Dianabol (Metandienone) Effects, Dangers, and Legal Alternatives

d-bal review

Dianabol is one of the most used steroids for packing on size.

Almost every JACKED bodybuilder who’s ever lived (and has taken steroids), would’ve been on Dianabol at some point in time.

However, just like any other anabolic steroid, it is illegal without a prescription. In fact, Dianabol is mostly no longer used in clinical practice due to the high risk of serious side effects.

In this Dianabol review, we will risk all the side effects of this drug as well as suggest legal alternatives that contain natural extracts and are completely safe for use.

Warning: The content on Muscleandbrawn.com and the information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws. We frequently mention research chemicals that are not made for human consumption. Therefore, before purchasing any product for personal use, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first.

But first, Is Dianabol Legal?

Dianabol was legal until the 1990 Anabolic Steroids Control Act, but was 100% legal until then and thats when it became so popular. Today it is banned almost globally however it can be easily obtained in certain countries.

It is punishable by up to 1 year in prison for possession and even harsher punishments for those selling.

Dianabol Effects

Dianabol’s official name is Methandrostenolone and was first invented by Dr. Ziegler in 1958. Dbol was designed as a performance-enhancing drug that would help the American Olympics team experience more success. Previously in the 1940s/50s the Soviet Union were dominating the Olympics, due to many of their athletes taking the anabolic steroid – testosterone.

So Dr Ziegler’s goal was to create a steroid that would replicate the same anabolic effects of testosterone, but was faster-acting and had a more mild androgenic profile.

Anabolic = muscle-building

Androgenic = Increase in Male Hormones

Dianabol was hugely successful, giving the U.S Olympic team superiority over the Soviet Union. Since then, athletes have used dianabol in almost every sport in existence. In bodybuilding it’s been nicknamed the ‘granddaddy of steroids’ and is widely considered as the greatest bulking steroid in the world to this day.

Arnold Schwarzenegger & D-Bol-Use

Arnold Schwarzenegger, widely considered as the greatest bodybuilder of all time, admitted to taking steroids (1). And rumours suggest that Dianabol was one of the steroids used in his ‘magic mix’ (2), enabling him to build 22 inch arms and win 7 Mr Olympia competitions. Arnold was literally so good, even today (40 years later) he is still regarded as having ‘the perfect body’.

It is thought that the reason he didn’t experience bloating and water retention, associated with today’s bodybuilders taking D-Bol, is because he used lower doses.

Dianabol Results

One things for sure – you’ll make rapid gains when taking Dianabol. Your strength will go through the roof and your muscles will blow up – fast.

This makes Methandrostenolone the ultimate bulking steroid.

It’s normal to gain 20lbs of mass in just a couple of weeks on Dianabol.

…Lets just say Dr. Ziegler succeeded in making Dianabol ‘fast-acting’.


With Dianabol being so powerful for sparking muscle growth, you’d be correct in thinking it should come with some side effects too. Dianabol has a decent amount of aromatase activity, meaning that estrogen (the female sex hormone) levels will spike. This means that sensitive individuals, taking higher doses of D-Bol can develop gynecomastia (gyno). AKA female breast tissue or bitch tits.

Although Dianabol isn’t as androgenic as Testosterone it still does have some androgenic effects. This means there’ll be less testosterone converting into DHT, compared to say – testosterone sustanon. However side effects such as: acne, hair thinning and hair growth (on the body) are all still possible.

Blood Pressure

Dianabol can also spike a users blood pressure in 2 different ways. Firstly your LDL cholesterol levels will increase (the bad kind), due to higher levels of testosterone. And secondly Dianabol will cause you to retain water. When the body retains water, whether from salt or creatine your blood pressure shoots up.

This blood pressure increase is usually manageable, however if your family is prone to heart disease or your blood pressure is currently high, Dianabol shouldn’t be administered.

Testosterone Suppression

Dianabol, like other steroids, will suppress your natural testosterone production post-cycle. This is because when testosterone levels are exceptionally high, your testicles stop producing testosterone in an attempt to regulate this male hormone. And dianabol will cause your T levels to take a bigger dive than most other steroids, due to a higher rise in testosterone when on cycle.

This seems to be the short-term sacrifice for making incredible size gains, however your T levels will return to a normal range within a few months. PCT (post cycle therapy) supplements can be incorporated to speed up the recovery of your natural testosterone production after taking D-Bol. Nolvadex, Clomid and HCG are often taken during this post-cycle phase.


