Anavar is the brand name of the synthetic and most popular orally used anabolic androgenic steroid, Oxandrolone. Like most androgenic synthetic derivatives, it is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone that is different from other derivatives due to a replacement of Carbon with an Oxygen atom. Working similar to other anabolic steroids, it is an androgen receptor agonist. This means that it attaches and works through the same receptors that testosterone works through. The anabolic or synthetic action leads to increased protein synthesis.

When put side by side with other anabolic androgenic steroids, Oxandrolone is more anabolic than androgenic. It has less androgenic effects and more anabolic effects. This means it has more effect on synthesis and less on male secondary sexual characteristics. It is therefore the most popularly used anabolic steroid as few reservations are placed on its use on young children and women. The virilizing effect is least with this drug.

Increased lean body mass, one of the effects of the drug, is achieved by the conversion of small amino acids in the diet to larger macromolecules that form cells of muscles and other body organs. For this reason, it has previously found a medical use for hastening healing of burns, wounds and other skin condition that involve a break in the skin integrity or slow healing. The same mechanism of action has been argued in its use in the treatment of wasting in HIV and from other catabolic illnesses.

The drug also leads to improved bone strength by increasing bone density through the deposition of calcium on bones. Similarly as a result, it has been used for the treatment of osteoporosis, short stature and turner syndrome. However, for the last two indications, growth hormone has surpassed it. Like most anabolic steroids, it acts on the kidneys to signal the kidneys to produce more erythropoietin. Erythropoietin acts on the bone marrow to increase the production of red blood cells. This is especially useful in conditions such anemia and angioedema.

It has been abused for the anabolic effect of causing increased muscle mass. However, compared to the other synthetic anabolic steroids out in the market, it gives better results in females. It does not give men the dramatic muscle gains as expected. It is therefore the steroid of choice for women and those who need a less intense steroid regimen.  The usual dosage for women who are using it for enhancing is 5-10 milligrams daily for 2- 4 weeks repeated in cycles. Males use a higher dose of up to 30 milligrams daily.

The side effects are less compared to other synthetic derivatives of dihydrotestosterone. It is considered the least toxic oral anabolic steroid in the market. However some of the side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, acne, skin colour changes, changes in libido, depression, difficulty sleeping and difficulty urinating among others.

Anavar is available without a prescription online but some countries have labeled it a controlled substance hence the need for a prescription before being in possession of the drug.