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Oxandrin Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

John Schaffer, LPCC

Medically reviewed by

John Schaffer, LPCC

February 15, 2019

Oxandrin is the brand name for the anabolic steroid oxandrolone, most often prescribed to help those suffering from chronic illness including AIDS and cancer or post-surgery to help gain weight. Oxandrin is often abused for its muscle building effects and can lead to many negative side-effects.

The drug demonstrated its efficacy for tissue development in a study evaluating the use of oxandrin to treat burn patients. There was a marked improvement in those who received oxandrin to treat burns, than those who didn’t. Oxandrin increased muscle mass and tissue repair faster and more completely and resulted in earlier discharges from the hospital.

Those who abuse oxandrin tend to use it for building lean muscle mass. While some professional bodybuilders and athletes use the drug in higher doses to achieve these results, the majority of those who abuse oxandrin do it for aesthetic purposes. It is most often taken orally in the form of a tablet.

How Oxandrin Works

While the more mild of the anabolic steroids, oxandrin works builds muscle mass much in the same way. Oxandrin mimics testosterone, a naturally occurring hormone in the body, attaching to key receptors responsible for the process of building muscle and muscle repair known as muscle protein synthesis.

When oxandrin attaches to these androgen receptors, it stimulates growth of muscle tissue. Normally, without the drug, these receptors are activated after strenuous activity. If you’ve ever experienced sore muscles after a hard run or workout, what you’re feeling is acute muscle trauma, in which tiny tears occur in the muscle tissue. The body repairs the muscle tissue with new growth, increasing the size and strength of those muscles. In this way, muscles are built on this cycle of microtrauma and repair.

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When oxandrin is introduced, it also allows the body to retain higher levels of nitrogen during this process of repair, which when converted to excess available amino acids, provides the body with the necessary fuel needed to produce more lean muscle mass. This process not only builds muscle, but it can improve appetite as well.

Addiction To Oxandrin

Oxandrin is one of the mildest anabolic steroids on the market today. Despite this, it is still abused by people interested in its muscle-building effects. Those who become addicted, are typically addicted psychologically, hoping to achieve an unattainable body image through perpetuated use of the drug in higher quantities than normally prescribed. When the drug is taken in these higher doses, it produces unpleasant withdrawal side effects which can also perpetuate use.

Those who abuse drugs like oxandrin often have underlying mental disorders associated with low self-esteem and body image. They perceive themselves as not being strong enough, lean enough, or feel overweight. Studies examining abuse of anabolic steroids indicate that as many as 80 percent of those who use them do so to improve physical appearance.

The condition most frequently associated with abuse of oxandrin is muscle dysmorphia. Someone who has become obsessed with exercise and diet spends a lot of time in front of the mirror, lifts weights for extended periods of time each day, and grows depressed or anxious over a missed workout, may be suffering from the disorder. Those with muscle dysmorphia often turn to the use of anabolic steroids like oxandrin, as they produce leaner muscle mass that is more clearly defined than other steroids.

Long-term use of oxandrin in higher-than-prescribed dosages can create physical dependence as the body grows tolerant of the drug and more is needed to achieve similar results. This can lead to dangerous liver toxicity among other adverse health conditions. Signs of tolerance include cravings for the drug and heightened aggression.

Withdrawal From Oxandrin

Withdrawal symptoms from oxandrin include fatigue, drug cravings, excessive sweating, headache, nausea, mood swings, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and aggression. Often depression, lasting longer than the period of physical withdrawal of one to three weeks, accompanies cessation of the drug. Some common street names for oxandrin include: “Gym candy,” “pumpers,” and “juice.”

Side Effects From Oxandrin Abuse

While oxandrin is considered safe when used in prescribed doses, those abusing the drug may suffer from adverse health effects including damage to the liver and heart. Risk of stroke is greatly increased in those who abuse anabolic steroids. Liver and heart failure can occur. Other side effects of oxandrin abuse include internal bleeding, cancer, cysts, and a hardening of the arteries.

Other side effects include pattern baldness in both men and women, skin issues including hardening of skin and acne, swelling, menstrual irregularities, deepening of voice, and clitoral enlargement in women, and testicular atrophy and impotence in men.

Severe side effects from oxandrin abuse include:

  • cancer risk
  • liver damage
  • cardiovascular complications
  • internal bleeding
  • cysts
  • pattern baldness
  • skin conditions
  • sexual dysfunction

Help For Oxandrin Dependency

If you or someone you love has become physically dependent on oxandrin, help is available. In most cases, treatment for oxandrin addiction includes counseling to deal with underlying issues relating to initial use of the drug as well as counseling during and following withdrawal from the drug to help with associated depression. A medical detox program under the supervision of a medical doctor or other treatment professional is usually recommended.

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