Dianabol is the most recognized trade name for the drug methandrostenolone, also referred to as methandienone in many countries. Methandrostenolone is a derivative of testosterone, modified so that the hormone’s androgenic (masculinizing) properties are reduced and its anabolic (tissue building) properties preserved. Having a lower level of relative androgenicity than testosterone, methandrostenolone is classified as an “anabolic” steroid, although quite a distinct androgenic side is still present. This drug was designed, and is principally sold, as an oral medication, although it can also be found in a number of injectable veterinary solutions. Dianabol is today, and has historically been, the most commonly used oral anabolic/androgenic steroid for physique and performance-enhancing purposes.
|Brand name||Dianabol, Methandrostenolone, Methandienone, Anabol, Danabol DS, Dronabol DS, Methandon, Russian D-Bol, Naposim, Metanabol, Danabol, Anabolin, Andoredan, Bionabol, Dialone, Encephan, Methandrostenolum, Nerobol, Pronabol-5, Stenolon, Trenergic|
|Progestational Activity||not significant|
Methandrostenolone was first described in 1955. It was released to the U.S. prescription drug market in 1958, under the brand name Dianabol by Ciba Pharmaceuticals. Ciba developed methandrostenolone into a medicine with the help of Dr. John Ziegler, who was the team physician for a number of U.S. Olympic teams, including weightlifting. Ziegler makes note in Bob Goldman’s Death in the Locker Room that he was first exposed to steroids at the 1956 World Games, seeing that the Russians were heavily abusing testosterone on their strength athletes. According to Ziegler, the hormone was having noticeable side effects, and one athlete had such profound prostate enlargement that he was forced to urinate with the aid of a catheter. While working with Ciba, the company tested a steroid (synthesized earlier) that had reduced androgenicity compared to testosterone, but with retained tissue-building (anabolic) properties. This had been accomplished by altering the basic chemical structure of testosterone in a way that altered its metabolism and disposition in the body. With the help of Dr. Ziegler, Ciba brought to market one of the most effective oral “anabolic” steroid medicines ever known, methandrostenolone. The success of the drug was rapid and far-reaching.
Dr. Ziegler’s athletes were quickly making great advancements in their competitive careers with the help of the drug. According to reports, Ziegler too seemed to be very impressed, at least for a while. But by the early 1960’s, it was starting to look like Dianabol had sparked a great wave of steroid abuse in competitive sports. Dr. Ziegler’s early recommendations, which depending on the source called for as little as 5 mg per day or as much as 15 mg per day, were being largely ignored, as athletes developed their own more aggressive (and potentially dangerous) dosing strategies. Dr. Ziegler soon became disgusted with the misuse of the drug, and would eventually become a voice of opposition to sports doping. By 1967, approximately 10 years after first introducing Dianabol to his athletes, he had categorically condemned the use of anabolic steroids in sports.
As early as 1965, Dianabol was already starting to fall under scrutiny of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That year the FDA requested Ciba clarify Dianabol’s medical uses,which were then stated to include helping patients in debilitated states and those with weakened bones. In 1970, the FDA accepted that Dianabol was “Probably Effective” in treating post-menopausal osteoporosis and pituitary-deficient dwarfism. These changes were reflected in the drug’s prescribing recommendations during the 1970’s, and Ciba was allowed to continue selling and studying the agent. Ciba eventually lost patent protection, however, and companies like Parr, Barr, Bolar, and Rugby were soon cutting deeply into their market with their own generic version of the drug.
By the early-80’s the FDA had withdrawn its “Probably Effective” position on the pituitarydeficient dwarfism, and continued to press Ciba for more data. Sufficient clarification never came, and in 1983 Ciba officially withdrew Dianabol from the U.S. market. Perhaps financial disinterest had a hand in their abandoned push to keep the drug approved. The financial disinterest had a hand in their abandoned push to keep the drug approved. The FDA pulled all generic forms of methandrostenolone from the U.S. market in 1985, a time when most Western nations were also eliminating the drug, finding its existence to be justified mainly by sports doping. Methandrostenolone is still produced today, but typically in nations with loose prescription drug regulations, and by companies that still prefer to cater to an underground athletic market.
