Though commonly called Winstrol, the original name of this anabolic steroid is Stanozolol. Developed from dihydrotestosterone by the Winthrop Laboratories in 1962, it has been declared safe for human use by the FDA. Unlike other steroids, Winstrol can survive the digestive activities of the liver, if ingested. This is the reason why it is also sold as an oral steroid tablet.
Winstrol is one of the steroids that are most commonly used in athletics and in “cutting cycles” by body builders. A cutting cycle is a period in which steroids are taken in cycles in order to build physique. It is so commonly used and abused as a performance-enhancing drug that it is banned from competitive sports by many sports bodies like the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It can also be medically used to treat hereditary angioedema and anemia. Winstrol has also been used in the USA to treat osteoporosis and to promote growth in stunted children. The best use of Winstrol is in bodybuilding.
History and Background of Winstrol
Winstrol was first invented in 1959. Soon after that, the UK based Winthrop Laboratories created a prescription medicine from it. Later, in 1961, Winthrop’s patent was bought by the US based Sterling that started manufacturing and selling the drug in the American markets.
In the beginning, Winstrol was used for a variety of medical reasons. But later, by the 1970s, the FDA had restricted its use to only promoting growth and treating osteoporosis. In the 1980s, there was a termination of the manufacture of anabolic steroids in the American market. But Winstrol was among those steroids which not only survived, but thrived in the 1980s and 1990s. During this period, its use was reinforced as a cure for anemia – as it had the power to boost red blood cell count, and was used as a treatment for facial swelling or angioedema.
When the manufacture of Winstrol was finally discontinued, Ovation Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to manufacture it, in 2003. However, Ovation Pharmaceuticals have ceased their operations now, so the Winstrol products available today in the American markets are only generic and not pharmaceutical grade. Outside the USA, however, several large brands still manufacture and sell Winstrol.
Genuine Stanozolol can be distinguished in water suspensions because it separates from the liquid into micrometer particles. These particles will fall to the bottom if the container is not disturbed for a few hours. The crystals have a milky white color.
Winstrol can not only be used for humans, but it has veterinary uses as well. Weakened or injured animals can be treated with Winstrol in order to promote red blood cell count, strengthen bones, stimulate appetite, and enhance muscle growth. It has also reportedly been used to dope horses in US horse races.
How Winstrol Works
It must be noted that both the oral and injectable steroid versions of Winstrol have the same chemical structure, so the ways in which they act are also the same. Unlike other steroids like anadrol or dianabol, which act through non-receptors, Winstrol binds with the androgen receptors of cells in order to act on the body. Winstrol also has a high affinity for binding with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin or SHBG. This allows a higher quantity of Winstrol to remain in the bloodstream and enhance muscle growth.
Because of its high protein generating abilities, it can be used for building lean mass. Though it provides hard muscles, giving the illusion of fat loss, it actually does not make the user lose fat. Due to less water retention, the muscles developed have a hard, quality look. It does not have any estrogenic activity from its side, and neither does it convert to estrogen, because it does not aromatize. But this is also the reason why Winstrol cannot provide the dramatic results that steroids like Dianabol can.
It must also be noted that though Winstrol is available in oral form, ingesting it orally is not recommended. This is because it takes a toll on the health of the liver of the person ingesting it.
Dosage and Administration for Winstrol
Winstrol can be administered orally (since it is available in the form of tablets) as well as through intramuscular injections. Orally taken, the drug will last for 9 hours in the body. If injected, it can last up to 24 hours. As a tablet, it is generally taken in 5mg doses. For intramuscular doses, 50 ml injections are generally administered.
Commonly, it is administered as a 10 to 25 mg daily oral dose, coupled with a 25 to 50 ml injection. Optimal results are obtained from 50 mg intramuscular doses daily. The anabolic rating of this drug is 320 while its androgenic rating is 30. This is why women can also safely take 5 to 10 mgs of this drug daily.
If more dramatic results are to be achieved, Winstrol can also be used in cycles of 10 weeks stacked with other steroids like testosterone and masteron. For beginners, this means using intramuscular Winstrol doses of 50 mg every alternate day, coupled with a weekly 400 to 500 mg dose of testosterone for the first eight weeks. For the remaining two weeks, only the testosterone dose should be taken. The oral dose cycle should not be of more than 6 to 8 weeks. If Winstrol is not stacked with any other anabolic steroid, then for a beginner, a weekly dose of 400 mg will yield best results.
For intermediate Winstrol users, the cycle should contain 100 mg weekly doses of testosterone for 10 weeks, coupled with 400 mg intramuscular doses of Winstrol weekly for the first 8 weeks. For advanced users, the Winstrol cycle is only used to gain lean mass, or for bulking. For this, the dosage should be 100 mg testosterone weekly along with 200 mg Trenbolone weekly for 10 weeks. The first 8 weeks of this cycle should also contain 400 mg weekly doses of injected Winstrol.