Dianabol is hepatotoxic, meaning it can cause stress to the liver. It isn’t the most toxic steroid to the liver, however it’s effects certainly aren’t mild. Fortunately the liver is a very resilient organ and Dianabol use shouldn’t lead to liver damage. To minimise damage to the liver on D-Bol make sure you limit alcohol consumption as much as possible and only cycle the steroid for up to 6 weeks at a time.

Dianabol Dosage for Muscle Gains

dianabol review

How much muscle will a user actually build on Dianabol?

This all depends on a few factors such as:

  • If you take a dbol by itself, or combine it with other powerful bulking steroids.
  • Your dose
  • How long your cycle is.

A dbol-only cycle that lasts 4 weeks might result in a gain of 20lbs.

However, stacking dbol with testosterone and deca in a 6 week cycle might result in a gain of 40lbs.

Dosage may also effect your gains. For a beginner, doses of 30-50mg are ideal. However, someone who’s already taken dbol or other steroids in the past and is no longer a novice – might up the dosage to 70-80mg.

Few people report any more gains from taking higher dose than this. This is the point where taking more will only result in more side effects, instead of gains.

Dbol is also one of the best steroids for strength, due to how much muscle/weight you gain on it…and how high your testosterone levels spike.

One Dianabol myth is that you’ll lose all your dbol gains when you come off cycle…however, many users disagree with this and say most of their muscle stays intact post-cycle and is permanent.

…However, you can expect to lose some water weight.

Dianabol Cycle

Dianabol is the most powerful of all these compounds, and will surely produce the biggest mass gains for beginners. However, it isn’t the best steroid for optimal health.

Despite some toxic side effects, Dianabol is a common beginner cycle for users who don’t want to inject themselves, yet still want big muscle gains.

Dianabol is a c-17 alpha alkylated steroid, and thus a liver strain is to be expected. Even a bigger concern is the spike in blood pressure that will take place on Dianabol, due to additional water retention and a negative shift in HDL/LDL cholesterol levels (2).

Commonly Used Dbol-Only Cycle

dianabol cycle

This is a strong dose for beginners, leading to increased risk of side effects in order to make bigger muscle gains. Beginners will typically gain around 25lbs from the above cycle. TUDCA if often used to help minimize damage to the liver, whilst Clomid can be taken during and after a cycle, to prevent gynecomastia and help restore testosterone production (2 x 200mg per day).

Check out all our cycles here.

Are There Best Bulking Steroid Cycle

Ridiculous Pumps

dianabol pump

Arnold, a well-known user of Dianabol in his time, can also vouch for this…during his “pump” scene in Pumping iron.

The reason why Dianabol gives you such insane pumps is that it causes a lot of intracellular water retention. This makes your muscles a lot bigger, as fluid is drawn into the muscle cell. Combine that with a big pump in the gym and you’ll feel like your biceps are about to burst!

Another reason why massive pumps are common from dbol-users is because the steroid ramps up your testosterone levels. And the more testosterone you have, the more red-blood cells your body will create.

And a higher red blood cell count = increased blood flow.

Dianabol Before & After

dianabol before and after

Calum Von Moger has admitted to taking steroids. Thus. it’s of no surprise that his gains and body composition resemble signs of Dianabol-use; the favorite steroid of his idol Arnold Schwarzenegger (back in the 60’s and 70’s).

As you can see, Calum is massive in the after photo, however, as a natty, it’s clear he had very good genetics before hopping on the juice. Thus Dianabol will help you pack on A LOT of muscle, but it won’t turn the average skinny guy into a Mr. Olympia contender.

Although these photos are 5 years apart, most of Calum’s gains on Dianabol (and other steroids) would’ve come in the first few months of cycling. Dianabol will make users look a lot more muscular, with smooth and full-looking muscles (legal D-Bal here).

Calum Von Moger went on to create Staunch Supplements. You can check out our critical review on the brand here.

Dianabol Benefits

  • Huge muscle gains
  • Exceptional strength gains

And that’s about it, when it comes to dianabol. It’s not a long list of benefits, but what it does do – it does exceptionally well.

It isn’t a very versatile steroid like say testosterone, which has numerous attributes like: building muscle, burning fat and increasing endurance. But dianabol remains as one of the most powerful compounds in the world for packing on size, and getting as strong as an ox.

Only anadrol can get near dianabol when it comes to gaining mass. Anadrol however can result with more side effects and water retention (bloat) for some people.

Typical Gains

No one responds the same to steroids. Sure, everyone who tries dianabol is going to have amazing strength and size gains…but how good depends on the person.

A 4 week cycle of dianabol will result in approximately 20-30lbs.

An 8 week cycle – 30-40lbs.

