Prohormone & Designer Steroid Articles
Prohormone and Designer Steroid ProfilesThis information comes courtesy of HenryV from this ProhormoneForum thread.
Originally brought to market by Gaspari Nutrition as "Halodrol 50", this compound is the diol version of the steroid the East Germans were taking to cheat at the Olympics in the late 60s and early 70s, Oral Turinabol (4-Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone). Basically h-drol is M14ADD with a chlorine atom attached at the 4-position. This 4-chloro group effectively prevents both aromatisation (conversion of the compound to estrogen) meaning that gynecomastia through excess estrogen should not occur, and water retention is not a problem. The 1,4-diene structure prevents 5-a reduction (conversion to a DHT-based steroid), so androgenic effects like hair loss are much less of a concern.
H-drol cycles are typically 75mg each day for six weeks, first time users may find 50mg effective, though those with more experience may try 100mg. Common side effects include high blood pressure and back and shin pumps, and being methylated there is a mild degree of hepatotoxicity.
E-StaneNomenclature: 2a,3a-epithio-17a-methyl-5a-androstan-17b-ol or 2a,3a-epithio-17a-methyl-etioallocholan-17b-ol
Synonyms: Epistane, Havoc, Epi, E-Stane, Epi-Strong
This is a derivative of a Japanese breast cancer drug epitiostanol. Although it is an active steroid and not a prohormone as such, some of epi's activity is due to conversion to phera (desoxymethyltestosterone) inside the body. There have been a lot of myths and misunderstandings about this steroid, which I tried to address in a previous article. Gains are very lean and dry (so a joint supp would be recommended) and some fat loss may be experienced (dependent on diet and training).
Cycles are typically 30 - 40mg daily for four to six weeks, followed by a SERM PCT protocol to avoid "rebound gyno".
M1,4addNomenclature: 17a-methyl-1,4-androstadiene-3b,17b-diol or 17a-methyl-androst-1,4-diene-3b,17b-diol
Essentially this is a prohormone to the most popular designer steroid of all time: dianabol. Conversion rates around 15% are usually discussed, though it's likely to be "broscience". Like d-bol, it's 17a-methylated (meaning some degree of liver toxicity is to be expected), and can aromatise to a potent methylated estrogen, which makes gyno a possibility. Water retention is also likely to be an issue, with some of the weight and strength gained on cycle typically lost on cessation.
Cycles are typically 90 - 120mg a day for four to six weeks.
Synonyms: Max LMG, 13-ethyl-tren, M-LMG
Originally brought to market as Max-LMG by ALRi, this oddity appears structurally similar to some of the undetectable (at the time) steroids used in the BALCO scandal.
Most steroids are androgens, that is to say they have 19 carbon atoms (17 in the carbon rings of the sterane nucleus, plus two methyl groups attached at C10 and C13). Estranes (more commonly referred to as "19-nors") have no methyl group at C10 (meaning no carbon at the 19th position). Gonanes have no methyl attached at C10 or C13. M-LMG falls into the gonane category as it has no methyl groups, instead it has an ethyl group at C13.
Despite the rather odd-looking double bond structure, upon ingestion the unstable enol ether group will be hydrolysed leaving a ketone at C3, and the 5(10) bond isomerised to the more thermodynamically stable delta-4 position - thus producing 13-ethyl-19-norandrostenedione.
From there it will be converted into the active 13-ethyl-19-nortestosterone, and possibly similar estrogenic metabolites. Some of the metabolites may also be progesterone receptor agonists.
User reports would suggest it's a wet bulker carrying a risk of on-cycle gyno, with effects on libido varying from user to user. I'd suggest 4 - 6 weeks cycles at bottle recommended dosages in users who have no predisposition to gyno.
M-DrolNomenclature: 17â-Hydroxy-2á,17á-dimethyl-5á-androstane-3-one or 2a,17a-dimethyl-etiocholan-3-one, 17b-ol or (more accurately) 2a,17a-dimethyl-etioallocholan-3-one, 17b-ol
Synonyms: Superdrol, Methasterone, Methyl Masteron, M-Drol, S-Drol
Originally brought to market by Designer Supplements (then licensed to Anabolic Xtreme), this designer steroid is a 17a-methylated version of the injectable steroid masteron. Since we know 17a-methylation doesn't just increase oral bioavailability, it also changes the effect of the steroid, it may be more useful to consider superdrol as 17a-methyl-DHT with an additional 2-methyl (methyl groups at C1,C2, 17a, and 7a all increase anabolic activity). In fact, superdrol is one of the most potent anabolic steroids ever brought to market. Sadly, it's also one of the most toxic, as evidenced by a number of medical case studies of people hospitalised with cholestatic jaundice and worse. It's for this reason that cycles must be kept short and relatively low dosed. Due to it's structure, it can't aromatise, which means any gyno sides are typically post-cycle. On-cycle lethargy is common, as are shin and back pumps.