Winstrol can also be used to cure hereditary angioedema. Depending upon how the patient clinically responds, he should be started on a dose of 2 mg thrice daily. If the attacks of edema are prevented favorably, then the dosage can be increased slowly with gaps of 1 to 3 months in between. When the dose is being adjusted, the patient should be closely monitored for any adverse effects, especially if the patient in question has a medical history involving the airway. Using Winstrol to cure angioedema in children may have more harmful effects than good. This is why Winstrol use in children should be avoided as far as possible.
Winstrol is excreted through the urine and a full intramuscular dose of it can be traced in the urine for up to 2 months. An oral dose of 5 to 10 mg can be detected in the urine for up to 10 days. For detection of Winstrol, the urine is tested through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
Like any other steroid, Winstrol should be taken only after seeking expert medical advice. It should not be taken if the person has excess calcium levels nolvadex cycle with sustanon 400 in blood (hypercalcemia), prostate cancer, or breast cancer. Winstrol also causes birth defects, so it should definitely not be taken by women who are pregnant or have the possibility of becoming pregnant soon.
Also, medical advice should be sought if the person has previously suffered heart attack, has a disease of the blood vessels or the heart, has high cholesterol levels in the blood, has clotting or excess bleeding problems, or has diabetes, kidney, or liver diseases. If the person has one or more of these problems, then an alteration of the dosage may be required. Medicines that can react with Winstrol are blood thinners or anticoagulants, diabetes medication, and insulin. Care should be taken while administering Winstrol with any of these medicines.
Winstrol should not preferably be added to heavy bulking cycles. Bulking cycles are generally high on toxicity as well as dosage. Adding Winstrol to such a cycle could increase cholesterol levels as well as increase the chances of cardiac hypertrophy. It is best to use the drug only before contests or for summer-cutting.
Additional precaution should be taken so that illegal or low-grade Winstrol is not accidentally used. These drugs can have much more dangerous effects. They can lead to hirsutism, insomnia, changes in libido, baldness, liver dysfunction, and many other harmful effects. Also, oral Winstrol has exceedingly harmful effects on the liver. This is why Winstrol should be taken as intramuscular injections wherever possible.
Side Effects of Winstrol
Anabolic steroids like Winstrol can have some serious adverse effects. These can be due to the dosage. People can get acute liver problems and associated nausea and vomiting. Some people face difficulty in sleeping, ankle swelling, dryness throughout the body, or even skin color changes. Women may face changes in the menstrual cycle, worsening of acne, growth of facial hair, and hoarseness of voice.
There are several types of side effects that are experienced from the use of Winstrol. They are summarized below:
- Cardiovascular: Fluid retention may cause edema with or without heart failure.
- Hepatic: Moderately low doses of Winstrol may cause jaundice and cholestatic hepatitis. Higher doses have been known to cause life-threatening hepatic abnormalities and cancer. The tumors do not reduce when Winstrol administration is stopped.
- Genito-urinary: Higher doses of Winstrol have also been known to lessen the sperm count as well as the ejaculatory volume in men. This occurs because when anabolic steroids are administered externally, the internal production of hormones, like testosterone, stops. Older men may face urinary obstruction due to enlargement of the prostate gland. Women may face menstrual irregularities and enlargement of the clitoris among other virilizing effects.
- Musculo-skeletal: If used by prepubertal males, the linear growth of their bones may stop.
- Endocrine: Glucose tolerance is reduced following high dosage of Winstrol.
- Renal: Edema can be caused due to retention of calcium. Other chemicals that are retained due to administration of Winstrol include potassium, nitrogen, sodium, and water.
- Metabolic: Winstrol also causes LDL or low-density lipoprotein levels to increase by 29%, and high-density lipoprotein levels to decrease by 33%.
- Oncologic: Large doses or prolonged use of Winstrol is also known to cause liver cancers.
- Hematologic: Clotting factors may be altered, and excess red blood cells may be produced due to the extended use of Winstrol.
- Gastro-intestinal: Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of using Winstrol.
Apart from all this, if the user of Winstrol faces any of the following symptoms, he must immediately seek medical help in order to avoid severe problems:
- Allergic reactions like hives, swollen lips, limbs, ankles, face, or tongue
- Breathing difficulty
- Alterations in sex drive or preferences
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Worsening or newly appearing acne
- For male patients: frequent or continuing erections, tenderness, or enlargement of the breasts
- For female patients: enlargement of the clitoris, hoarseness of voice, hair loss, irregularities in the menstrual cycle, or hair growth on the face.
All the side effects of Winstrol are not always reported. However, professionals should make sure that they have consulted their doctors, and also report additional side effects to the FDA.
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