measurable strength gain with very low water retention. Other variations of administration used by female athletes are Deca and Winstrol tablets, as well as Deca and Primobolan S-tablets.
A great disadvantage of Deca-Durabolin is its high price. In the U.S. a 50 mg ampule costs approx. $10 - 12. Deca-Durabolin in strengths of 200 mg/2 ml ampules; usually cost around $30 per ampule. Because of its great popularity and the high demand that goes along with it, there are many fakes of Deca-Durabolin.
Newbies Research Guide reference
Deca Durabolin is the Organon brand name for nandrolone decanoate. World wide Deca is one of the most popular injectable steroids. It’s popularity is likely due to the fact that Deca exhibits significant anabolic effects with minimal androgenic side effects. Considered by many the best overall steroid for a man to use (side effects vs. results) Deca is most commonly injected once per week at a dosage of 200-400mg. With this amount, estrogen conversion is slight so gyno is usually not a problem. Also uncommon are problems with liver enzymes, blood pressure or cholesterol levels. At higher dosages, side effects may become increasingly more frequent, but this is still a very well tolerated drug. It should also be noted that in HIV studies, Deca has been shown not only to be effective at safely bringing up the lean bodyweight of patient but also to be beneficial to the immune system. For bodybuilding, Deca can effectively be incorporated in both mass and cutting cycles. One major drawback to Deca is that it can be detected in a drug screen for as long as a year after use. Unfortunately for many competitive athletes, this makes Deca and other nandrolone products off limits. Deca is also a comparatively expensive anabolic. Black market, 200mg of Deca will cost upwards of $20 in most instances. In the U.S., one would commonly find the Mexican veterinary version Norandren 50 from Brovel in Mexico. This is a 50ml vial of what is supposed to be 50mg/ml nandrolone decanoate. Brovel Labs however, has a reputation for underdosing their products and this may be closer to 35mg/ml. Extraboline and Deca-Durabolin from Greece are also commonly found, Extraboline usually being slightly cheaper. Retabolil from Bulgaria (“Russian Deca”) is another commonly found product. These ampoules come one to a box and in 25mg and 50mg strength, the 50mg being almost exclusively brought to the US. The ampoules have no band around the neck and no scoring. The larger box comes with a file, which is required to open this ampoule. These ampoules have been made with 2 labeling styles, the first being a very easy to rub off red and yellow silk-screen directly on the glass and the other being the simple paper label with gray text. Deca is also widely counterfeited in countless forms so caution should be taken when purchasing this on the black market.
Wlliam Llewellyn (2011) - Anabolics
L. Rea (2002) - Chemical Muscle Enhancement Bodybuilders Desk Reference
Anabolic Steroid Guide
Newbies Research Guide