Dianabol History and Overview
Dianabol, known by its scientific and chemical name as Methandrostenolone (and/or Methandienone), is the most popular and widely utilized anabolic steroid by bodybuilders and athletes today. It gained its popularity in the late 1950s and throughout the “Golden Era of Bodybuilding” of the 1960s and 1970s. Methandrostenolone was introduced to the pharmaceutical and medical community by Dr. John Ziegler in the mid-1950s as an American response to the Soviet use of Testosterone in their Olympic athletes. Dr. Ziegler and his team created Methandrostenolone as a result, which was then introduced to the prescription market under the trade name of Dianabol by the Ciba pharmaceutical company. It was the first orally active anabolic steroid to be synthesized and sold on the prescription market.
Dianabol possesses a half-life of 4.5 – 6 hours, contains a moderate level of Estrogenic effects in the body, and has less of a rate of conversion into a stronger androgenic metabolite via the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. It is for these reasons that Dianabol tends to be favored by bodybuilders and athletes in the quest for mass and strength above all else.
Dianabol Side Effects
Dianabol’s side effect profile is variable. The most significant Dianabol side effect is that of Estrogen-related effects, although studies have stated that Dianabol’s action on the aromatase enzyme (CYP19) is moderate.
This includes water retention and bloating which will mean this oral steroid will increase blood pressure  as well as acne and gynecomstia (development of breast tissue). The most prominent Dianabol side effect tends to be the bloating and water retention, followed by gynecomastia. These side effects can be mitigated through the use of anti-estrogens such as aromatase inhibitors Exmestane (Aromasin) and Arimidex, Estrogen blockers (SERMs) Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) and Clomid.
Secondary to the Estrogenic side effects, Dianabol can produce androgenic side effects as well (though less pronounced than Testosterone). There are risks of experiencing acne, oily skin, male pattern baldness, and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The next most concerning Dianabol side effect is its increased stress imposed on the hepatic system (i.e. the liver). It is advised to limit cycle lengths to no greater than 4 – 6 weeks, supplement with liver support compounds, and avoid high dosages.
Lastly, Dbol is very well known for its strong inhibitive nature on the HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis). Clinical studies have been conducted on Dianabol’s testosterone inhibitive action in humans, and they have demonstrated that doses as low as 15mg per day for 8 weeks caused total plasma Testosterone levels to decline by 69%.
Aside from these side effects, Dianabol does impose those side effects that are also typical with any anabolic steroid. These include negative cholesterol alterations, negative cardiovascular effects, and disruption of the HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis).
Dianabol Cycles and Uses
Dianabol cycles are very straightforward in most cases of its application. The use of Dianabol is normally during periods of bulking and strength gaining where the bodybuilder or athlete is not overly concerned with water retention and bloating. These types of Dianabol cycles are therefore normally during the “off-season” period where bodybuilders are in the midst of achieving this goal, and it is normally cycled with some kind of injectable anabolic steroid that achieves similar results – normally some variant of Testosterone, such as Testosterone Enanthate.
Most of these Dianabol cycles involve its use as a kickstarting compound, where it is used only during the first 4 – 6 weeks of the cycle in order to experience strength and size gains while the user waits for the longer acting injectable compound (i.e. Testosterone Enanthate) to achieve its full effects and “kick in”. It is advised to run Dianabol cycles for no longer than 4 – 6 weeks due to its nature as a C-17 alpha alkylated compound, which exerts negative effects on the liver (and especially cholesterol levels). This is an additional reason as to why Dianabol cycles are typically kickstarter cycles for no greater than 4 – 6 weeks in length.
Dianabol Dosages and Administration
Being that Dianabol is considered a very potent anabolic steroid where anabolism (the buildup of muscle tissue) is concerned, its dosages need not be as high as many other commonly used oral anabolic steroids. Dianabol dosages need to be considered carefully especially where negative effects on the liver are concerned, as the higher dosage is used, there is a corresponding increase in the negative effects here.
Dr. Ziegler originally issued prescription guidelines of 5mg per day for no longer than 6 weeks. Being that 5mg is on the lowest end of the dosage spectrum, more modern beginner Dianabol dosages range between 15 – 30mg per day. This Dianabol dosage, especially the higher end, is quite considerably strong in terms of anabolic effects and does not necessitate an increase beyond it even after years of cycles. Intermediate as well as advanced dosages for Dianabol are in the area of 30 – 50mg per day, and it is generally advised to go no higher than this despite the fact that some very advanced users are known to venture well into the 80mg or greater range. It is very unadvisable to even attempt to approach this range due to excess stressors on the body’s organ systems and side effects.