How is Dianabol Supplied
Methandrostenolone is widely available in both human and veterinary drug markets. Composition and dosage may vary by country and manufacturer. Methandrostenolone was designed as an oral anabolic steroid containing 2.5 mg or 5 mg of steroid per tablet (Dianabol). Modern brands usually contain 5 mg or 10 mg per tablet. Methandrostenolone can also be found in injectable veterinary preparations. These are typically oilbased solutions that carry 25 mg/ml of steroid.
Structural Characteristics of Dianabol
Methandrostenolone is a modified form of testosterone. It differs by:
- the addition of a methyl group at carbon 17- alpha to protect the hormone during oral administration
- the introduction of a double bond between carbons 1 and 2, which reduces its relative androgenicity
The resulting steroid also has a much weaker relative binding affinity for the androgen receptor than testosterone, but at the same time displays a much longer half-life and lower affinity for serum-binding proteins in comparison. These features (among others) allow methandrostenolone to be a very potent anabolic steroid in spite of a weaker affinity for receptor binding. Recent studies have additionally confirmed that its primary mode of action involves interaction with the cellular androgen receptor.
Dianabol Side Effects (Estrogenic)
Methandrostenolone is aromatized by the body, and is a moderately estrogenic steroid. Gynecomastia is often a concern during treatment, and may present itself quite early into a cycle (particularly when higher doses are used). At the same time water retention can become a problem, causing a notable loss of muscle definition as both subcutaneous water retention and fat levels build. Sensitive individuals may therefore want to keep the estrogen under control with the addition of an anti-estrogen such as Nolvadex and/or mesterolone Proviron. One may alternately use an aromatase inhibitor like Arimidex (anastrozole), which is a more effective remedy for estrogen control. Aromatase inhibitors, however, can be quite expensive in comparison to standard estrogen maintenance therapies, and may also have negative effects on blood lipids.
It is interesting to note that methandrostenolone is structurally identical to boldenone, except that it contains the added c17-alpha-methyl group. This fact makes clear the impact of altering a steroid in such a way, as these two compounds appear to act very differently in the body. A key dissimilarity seems to lie in the tendency for estrogenic side effects. Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate) is known to be quite mild in this regard, and users commonly take this drug without the need to add an anti-estrogen. Methandrostenolone is much more estrogenic, often necessitating anti-estrogen use. But this difference is not caused by methandrostenolone being more easily aromatized. In fact, the 17-alpha methyl group and c1-2 double bond both slow the process of aromatization considerably. The issue actually is caused by methandrostenolone converting to 17alpha-methylestradiol, a more biologically active form of estrogen than estradiol.
Dianabol Side Effects (Androgenic)
Although classified as an anabolic steroid, androgenic side effects are still common with this substance. This may include bouts of oily skin, acne, and body/facial hair growth. Anabolic/androgenic steroids may also aggravate male pattern hair loss. Individuals sensitive to the androgenic effects of methandrostenolone may find a milder anabolic such as Deca-Durabolin to be more comfortable. Women are additionally 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.
While methandrostenolone does convert to a more potent steroid via interaction with the 5- alpha reductase enzyme (the same enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone), it has an extremely low affinity to do so. The androgenic metabolite dihydrotestosterone), it has an extremely low affinity to do so. The androgenic metabolite 5-alpha dihydromethandrostenolone is produced only in trace amounts, so the relative androgenicity of methandrostenolone is not significantly affected by finasteride or dutasteride.
