Anavar, aka Oxandrolone, is one of the most popular oral steroids on the anabolic stage today. It’s believed to be the mildest of its kind — and it’s close to the truth. You should know that Anavar side effects still exist, and you definitely should do PCT after the Anavar cycle. Here’s how it works. 

Anavar Side Effects Explained

Even though we’re talking about an extremely mild compound, by nature, Anavar is still an anabolic-androgenic steroid. It’s a powerful substance that intervenes in your natural hormone balance and alters multiple essential processes. 

It lowers your Testosterone, spreads all around the body, affects all tissues, and damages some of them in the process, while boosting your gains and making you look shredded. 

Keep in mind that Anavar is also oral: unlike injectable AAS it has to bypass your liver to deliver the effects. And your liver doesn’t like it. 

Is Anavar Side Effects Free? 

Oxandrolone has a reputation as a side effect-free compound, especially among aspiring bodybuilders that are just starting their path in the AAS world. 

Is it true? Does Anavar cause zero side effects ? Yeah… and no. 

Here are the things you need to understand about it: 

  1. It’s all personal. Maybe your body tolerates Anavar well and you’ll barely feel any discomfort. Maybe you’ll get Tren-like side effects from the smallest dose;
  2. Speaking of — dosage is crucial. Anavar can be considered side effects-free ONLY in small doses. The more you take it — the more chances to get some sides you get. 

In other words, it depends. When you just start your way and take Anavar for the first time, in a small dose, you’re likely to avoid any discomfort and get the gains “for free”. 

However, if you’ve been on and off for years, your muscle mass makes local nattys jealous, you won’t take a small dose: it just won’t cause any positive results, you simply won’t feel it. You’ll eat Anavar like sugar pills, in doses up to 80mg/day (those are rare but not unheard of). And that’s where a whole army of nasty sides may get you. 

Anavar Side Effects List

Here’s a comprehensive list of all side effects that athletes reported after an Anavar cycle. Get ready to face them all, even though it’s most likely you’ll get just a few (or none at all). 

Liver Damage

Anavar is a 17-alpha-alkylated steroid, and it means that it is toxic for your liver (1). How bad is it exactly?

Research has shown that taking Anavar at 20 mg per day for twelve weeks does not cause any important raise in AST and ALT (liver damage indicators). The first signs of liver damage are RUQ abdominal pain, pale stools, and dark urine. 

Here’s what you do to make your liver’s life easier:

  • Keep an eye on the red flags, if it gets too bad — drop the cycle;

  • Take ancillaries and hepatoprotectors;

  • Stay away from alcohol, on and after the cycle;

  • Keep your diet as healthy as possible, no junk food at all.

Anavar’s liver toxicity is no worse than the one you would get from any other oral compound. Luckily, your liver can withstand it and regenerate back to pre-cycle level quickly after you drop Anavar. 

Testosterone Suppression

At moderate dosages, Oxandrolone does not exhibit a suppressive effect on the endogenous production of Testosterone by way of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis (HPTA) negative feedback loop. 

When doses of Anavar are high, the human body reacts by reducing the production of gonadotropin after perceiving endogenous testosterone production as too high. This in turn eliminates further stimulation of Leydig cells in the testicles, causing testicular atrophy. When used at 80 mg ED, Anavar suppresses testosterone level by 67% after 3 weeks. 

The suppression of testosterone production manifests through reduced libido and weak erections. 

The solution? Never take oxandrolone solo, always run it with at least a minor testosterone base, and do your PCT: Nolvadex 20mg/ed will get you back on track in no time. 

Uncomfortable Pumps

One of the most prominent Anavar effects is the strength gains (2). Your weights skyrocket and you can look at your month-old results with nothing but sheer contempt. 

Doubling your working weights comes for a price, though: your pumps are insane, and it’s not always a positive thing. It can get really uncomfortable: 

Exploding muscles effect may last for the whole day after your morning workout;

You can get them from any activity, not necessarily working out. Say, if you drive a manual, get ready to get a crazy pump in your clutch foot after a regular commute; 

Cardio is just not an option. A few minutes on the treadmill can make your quads and calves so hard you’ll be afraid of them literally exploding in the middle of the run. 

We’re exaggerating the effects a bit, but seriously: you need some Taurin because all the examples above are not that hard from the truth.

Other Side Effects

Also, sometimes there may be side effects of Anavar such as:

  • Loss of appetite;

  • Abdominal pains;

  • Nausea;

  • Headaches;

  • Rise in blood pressure (ut to the point of frequent nose bleeds);

  • And others. 

Sounds bad? Good news is — those effects are rare. On the other hand, as a DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) derivative, Oxandrolone does not aromatize (does not convert to estrogen), so water retention and gynecomastia are not on the threat list. 


Anavar has one of the smallest side effects in class, but it still has some. Run it in reasonable doses only, buy Taurin to counter pumps, get Test E to counter suppression on cycle and eat healthy to minimize the pressure on your liver. This is the only way to Anavar “free gains” and the insane strength boost. 

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