Oxandrolone - a weight gain medicine used to build more muscle

What is Oxandrolone? A drug that has sidelined 390 athletes after testing positive.

Oxandrolone is a man-made anabolic steroid. Because it is anabolic it also promotes the growth of muscle tissue.

In medicine, this medication has been classified as a androgenic hormones. It works by increasing the amount of protein made by the body. This protein is used to build more muscle and increase body weight.

The steroid is used with a diet program to cause weight gain in people who have lost too much weight due to surgery, injury, chronic (long-lasting) infections, trauma, or who are underweight for unknown reasons.

Oxandrolone is also used to treat bone pain in people with osteoporosis and to prevent certain side effects in people who take corticosteroids for a long time.

Withdrawn by FDA in 2023

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA decided to pull the medication from the market in the USA. FDA believes that the potential problems associated with oxandrolone tablets are sufficiently serious that the drug should be removed from the market.

Oxandrin was approved by the FDA in 1964 to relieve bone pain in osteoporosis. However, in 1984 an FDA advisory committee concluded there was no evidence of efficacy for tablets.

Statistics from the Anti-Doping Database

Our statistics shows that Russia is the country with the most doping cases involving this substance. In total we have registered 37 athletes from Russia who has been banned.  The Czech Republic has banned 25 athletes and Brazil has suspended 22.

Body Building is the sport with the most athletes banned for Oxandrolone. 60 Body Builders has been banned after testing positive for this drug.

In athletics 41 athletes has been banned, while there are 37 weightlifters banned for using Oxandrolone.

Most athletes get a 4 year suspension using this drug. In total we have registered 155 athletes banned for this long. 50 has been banned for two years, and 18 has been given a three year suspension.

Known athletes

In 2019 the Belarus hammer thrower Yelena Matoshko was banned for four years after a re-analysis of the samples collected during the London Olympic Summer Games in 2012 revealed the substance.

During the Olympic Summer Games in Athens (Greece) in 2004, the Russian athlete Svetlana Krivelyova tested positive for Oxandrolone. She was suspended for two years.

In 2005, during the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki (Finland), the Belarus athlete Andrei Mikhnevich tested positive for the substance. He was given a lifetime suspension.

Side effects

Oxandrolone and similar medications may cause damage to the liver or spleen and liver cell tumors - sometimes fatal. Blood lipid changes that are known to be associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis.

Using this product include the risks associated with cholestatic hepatitis, hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer, and increased risk for the development of prostatic hypertrophy and prostatic carcinoma in geriatric patients.


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