Dianabol Side Effects (Hepatotoxicity)
Methandrostenolone is a c17-alpha alkylated compound. This alteration protects the drug from deactivation by the liver, allowing a very high percentage of the drug entry into the bloodstream following oral administration. C17-alpha alkylated anabolic/androgenic steroids can be hepatotoxic. Prolonged or high exposure may result in liver damage. In rare instances life-threatening dysfunction may develop. It is advisable to visit a physician periodically during each cycle to monitor liver function and overall health. Intake of c17-alpha alkylated steroids is commonly limited to 6-8 weeks, in an effort to avoid escalating liver strain.
Studies have shown that several weeks of methandrostenolone administration offers minimal hepatic stress so long as it is given at a dosage of 10 mg per day or below. At a dose of 15 mg per day, a majority of patients will begin to demonstrate disturbed liver function as measured by clinically elevated bromosulphalein retention (a marker of hepatic stress). Even at 2.5 and 5 mg per day, elevations in BSP retention have been reported in patients. Severe liver complications are rare given the periodic nature in which most people use oral anabolic/androgenic steroids, although cannot be excluded with methandrostenolone, especially with high doses and/or prolonged administration periods.
Dianabol 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. Methandrostenolone has a strong effect on the hepatic management of cholesterol due to its structural resistance to liver breakdown and route of administration. 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.
Dianabol Side Effects (Testosterone Suppression)
All anabolic/androgenic steroids when taken in doses sufficient to promote muscle gain are expected to suppress endogenous testosterone production. Methandrostenolone is no exception, and is noted for its strong influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. Clinical studies giving 15 mg per day to resistance-training males for 8 weeks caused the mean plasma testosterone level to fall by 69%.468 Without the intervention of testosteronestimulating substances, testosterone levels should return to normal within 1-4 months of drug secession. Note that prolonged hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism can develop secondary to steroid abuse, necessitating medical intervention.
Dianabol Administration (General)
Studies have shown that taking an oral anabolic steroid with food may decrease its bioavailability. This is caused by the fat-soluble nature of steroid hormones, which can allow some of the drug to dissolve with undigested dietary fat, reducing its absorption from allow some of the drug to dissolve with undigested dietary fat, reducing its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. For maximum utilization, this steroid should be taken on an empty stomach.
Dianabol Administration (Men)
The original prescribing guidelines for Dianabol called for a daily dosage of 5 mg. This was to be administered on an intermittent basis, with the drug taken for no more than 6 consecutive weeks. Thereafter, a break of 2 to 4 weeks was advised before therapy was resumed. For physique- or performance-enhancing purposes, the drug is also used intermittently, with cycles usually lasting between 6 and 8 weeks in length followed by 6-8 weeks off. Although a low dose of 5 mg daily may be effective for improving performance, athletes typically take much higher amounts. A daily dosage of three to six 5 mg tablets (15-30 mg) is most common, and typically produces very dramatic results. Some venture even higher in dosage, but this practice usually leads to a more profound incidence of side effects, and is generally discouraged.
Dianabol stacks well with a variety of other steroids. It is noted to mix particularly well with the mild anabolic Deca-Durabolin, for example. Together one can expect exceptional muscle and strength gains, with side effects not much worse than one would expect from Dianabol alone. For sheer mass, a long-acting testosterone ester like enanthate or cypionate can be used. With the high estrogenic/androgenic properties of this androgen, however, side effects should be more pronounced. Gains would be pronounced as well, which usually makes such an endeavor worthwhile to the user. As discussed earlier, ancillary drugs can be added to reduce the side effects associated with this kind of cycle.
The half-life of Dianabol is only about 3 to 5 hours. A single daily dosage schedule will produce a varying blood level, with ups and downs throughout the day. The user, likewise, has a choice, to either split up the tablets during the day or to take them all at one time. The usual recommendation has been to divide them and try to regulate the concentration in your blood. This, however, will produce a lower peak blood level than if the tablets were taken all at once, so there may be a trade-off with this option. Both options work fine, but anecdotal evidence seems to support single daily doses as being better for overall results. With such a schedule, it seems logical that taking the pills earlier in the day would be optimal. This would allow a considerable number of daytime hours for an androgen-rich metabolism to heighten the uptake of nutrients, especially the critical hours following training.