Please ignore people who suggest that CEL M-drol is an inferior "b-isomer" version of superdrol, citing the nomenclature as evidence. The fact that they label it etiocholan instead of etioallocholan is a labelling error, not an indication that it contains the wrong compound. People who claim that it's the 5b-reduced isomer fail to understand the dramatic difference that makes to the shape of the steroid (it bends the A-ring away from the plane of the steroid) which dramatically reduces receptor binding affinity (5a-DHT has 173 times stronger binding affinity than 5b-DHT for example). The flatter the better, as far as androgen receptors are concerned. To put it bluntly, if it were the 5b version it would not work (which it does, so it isn't).
Cycles are typically 10 - 30mg for three to four weeks, followed by a SERM PCT protocol.
P-PlexSynonyms: Desoxymethyltestosterone, Madol, Phera-Plex, P-Plex
This long-forgotten steroid, patented in the 1960s but never commercialised legitimately, was rediscovered and distributed to athletes as part of the BALCO scandal. Structurally it is a 17a-methylated version of a naturally occurring pheromone (naturally occurring in elephants, that is), which is where it gets its name. Due to imperfect synthesis techniques (and the difficulty of separation), commercially available phera typically also contains a small amount of the 3-ene isomer. Some of phera's activity may be related to its metabolism in the body into dihydro-dihydroxy-desoxymethyltestosterone.
Moderately androgenic while being highly anabolic, this powerful drug delivers rapid size and strength increases and users often report a mild euphoria and heightened libido. Although it cannot aromatise, users may experience some bloating or water retention which may be diet related. Being methylated, liver health must be the main concern when contemplating cycle length and dosage, and I'd suggest 15mg - 45mg for four to six weeks, with the less experienced sticking to the lower end of the scale, followed by an appropriate PCT protocol.
This steroid became a class C controlled drug in the UK in Dec 09, making it illegal to sell (or possess in distribution quantities), and was scheduled in January 2010 in the US, making it illegal to sell or possess.
X-TrenNomenclature: 19-Norandrosta-4,9 diene-3,17 dione or estra-4,9 diene-3,17 dione
Despite being commonly known as "tren", this prohormone cannot convert to trenbolone, instead it converts to the similar target hormone of dienolone, which has an anabolic:androgenic ratio of 10:1. Being a dione (and therefore lacking the 17b-OH common to all effective steroids) I'd expect this compound to have little or no affinity for androgen receptor binding in its current configuration. Fortunately the body can convert the ketone to a hydroxyl group via the 17b-HSD enzyme, which will make it much more effective.
This compound should bring strength, lean gains, an increase in vascularity and muscle hardness, and accelerated fat loss.
Support supplements should include an over-the-counter anti-prolactin product such as vitex, B6 or P5P, and one of the common blood pressure supps like celery seed or hawthorne berry. Despite not being 17a-methylated, blood test results typically show a similar degree of hepatic stress to methylated compounds like h-drol or epi. "Shutdown" is usually high, with most users experiencing (temporary) testicular atrophy and loss of libido. Common cycles are 90-120mg for four to six weeks, followed by a SERM PCT protocol.
This compound is illegal in the United States as of Jan 2010, but remains unscheduled in the UK.
Alpha-OneNomenclature: Methyl-1-Etiocholenolol-Epietiocholanolone, or 17a-methyl-1-androstene-3b,17b-diol
Originally marketed by Legal Gear as Methyl-1-Alpha, this is 17a-methylated version of 1-AD, so whereas 1-AD converted to 1-Test, M1AD converts to M1T (aka Methyl 1-Testosterone). While M1T is banned in the US, there is currently no legislation against this "prohormone" to it.
