Anadrol is the brand name or rather, the market name of the synthetic anabolic steroid Oxymetholone.  It is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone and is the strongest synthetic anabolic steroid available. Steroids are organic compounds in the body that form a majority of hormones in the body from cholesterol as a substrate. They include the male androgenic and anabolic hormone testosterone. By definition, anabolic steroids are constructive steroids in that they synthetic. This means that they mimic testosterone and act by building the body’s muscle mass and increasing exercise endurance.
Anadrol mimics testosterone to produce the other effects of the androgenic hormone. This drug binds to the androgen receptors in various cells but at a lower affinity as compared to testosterone. It however remains the most potent anabolic steroid available. Like testosterone, if given to prepubescent males, it leads to development of secondary sexual characteristics including growth of pubic hair, broadening of the shoulders, deepening of the voice, growth of the gonads, distribution of facial hair and the undesired effect of increased production of sebum leading to acne break outs. Other actions include positive influence on bone maturation strengthening and maintaining alignment of bones, maintaining the normal sleep wake cycle or circadian rhythm and offering a general sense of well being and energy.

For this reason, the drug was initially developed for the treatment of osteoporosis, a condition in which bone density and strength is lost, and in the treatment of delayed puberty among boys. An added action of Anadrol is the ability to enhance renal production of the hormone erythropoietin. Erythropoietin is a hormone produced by the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to increase the production of red blood cells which are needed in the body for the transport of oxygen. For this reason, it found use, though minimal, for the treatment of some anemias.

The drugs ability to lead to increased muscle mass led to its use as a weight increasing drug in HIV patients. It is currently widely marketed for weight gain as a weight gain aid. This action has also found use among athletes, body builders and people on the search for the aesthetic body and rapid muscle gain. The ability of the drug to increase synthesis of proteins is the underlying mechanism for the increase in muscle mass.

Like most synthetic steroids, the use of Anadrol leads to repressed production of the body’s natural testosterone hormone. This means that the gonads shrink in size as they are basically rendered inactive. It also means that the natural testosterone which reduces low density lipoproteins, the harmful cholesterol, is no longer available. What follows is build up of harmful cholesterol in the cardiovascular system which is not without adverse health effects. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, depression, insomnia, headaches and lethargy, among others, with individual to individual variability and severity.

Anadrol is commonly marketed in the 50 milligram oral formulation and used in cycles. There is usually a dramatic weight gain in the first three weeks.