Dianabol Administration (Women)
Being moderately androgenic, Dianabol is really only a popular steroid with men. When used by women, strong virilization symptoms are possible. Some do experiment with it, however, and often find low doses (2.5-5 mg) of this steroid quite effective for new muscle growth. Studies have demonstrated that a majority of women will notice acne, which is indicative of androgenicity, at a dosage of only 10 mg per day. Children are likely to notice virilizing effects with as little as 2.5 mg per day.
Methandrostenolone remains readily available as a pharmaceutical product, though its supply is largely isolated to less regulated markets in Asia and Eastern Europe. In reviewing some of the more popular products and changes on the global pharmaceutical market, we have made the following observations.
British Dispensary produces Anabol tablets in Thailand. This product comes in three strengths, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg. All products come in bottles (100, 200, 500, and/or 1000 depending on the dose). All tablets themselves are imprinted with the company’s snake emblem, and will vary in color. The pink tablets are 5 mg, the yellow 10 mg, and blue 15 mg. The company also uses a holographic sticker on all products to deter counterfeiting, though this feature has been copied with high accuracy.
March Pharmaceuticals in Thailand manufacturers Danabol DS. These small blue heartshaped tablets come in bottles of 500. The company recently instituted a small circular holographic sticker to deter counterfeiting. The logo is also embedded into the label in a metal foil.
Dronabol DS is remains available in Thailand by Bangkok Lab & Cosmetic. This product Dronabol DS is remains available in Thailand by Bangkok Lab & Cosmetic. This product comes in a 10 mg tablet strength, and is prepared in bottles of 500 and 1,000 tablets each.
Methandon is also found in Thailand, made by Acdhon. This product comes as a 5 mg tablet, and is packaged in plastic tubs of 1,000 tablets each. Generic “Russian D-Bol” (METAHAPOCTEHOROH) is no longer in production. All products bearing this label should be considered counterfeit.
Naposim (Romania) is still in production, now under the joint Teraphia Ranbaxy label. It is sold in boxes of 20 tablets, which are separated into two foil/plastic blisters of 10 each. The tablets carry a triangle stamp on one side. This product has been the subject of widespread counterfeiting in the past.
Metanabol from Jelfa (Poland) is still in production, though its appearance has changed. The new packaging reflects a more modern red gradient look. The enclosed foil and plastic strip is also much wider than it was previously.
The generic from Formula Magistral (Argentina) is also commonly located on the international market, especially throughout North and South America. The product comes loose in bottles, although now also carries a holographic sticker to deter counterfeiting.
Landerlan in Paraguay makes a generic methandrostenolone. It comes in a 10 mg tablet dosage. The product is packaged in bottles of 100 tablets each.
Balkan Pharmaceuticals (Moldova) makes the product Danabol. It is prepared in both 10 mg and 50 mg tablets, with 20 tablets contained in each foil and plastic strip.
Methandienone 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 Methandienone 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.
Oral Dianabol was reported to be a highly effective mass AAS which provided impressive weight and strength gains. Most users experienced a 2-4 LB bodyweight increase per week with heavy water retention. With higher dosages gynecomastia (bitch tits) was a common negative side effect. Obviously much of this was avoided by those who reported co-addministration of Proviron and/or Novladex. When stacked with a nandrolone, some gyno problems seemed to lessen. This was probably due to Nandrolones aromatization to a weaker estrogen called Norestrogen and the resulting mild anti-estrogenic effect that results in moderate dosage administration. Methandrostenlone becomes active in 1-3 hours with a half-life of about 3.5-4.5 hours. For this reason, dosages were spread through out the day to maintain blood serum concentrations at an elevated state. Massive dosages just were not necessary since a single 10-mg dose has increase androgen anabolic activity 5 times over normal with a correlating reduction in natural cortisol activity of 50-70%. Males using 5mg per 25-LBS of body weight broken into 3-5 equal dosages throughout the day have experienced impressive results. At dosages above 50 mg per day, results were not progressively quantitative. Most first time AAS users who used a daily dosage of 20-30mg daily experience significant results over a 4-6 week period. Women should not utilize Methandrostenolone but a surprising number did report the inclusion of the drug in AAS protocols. For those who insisted, no more than 10-mg daily for 3-4 weeks stacked with a very low androgenic product minimized masculization type negative side effects.