According to Vida, it's roughly as androgenic as methyl test, but around four times as anabolic (M1T is roughly twice as strong as M1A on both counts, according to the same source). The conversion rate to M1T should be fairly high, plus in its unchanged diol configuration I would expect some receptor affinity. Methyl 1-Test is highly hepatotoxic (more so than most methylated orals), and I don't see why this would be markedly less so, since they are both 17a-methylated (which prevents deactivation through metabolism of the 17b-OH), and the covalent bond structure is the same. This concerns me, as people typically run M1A at several times the dosage of M1T. I guess blood work will tell.
I would not recommend this compound to beginners. Strength and size gains should be rapid and profound, with some of that being due to increased water retention. Side effects may include (but are not limited to) high blood pressure, lethargy, back and shin pumps, loss of sex-drive, and adverse shifts in lipoprotein subfractions. While on paper neither this compound nor its metabolites aromatise, plenty of M1T users have reported on-cycle gyno so it would be prudent to assume a degree of risk with this compound as well.
Cycle lengths should be short and relatively low dosed IMO, two to four weeks at 20 - 40mg (some users will choose to go up to 60mg), followed by an appropriate SERM PCT protocol.
Stano-DrolNomenclature: 3â-hydroxyetioallocholan-17-one; 3â-hydroxy-5á-androstan-17-one
Synonyms: Epiandrosterone, androhard
The Vida data shows that it is almost entirely inactive when injected, only having an extremely mild androgenic effect. This needs to be taken orally (or transdermally) to convert to an active hormone.
This is a prohormone to the naturally occuring testosterone metabolite DHT (dihydrotestosterone). It requires a two-step conversion (via 3b-HSD and 17b-HSD). It will be quite androgenic and not particularly anabolic, so you should get a nice hardening effect, better workout aggression, and a positive effect on libido, but should probably be avoided by those with a propensity to MPB or prostate issues. I wouldn't run it solo, but it may be worth stacking with something to offset some of the side-effects of the other compound (for example, if the other drug causes low libido or lethargy).
In December 2009 this compound was added to the list of Class C controlled drugs in the UK under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
D-PlexNomenclature: 17a-methyl-5a-androstan-17b-ol-3-one oxime, 17a-methyl-5a-androstan-17b-ol-3-hydroxyimine or 17a-methyl-etioallocholan-17b-ol 3-hydroxyimine
Synonyms: d-plex, the one
Originally marketed (aggressively) as "The One" by Applied Nutriceuticals, this is essentially mestanolone (methyl DHT) with a 3-oxime group.
The Vida data appears promising, demonstrating an anabolic potential nearly four times higher than testosterone, with androgenic qualities only slightly higher than test. This fails to take into account the difference in administration though; this was injected, whereas D-Plex is taken orally.
Taken orally, the oxime group should be fairly efficiently hydrolysed by the stomach acids, leaving plain methyl DHT, and so it can be considered a prohormone to it. Some will survive the acid bath, and the results experienced will be partly from the mestanolone metabolite, and partly from the compound as described by Vida.
I would post the Vida data on methyl DHT but the sources he quotes disagree wildly on the anabolic:androgenic values.
ProtodrolNomenclature: 17a-methyl-5a-androst-17b-ol, or 17a-methyl-17b-hydroxy-5a-androstane, or 17a-methyl-etioallocholane-17b-ol, or 17a-methylandrostan-17-ol
Synonyms: Protodrol, desoxymestanolone, desoxymethyldihydrotestosterone, proto-plex
Before being launched as "Protodrol" by iForce Nutrition, this compound was mentioned in Vida's book, as well as a couple of medical studies, and like lots of designer steroids was synthesized at one point by Patrick Arnold.
If you thought that the nomenclature looks a lot like methyl DHT, you'd be right. This compound is methyl DHT without the 3-ketone (so it could be described as 3-desoxy mestanolone).
A 3-ketone usually increases activity, so one could assume from this that methyl DHT would be stronger than its desoxy cousin Protodrol, however the Vida data would suggest otherwise (though it's worth remembering that the different sources Vida quotes often give wildly differing values for the same compounds, so they shouldn't be taken as gospel).
There also exists the possibility that the body is capable of introducing a 3-ketone to protodrol in vivo. This is well-documented with delta4 3-desoxy steroids such as ethylestrenol, but whether it's possible or not with protodrol is unknown.
