Dianabol is the old Ciba brand name for the oral steroid methandienone. It is a derivative of testosterone, exhibiting strong anabolic and moderate androgenic properties. This compound was first made available in 1960, and it quickly became the most favored and widely used anabolic steroid in all forms of athletics. This is likely due to the fact that it is both easy to use and extremely effective. In the U.S. Dianabol production had meteoric history, exploding for quite some time, then quickly dropping out of sight. Many were nervous in the late 80's when the last of the U.S. generics were removed from pharmacy shelves, the medical community finding no legitimate use for the drug anymore. But the fact that Dianabol has been off the U.S. market for over 10 years now has not cut its popularity. It remains the most commonly used black market oral steroid in the U.S. As long as there are countries manufacturing this steroid, it will probably remain so.
Similar to testosterone and Anadrol 50, Dianabol is a potent steroid, but also one which brings about noticeable side effects. For starters methandienone is quite estrogenic. 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 pronounced problem, causing a notable loss of muscle definition as both subcutaneous water and fat build. Sensitive individuals may therefore want to keep the estrogen under control with the addition of an anti-estrogen such as Nolvadex and/or Proviron. The stronger drugs Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin (antiaromatase) would be a better choice if available.
In addition, androgenic side effects are common with this substance, and may include bouts of oily skin, acne and body/facial hair growth. Aggression may also be increased with a potent steroid such as this, so it would be wise not to let your disposition change for the worse during a cycle. With Dianabol there is also the possibility of aggravating a male pattern baldness condition. Sensitive individuals may therefore wish to avoid this drug and opt for a milder anabolic such as Deca-Durabolin. While Dianabol does convert to a more potent steroid via interaction with the 5-alpha reductase anzyme (the same enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone), it has extremely little affinity to do so in the human body's. The androgenic metabolite 5alpha dihydromethandienone is therefore produced only in trace amounts at best. Therefore the use of Proscar/Propecia would serve no real purpose.
Being moderately androgenic, Dianabol is really only a popular steroid with men. When used by women, strong virilization symptoms are of course a possible result. Some do however experiment with it, and find low doses (5mg) of this steroid extremely powerful for new muscle growth. Whenever taken, Dianabol will produce exceptional mass and strength gains. It's effectiveness is often compared to other strong steroids like testosterone and Anadrol 50, and it is likewise a popular choice for bulking purposes. A daily dosage of 20-40mg is enough to give almost anybody dramatic results. Some do venture much higher in dosage, but this practice usually leads to a more profound incidence of side effects. It additionally combines well with a number of other steroids. It is noted to mix particularly well with the mild anabolic Deca-Durabolin. Together one can expect an exceptional muscle and strength gains, with side effects not much worse than one would expect from Dianabol alone. For all out mass, a long acting testosterone ester like enanthate can be used. With the similarly high estrogenic/androgenic properties of this androgen, side effects may be extreme with such a combination however. Gains would be great as well, which usually makes such an endeavor worthwhile to the user. As discussed earlier, ancillary drugs can be added to reduce the side effects associated with this kind of cycle.
In order to withstand oral administration, this compound is c17 alpha alkylated. We know that this alteration protects the drug from being deactivation by the liver (allowing nearly all of the drug entry into the bloodstream), however it can also be toxic to this organ. Prolonged exposure to c17 alpha alkylated substances can result in actual damage, possibly even the development of certain kinds of cancer. To be safe one might want to visit the doctor a couple of times during each cycle to keep an eye on their liver enzyme values. Cycles should also be kept short, usually less than 8 weeks long to avoid doing any noticeable damage. Jaundice (bile duct obstruction) is usually the first visible sign of liver trouble, and should be looked out for. This condition produces an unusual yellowing of the skin, as the body has trouble processing bilirubin. In addition to the skin, the whites of the eyes may also yellow, a clear indicator of trouble. Should this occur the drug should be discontinued immediately and a doctor visited. This is usually a point where further, permanent damage can be avoided.
It is also interesting to note that methandienone is structurally identical to boldenone (EQ), except that it contains the added c17 alpha alkyl group discussed above. This fact makes clear the impact of altering a steroid in such a way, as these two compounds appear to act very differently in the body. The main dissimilarity seems to lie in the tendency for estrogenic side effects, which seems to be much more pronounced with Dianabol. Equipoise is known to be quite mild in this way, and users therefore commonly take this drug without any need of an anti-estrogen. Dianabol is much more estrogenic not because it is more easily aromatized, as in fact the 17 alpha methyl group and c1-2 double bond both slow the process of aromatization. The problem is that methandienone converts to l7alpha methylestradiol, a more biologically active form of estrogen than regular estradiol. But Dianabol also appears to be much more potent in terms of muscle mass compared to boldenone, supporting the notion that estrogen does play an important role in anabolism. In fact boldenone and methandienone differ so much in their potencies as anabolics that the two are rarely though of as related. As a result, the use of Dianabol is typically restricted to bulking phases of training while Equipoise is considered an excellent cutting or lean-mass building steroid.
The half-life of Dianabol is only about 3 to 4 hours, a relatively short time. This means that a single daily dosage schedule will produce a varying blood level, with ups and downs throughout the day. The user likewise has a choice, to either split up the tablets during the day or to take them all at one time. The usual recommendation has been to divide them and try to regulate the concentration in your blood. This however, will produce a lower peak blood level than if the tablets were taken all at once, so there may be a trade off with this option. The steroid researcher Bill Roberts also points out that a single-episode dosing schedule should have a less dramatic impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, as there is a sufficient period each day where steroid hormone levels are not extremely exaggerated. I tend to doubt hormonal stability can be maintained during such a cycle however, but do notice that anecdotal evidence often still supports single daily doses to be better for overall results. Perhaps this is the better option. Since we know the blood concentration will peak about 1.5 to 3 hours after administration, we may further wonder the best time to take our tablets. It seems logical that taking the pills earlier in the day, preferably some time before training, would be optimal. This would allow a considerable number of daytime hours for an androgen rich metabolism to heighten the uptake of nutrients, especially the critical hours following training.