Side effects such as increased liver values (toxicity) "usually" returned to normal within a short period of time after use was discontinued. High blood pressure, elevated heart rates, gyno, heavy water retention, and acne were all frequent reported negative side effects of Methandrostenlone use. Some literature on this drug supports DHT- like activity. Finasteride "usually" prevented this effect as well as possible prostate enlargement. Dianabol heavily suppresses natural testosterone production within only 10 days after continuous administration begins (dose dependent). Most note a sense of well being during use of this drug. Significant strength and weight loss follows discontinued use due to the loss of excessive water and HPTA suppression. So retained gains were only fair post-cycle.
My personal experiences with this drug have led me to believe that no athlete should have ever stacked high dosage protocols of Dianabol with Anadrol-50 or Methyltestosterone. It is a liver killer combo.
Injectable Dianabol did not have anywhere near as dramatic effects when utilized in its intended method. However, the injectable is orally active and as such was reported to be commonly used in this manner by filling gel-caps with the desired amount/dosage and subsequent ingestion. This is probably due to the fact that oral administration of a c17-alkylated AAS results in increased liver production of IGF-1. I have also learned that it was best to avoid Russian Methandrostenlone. (It commonly contains a large amount of unconverted methyltestosterone).
Anabolic Steroid Guide reference
"Dianabol (1 7-alpha-methyl-1 7beta-hydroxil-androsta-1.4dien-3-on) is an orally applicable steroid with a great effect on the protein metabolism. The effect of Dianabol promotes the protein synthesis, thus it supports the buildup of protein. This effect manifests itself in a positive nitrogen balance and an improved well-being. Dianabol has a very strong anabolic and androgenic effect which manifests itself in an enormous buildup of strength and muscle mass in its users. Dianabol is simply a "mass steroid" which works quickly and reliably. A weight gain of 2 - 4 pounds per week in the first six weeks is normal with Dianabol. The additional body weight consists of a true increase in tissue (hyper-trophy of muscle fibers) and, in particular, in a noticeable retention of fluids. Dianabol aromatizes easily so that it is not a very good drug when one works out for a competition. Excessive water retention and aromatizing can be avoided in most cases by simultaneously taking Nolvadex and Proviron so that some athletes are able to use Dianabol until three to four days before a competition. An effective daily dose for athletes is around 15-40 mg/day. The dosage of Dianabol taken by the athlete should always be coordinated with his individual goals. Steroid novices do not need more than 15-20 mg of Dianabol per day since this dose is sufficient to achieve exceptional results over a period of 8-10 weeks. When the effect begins to slow down in this group after about eight weeks and the athlete wants to continue his treatment, the dosage of Dianabol should not be increased but an injectable steroid such as Deca-Durabolin in a dosage of 200 mg/week or Primobolan in a dosage of 200 mg/week should be used in addition to the Dianabol dose; or he may switch to one of the two above-mentioned compounds. The use of testosterone is not recommended at this stage as the athlete should leave some free play for later. For those either impatient or more advanced, a stack of Dianabol 20-30 mg/day and Deca-Durabolin 200- 400 mg/day achieves miracles. Those who are more interested in strength and less in body mass can combine Dianabol with either Oxandrolone or Winstrol tablets. The additional intake of an injectable steroid does, however, clearly show the best results. To build up mass and strength, Sustanon or Testosterone enanthate at 250-mg+/week and/ or Deca-Durabolin 200 at mg +/week are suitable. To prepare, for a competition, Dianabol has only limited use since it causes distinct water retention in many athletes and due to its high conversion rate into estrogen it complicates the athlete's fat breakdown. Those of you without this problem or who are able to control it by taking Nolvadex or Proviron, in this phase should use Dianabol together with the proven Parabolan, Winstrol Depot, Masteron, Oxandrolone, etc.