However, the main marketing point of Protodrol wasn't its anabolic or androgenic potential, it was the promise of being the only 17a-methyl to be liver safe.
Despite the relatively small number of symptomatic cases of hepatic injury caused by methylated steroids, liver health is a genuine concern (not least because by the time you are symptomatic, you're already in a bad way). The primary method by which 17a-alkylated steroids induce injury on the liver is by causing a condition called cholestasis, where the liver is unable to excrete toxins into the intestine via the bile ducts. Instead, the liver gets "backed up" and waste products like bilirubin start leaking out into the blood stream (causing the yellow discolouration in the eyes and skin known as jaundice).
This condition is typically reversible, but the case studies make for a sobering read.
Bromosulfophthalein (BSP) is a relatively nontoxic organic anion used as an in vivo indicator of liver performance. Elimination of BSP via the biliary system following iv injection requires dissociation from albumin in plasma, translocation across the sinusoidal membrane, conjugation with glutathione within the hepatocyte, translocation across the bile canalicular membrane, and excretion in bile.
If doses of protodrol failed to impair biliary function in rabbits at such high doses, it bodes well for human use, however it doesn't rule out some degree of hepatic toxicity by other mechanisms.
But what does protodrol do?
Patrick Arnold knocked some up back in '05, and had this to say about it:
I had some people try it out, one guy in particular who was an old friend in town and was my guinea pig for stuff since back when I first was making 4-AD and its nor analog. Anyway, this guy comes back after six weeks or so and says, “What the hell WAS that stuff?” I asked him what he meant and he said it’s the best stuff he has ever taken. He had clean gains and felt great and his strength was through the roof.
Of course since then there's been a lot more people use this compound, and so for dosage instructions and cycle expectations it would be wise to defer to the user logs and feedback.
Synonyms: Promagnon 25, P-Mag, Methyl-clostediol
Another methylated prohormone, this one is often compared to (and mistaken for) a halodrol clone, though there is an important structural difference. P-mag lacks the C1-2 double bond common to boldenone derivatives like h-drol, boldione, dbol and M1,4ADD, having only a C4-5 (delta-4) double bond which makes it a closer structural relative of testosterone and methyl testosterone. The difference becomes apparent when we look at what each one becomes in vivo: where some h-drol is metabolised via 3b-HSD to oral turinabol, p-mag becomes methylated clostebol. A 4-chloro group is common to both drugs, which will make both poor substrates for the aromatase cytochrome P-450 enzyme.
The target hormone of methyl-clostebol (shown above) appears to be moderately anabolic (about half as strong as methyl test) and not very androgenic, with an overall A:A ratio of somewhere around 3:1 (compared to methyl test). This is a much less impressive ratio than OT, but A:A assays on rats are not definitive (and often conflicting), and compounds with a moderate amount of androgenicity tend to have more positive effects on mood energy and libido than those without.
What's most interesting for me is the choice in bringing out this particular diol prohormone, despite an apparent lack of legislation to prohibit the sale and possession of the target steroid above. I've checked the US Controlled Substances Act and the UK Misuse of Drugs Act, and it's not listed on either. This means that theoretically a willing manufacturer would be able to sell methyl clostebol just as legally as p-mag (which is not to say that that is particularly legal in the first place).
Despite being structurally and pharmacologically distinct from h-drol, I suspect p-mag will never quite escape comparisons with it's diene brother. While the effects of h-drol are most apparent in the last few weeks of a six week cycle, p-mag users tend to report more immediate size gains, with a lack of additional weight added in the last couple of weeks. Libido tends to remain more positive, likely due to the more androgenic qualities of the drug.
The aforementioned positive attributes and the possibility of short cycle durations would make this an excellent choice for a first cycle, though as with any methyl it is a good idea to educate yourself about the possibilities of hepatic impairment (watch out for yellowing of the eyes and skin, persistent itchiness especially of the palms and soles of the feet, and discontinue use and see a doctor if either of those occur).
While h-drol has proved popular for bulking, cutting, and recomping, p-mag is generally regarded as best when used for bulking.
Cycles should be somewhere in the region of 50 - 100mg for four to six weeks with an appropriate PCT protocol.
