Nilevar — norethandrolone

Norethandrolone is an anabolic steroid closely related to nortestosterone (nandrolone) in structure. The activity of this steroid is that of a mild to moderate oral anabolic steroid, which is accompanied by distinguishable androgenic and estrogenic components. Although this steroid is essentially nandrolone modified (alkylated) to make oral dosing viable, it cannot be looked at simply as an oral alternative to Deca-Durabolin. Most notably, the greatly increased estrogenicity caused by 17-alkylation makes norethandrolone much more problematic when trying to build quality (lean) muscle mass. In administering an effective amount of steroid in terms of muscle growth, the user has to deal with much more in terms of estrogenic side effects. The muscle accumulation with norethandrolone is also going to be accompanied by a high level of water and (likely) fat retention, not the quality muscularity normally associated with nandrolone decanoate.

Brand name Nilevar, Norethandrolone
Androgenic 22-55
Anabolic 100-200
Standard Methyltestosterone
Chemical Names 17alpha-Ethyl-17beta-hydroxyestr-4-en-3-one
Estrogenic Activity high
Progestational Activity high

Norethandrolone History

Norethandrolone was first described in 1954. It was developed into a medicine by Searle, which introduced it into the U.S. prescription drug market under the Nilevar brand name during the late 1950’s. The drug was originally sold as an oral tablet, an oral solution (with dropper bottle), and an injectable solution (in 25 mg ampules). The latter form of norethandrolone has been out of commerce for so long that few remember it was once also given by injection. Nilevar was prescribed for a variety of illnesses that were benefited by a protein sparing anabolic agent, Listed indications included preparation for and recovery from surgery, severe or prolonged illness, anorexia nervosa, severe burns and trauma, decubitus ulcers, osteoporosis, bone fracture healing, gastrointestinal disease, prolonged corticosteroid administration, and various forms of malnourishment in adults and children.

Norethandrolone ultimately saw only limited success as a prescription anabolic agent. It did make its way to Europe and certain other markets, but not widely. The drug was an early functional anabolic, displaying more tissue-building properties than androgenic effects. But it also remained an agent with a troubling estrogenic side. This eventually led to norethandrolone being passed over clinically for more refined compounds as they became available. Searle decided to discontinue the sale of Nilevar in the U.S. during the 1960’s, and instead began focusing energies on its newer, more strongly anabolic, and non-estrogenic steroid oxandrolone (sold as Anavar). Most other markets carrying norethandrolone, either by Searle or other companies, soon began losing this compound as well. Today, this drug is available on a limited basis, most notably in Australia where it remains viable on the veterinary drug market.

How is Norethandrolone Supplied

Norethandrolone is available in select veterinary drug markets. Composition and dosage may vary by country and manufacturer, but typically contain 5 or 10 mg of steroid per tablet.

Structural Characteristics of Norethandrolone

Norethandrolone is a modified form of nandrolone. It differs by the addition of an ethyl group at carbon 17-alpha to protect the hormone during oral administration.

Norethandrolone Side Effects (Estrogenic)

Norethandrolone is aromatized by the body, and converts to a synthetic estrogen with a high level of biological activity (17alpha-ethyl-estradiol). As a result, it is a highly 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 want to keep the estrogen under control with the addition of an anti-estrogen such as Nolvadex. 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 of note that norethandrolone has some additional activity as a progestin in the body.554 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 being present. The use of an anti-estrogen, which inhibits the estrogenic component of this disorder, is often sufficient to mitigate gynecomastia caused by norethandrolone.

Norethandrolone 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 this steroid 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.

Note that in androgen-responsive target tissues such as the skin, scalp, and prostate, the relative androgenicity of norethandrolone is reduced by its reduction to dihydronorethandrolone. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for this metabolism. The concurrent use of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor such as finasteride or dutasteride will interfere with site-specific reduction of norethandrolone action, considerably increasing the tendency of the drug to produce androgenic side effects. Reductase inhibitors should be avoided with this steroid if maintaining low relative androgenicity is desired.

Norethandrolone Side Effects (Hepatotoxicity)

Norethandrolone 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. Severe liver complications are rare given the periodic nature in which most people use oral anabolic/androgenic steroids, although cannot be excluded with this steroid, especially with high doses and/or prolonged administration periods.

The use of a liver detoxification supplement such as Liver Stabil, Liv-52, or Essentiale Forte is advised while taking any hepatotoxic anabolic/androgenic steroids.

Norethandrolone 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. Norethandrolone 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.

Norethandrolone Side Effects (Testosterone Suppression)

All anabolic/androgenic steroids when taken in doses sufficient to promote muscle gain are expected to suppress endogenous testosterone production. Without the intervention of testosterone stimulating 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.