Since Dianabol's half-life time is only 3.2 - 4.5 hours (1) application at least twice a day is necessary to achieve a somewhat even concentration of the substance in the blood. It is recommended that the tablets be taken during meals so that possible gastrointestinal pains can be avoided. Dianabol reaches the blood after 1-3 hours. A simple application of only 10 mg results in a 5-fold increase in the average testosterone concentration in the male. Women should not use Dianabol because, due to its distinct androgenic component, considerable virilization symptoms can occur. Although Dianabol has many potential side effects, they are rare with a dosage of up to 20 mg/day. Since Dianabol is I 7-alpha alkylated it causes a considerable strain on the liver. In high dosages and over a longer period of time, Dianabol is liver-toxic. Even a dosage of only 10 mg/day can increase the liver values; after discontinuance of the drug, however, the values return to normal. Since Dianabol quickly increases the body weight due to high water retention, a high blood pressure and a faster heartbeat can occur, sometimes requiring the intake of an antihypertensive drug such as Catapresan. Additive intake of Nolvadex and Proviron might be necessary as well, since Dianabol strongly converts into estrogens and in some athletes causes gynecomastia ("bitch tits") or worsens an already existing condition. Because of the strongly androgenic component and the conversion into dihydrotestosterone, Dianabol, in some athletes, can trigger a serious acne vulgaris on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders since the sebaceous gland function is stimulated. If a hereditary predisposition exists Dianabol can also accelerate a possible hair loss which again can be explained by the high conversion of the substance into dihydrotestosterone. Another disadvantage is that, after discontinuance of the compound, a considerable loss of strength and mass often occurs since the water stored during the intake is again excreted by the body. In high dosages of 50 mg +/day aggressive behavior in the user can occasionally be observed which, if it only refers to his workout, can be an advantage. In order to avoid uncontrolled actions, those who have a tendency to easily lose, their temper should be aware of this characteristic when taking a high D-bol dosage. Despite all of these possible symptoms Dianabol instills in most athletes a "sense of well-being anabolic" which improves the mood and appetite and in many users, together with the obtained results, leads to an improved level of consciousness and a higher selfconfidence.
Newbies Research Guide reference
Dianabol, Ciba’s old brand name for 5mg methandrostenolone tablets, has always been one of the most popular anabolic steroids available. Dianabol’s popularity stems from it’s almost immediate and very strong anabolic effects. 4-5 tablets a day is enough to give almost anybody dramatic results. Along with strong anabolic effects comes the usual androgen side effects. Dianabol converts to estrogen, so gyno and water retention may be a problem although are usually dose related. Aggression may be increased, and users often report an overall sense of well being. The fact that Dianabol has been off the U.S. market for almost 10 years has not at all stopped its use and remains the most popularly used black market oral steroid in the U.S.. The most popular versions in the U.S. are the Russian tablets coming into the East Coast, Pronabol from India and Refovit from Mexico. The Russian Dianabol, which is vastly and accurately counterfeited, has been losing it’s reputation as a safe buy. Users generally won’t know if what they have is real until they use it, making for many angry users. Reforvit is an injectable D, containing 25mg/ml of the substance. A 50 ml bottle contains the equivalent of 250 tablets and sells for a reasonable price. Most users opt to take this orally as it is just as effective as tablets. The pink Thai tablets are also popular and should be the only tablets purchased without paperwork or box. These ship in quantities of 500 and 1000 only, so they are almost always broken up and sold. Methandon is also available in Thailand, but much less popular than the Anabol tabs.
Wlliam Llewellyn (2011) - Anabolics
L. Rea (2002) - Chemical Muscle Enhancement Bodybuilders Desk Reference
Anabolic Steroid Guide
Newbies Research Guide