Furaza-ANomenclature: 5a-androstano[2,3-c]furazan-17b-tetrahydropyranol ether
Synonyms: Orastan A, unmethylated furazabol, CTD Winabol, CEL Furaza-A, Axis Labs Furazadrol, Furaguno
Originally marketed by Gaspari as Orastan-A, this is an unmethylated version of the illegal steroid Furazabol (or Androfurazanol), with a THP ether attached to protect the 17b-hydroxyl group.
Here's the Vida profile for unmethylated furaza: ~100% of the anabolic activity of test prop when injected, with only 30-50% the androgenic activity. Oral administration will be less effective due to first-pass metabolism by the liver.
The THP ether will likely be mostly cleaved by the stomach acids, leaving free unmethylated furaza as shown in the Vida diagram. That which survives with the THP ether intact may be taken up directly into the lymph system from the small intestine, bypassing first-pass liver degradation, since the THP ether increases the lipophilic properties of the drug. One suggestion to increase the amount that survives the initial acid bath etherified would be to dissolve the compound in oil prior to ingestion. This was a popular method a few years ago with 1-test ether gel capsules, though from what I've heard real-world results tended to be disappointing.
One of the more outlandish claims regarding this compound is that it positively impacts cholesterol, however I believe these claims date back to a time when the importance of the lipoprotein subfractions were poorly understood and a decrease in overall cholesterol was considered positive, today we understand that this is likely due to a drop in HDL ("good cholesterol") and is not a positive aspect of a drug's effects.
This compound is to furazabol what prostanozol (or p-stanz) is to winstrol, with unmethylated furaza being generally regarded as the superior of the two. Apparently, furazabol would be stronger if it had a 4-ene, but winny would be weaker with the same double bond . 17á-methyl-4-androstene-2,3-furazan-17â-ol is both more anabolic and more androgenic than furazabol by oral administration.
Compound V is not listed on the US Controlled Substances Act or UK Misuse of Drugs Act, and would therefore be as legal as any of the other grey-market steroids currently sold, if someone were to have it custom synthesized.
DHT-based, with a 2,3 furazan ring system, aromatisation is impossible, so gyno on cycle should not be a concern with Furaza-A. Effects and side-effects will both be somewhat less pronounced than most commonly cycled compounds, yet the original Orastan A had a vocal following who will no doubt be pleased to see it return to the market.
Solo cycles will typically be used to minimise muscle loss while cutting, and it will often be stacked with other compounds for its muscle-hardening effects, lean gains, and relatively low side-effect profile.
I've heard that effects will start to be felt around the 200mg mark, with most users opting for dosages of around 300mg ED, which can start to get quite expensive.
P-StanzNomenclature: [3,2-c]pyrazole-5alpha-etioallocholane-17beta-tetrahydropyranol or 17beta-tetrahydropyranol-5alpha-androstano-[3,2-c]pyrazole
Synonyms: CEL P-Stanz, ALRI Prostanozol, Generic Labz Mega-Zol, unmethylated winstrol.
Prostanozol is an unmethylated version of the popular - but illegal - steroid stanozolol, a.k.a. "winstrol" or "winny". Although it lacks the 17a-alkylation of winstrol, it has (like the Furaza-A previously discussed) a THP ether to increase bioavailability through uptake by the lymphatic system.
The obvious unique features of these compounds are the furazan and pyrazole rings attached to the A-ring. These are examples of 5-membered heterocycles (another highly amusing example would be Arsole).
While prostanozol is the best legal stanozolol derivative we currently have on the market, just as with furazabol the 4-ene derivative (a steroid I call "testozolol") would be worth considering.
Fortunately for us, researchers in the 1960s tested stanozolol and "testozolol" against each other, removing the guesswork from the situation. Displaying 46.5% of the androgenicity and 61.5% of the anabolism of stanozolol by oral administration, although being slightly weaker it should still possess a very positive A:A ratio, and according to the researchers, some estrogenic activity.
Much like Furaza-A, Prostanozol is a mild compound likely to be expensive to run at effective doses, and will be best used either solo to retain muscle mass while cutting, or in conjunction with another compound to add hardening effects and lean gains without adding too much to the overall toxicity and side-effects of a cycle.
Prostanozol was added to Schedule 2 of the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (effective 23rd December 2009), making it illegal to sell, and illegal to possess in distribution quantities in the UK. It remains unscheduled (at the time of writing) in the US. Comments on Prohormone and Designer Steroid Profiles
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