Norethandrolone 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 the gastrointestinal tract. For maximum utilization, this steroid should be taken on an empty stomach.

Norethandrolone Administration (Men)

The original prescribing guidelines for Nilevar called for a daily dosage of 20 to 30 mg. This was to be administered on an intermittent basis, with the drug taken for no more than 12 consecutive weeks. Thereafter, a break of at least 1 month was advised before therapy was resumed. When used 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. A daily dosage of 20 to 40 mg is most common for such applications. This level is typically sufficient for rapid gains in strength and muscle mass (bulk). The high estrogenicity makes norethandrolone of little value in speed and endurance sports, causing an unwanted retention of water weight. When given by injection, the same milligram dosage is recommended as when the drug is given orally.

Norethandrolone Administration (Women)

The original prescribing guidelines for Nilevar made no special dosing recommendations for women, although it did warn that androgenicity is likely on a high dosage. When used by women, although it did warn that androgenicity is likely on a high dosage. When used by women for physique- or performance-enhancing purposes, a daily dosage of 5-10 mg is most common, taken for no longer than 4 weeks. This level is quite effective for promoting new muscle growth. Note that virilizing side effects are still sometimes noticed at lower doses,and need to be carefully examined for.

Norethandrolone Availability

Pharmaceutical preparations containing norethandrolone remain scarce, and are rarely diverted for black market sale. The only region of note where this compound is still made is Australia.

Bodybuilders reference

Nilevar is an oral AAS that is a derivative of nortestosterone. Many assume Nilevar is similar to Anavar. Like Anavar, the drug has a reported mild anabolic effect. However, unlike Anavar, Nilevar has a distinct androgenic quality. Good strength gains were realized by users although much of this was due to the high water retention side effect. Used alone, Nilevar did not provide good retention of weight or strength gains post-cycle. Being an oral 17-alfa-alkylated oral steroid, liver toxicity was high in those whom reported high dosage protocols above those listed under Reported Characteristics. Polled users were wise to avoid cycles containing this drug lasting longer than 4 weeks and seldom stacked other 17-Alfa -Alkylated drugs with it. Due to Nilevar's moderate-high rate of suppression upon the body's natural testosterone production, HCG and Clomid were reported to be necessary to restart the Hypothalamicpituitary -testes- axis (HPTA) post-cycle within an adequate time frame.

Many athletes who have used high aromatizing AAS have reported a delayed period of HPTA regeneration. As such post-cycle lean mass tissue retention suffers as a negative reaction to suppressed endogenous androgen production. If “the boy’s” are shrunken so is the athlete they are attached to.

Anabolic Steroid Guide reference

This is an oral steroid which is a derivative of nortesterone. It is interesting that Nilevar is produced by the same manufacturer who also introduced the well-known Anavar to the U.S. market. Nilevar, which was already sold in American pharmacies in 1956, was a precursor of Anavar which was introduced to the market in 1964 by Searle USA. It has since been voluntarily removed from the mar-ket. Thus it is not surprising that Nilevar has certain similarities to Anavar or Oxandrolone. 11ke Oxandrolone it has only a weak ana-bolic effect, whereas the androgenic component is distinctly stron-ger. Nilevar, even in low dosages, aromatizes easily so that the in-creased estrogen level could become a problem. The main effect of Nilevar, in part, is a considerable strength gain. This gain often goes hand in hand with a distinct water retention, especially if high dosages are taken, which also explains the gain in body weight of its users. The manufacturer of the French and Swiss Nilevar recom-mends a daily dose of 10-30 mg. Athletes using Nilevar-usually powerlifters-take 30- 40 mg/day, divided into two to three equal dosages. it is mostly used for a short period, a maximum of 4-6 weeks. Women should not take Nilevar since it can cause considerable virilization symptoms. Nilevar is I 7- alpha alkylated and there-fore potentially hepatoxic which put-, stress on the liver. Other pos-sible side effects are acne, gynecomastia, aggressiveness, headaches, gastrointestinal pain, reduced production of the body's own hor-mones and high blood pressure. A package of thirty 10 mg tablets costs approx. $4 in the pharmacy. Because of its price it is an interesting compound, yet Nilevar is rarely used by bodybuilders in Europe since other steroids are readily available.

Newbies Research Guide reference

This is a very androgenic steroid. It is used for size and strength, and for some it is quite effective. Unfortunately this drug is very toxic and aromatises easily. Many users reported heavy water retention (edema) while taking Nilevar. Dosage of 30mg to 40mg daily are suspected average. This drug is very rarely seen on the market.


Wlliam Llewellyn (2011) - Anabolics
L. Rea (2002) - Chemical Muscle Enhancement Bodybuilders Desk Reference
Anabolic Steroid Guide
Newbies Research Guide

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