So depending on your genetics and nutrition you’ll be at the bottom or higher end of these ranges. To maximize your gains on a dianabol cycle you should eat in a calorie surplus and train as frequently as possible. It’s very difficult to overtrain when taking powerful steroids like dianabol because your recovery levels improve dramatically.

Thus you should look to train each muscle group for longer each week.

Mental Benefits

Dianabol will send your testosterone levels rocketing…to levels they’ve never been to before.

Higher testosterone levels will result in increased confidence, libido (sex drive) and overall well-being. In short, you’ll pretty much feel like superman.

Guys will want to hang out with you more and girls will be more attracted to you. This is the result of becoming more alpha and oozing confidence in the way you speak and act.

Throw into the equation all the muscle and strength you’ll be gaining…lets just say your brain isn’t going to be short of dopamine.

The only downside to these mental benefits, is they’ll diminish post-cycle when testosterone levels can become suppressed. So during this time you may feel like someone has spiked your post-workout shake with kryptonite, making you feel more lethargic and…just more human again.

Are Dianabol’s (Effects) Permanent? 

You won’t keep 100% of the weight you gain on a dianabol cycle, because not all of it will be lean muscle tissue.

This is because you’ll gain a fair amount of water weight, which gives your muscles a constantly full/pumped appearance.

After your cycle finishes you’ll lose approximately 10lbs of water weight, but will keep the rest of the muscle gained. My friend who took dianabol said he hasn’t lost any size since he’s stopped taking it and he didn’t run a PCT or any other protocol because he was a newbie and it was his first cycle.

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Dianabol Side Effects and Dangers

  • Male pattern baldness
  • Testicle atrophy (shrinkage)
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Hard on liver
  • Gyno

Male Pattern Baldness

Those who have poor hair genetics, may also experience thinning/receding during a cycle due to elevated DHT levels (a precursor of testosterone). DHT kills hair follicles, however this is nothing to be worried about if you’ve got a good head of hair.

…you’re not suddenly going to wake up bald from taking a few cycles.

People have also reported that hair re-growth is possible post-cycle when DHT levels fall back to normal/low levels. During this time your hair can become thick like it was before your cycle.

Blood Pressure

A spike in blood pressure is almost guaranteed when you take any steroid.

This is because many steroids either:

  • Cause water retention
  • Increase testosterone levels

When your body starts to retain water, blood pressure spikes because blood flow is impeded. This is the same reason eating too much salt or taking creatine can also lead to increased blood pressure.

This is why you should always get regular checkups with your doctor when taking steroids to make sure your blood pressure doesn’t get too high. Usually, this blood pressure increase is manageable; however those who abuse steroids will be more susceptible to heart attacks.

Steroids which increase testosterone will also increase LDL cholesterol levels. When this ‘bad’ cholesterol is high, blood pressure also rises. Thus steroids which elevate test levels the highest – will send your blood pressure higher than other compounds.

Dianabol will cause water retention and a big increase in test levels; thus a decent spike in blood pressure should be expected.


gynecomastia dbol side effect

Any compound which sends your testosterone levels soaring, will also put you at risk of developing man boobs, or gyno.

This is because estrogen (the girly hormone) also rises when testosterone goes too high. However, your genetics will determine if you form gyno or not from taking dianabol.

Most people won’t get gyno even from taking high doses of dbol. However, if you’re one of the unlucky few you can take to regulate estrogen levels and remove this temporary accumulation of breast tissue.


Oily skin is a common dianabol side effect. However, those who experience oily skin in everyday life are likely to develop acne when they start a cycle of dbol.

…Especially if the person has experienced bad acne before during puberty. Again, this dianabol side effect only applies to sensitive users – most people’s skin will look the same.

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Testicle Atrophy 

Initially your testosterone levels will be surging from dbol, however because your testicles are producing way more test than you need; your body then strop produces this hormone.

This is why your test levels become so low post-cycle and your balls shrink. Your testicles will regrow back to their original size once your testosterone levels recover back to normal (this usually take several weeks, sometimes more).

Increase in Blood Pressure

The 2 main reasons why dianabol will cause your blood pressure to increase is because it causes your body to retain more water. Anything that results in additional water weight will spike blood pressure. Eating too much salt and supplementing with creatine monohydrate are other examples of this.

Secondly, because dianabol causes your testosterone levels to fly off the charts; this then increases the wrong kind of cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein).

Hard on the Liver

Dianabol is hepatotoxic.

In short, this means it’s can damage your liver.

Liver damage can be a serious condition that leads to organ enlargement, nail changes, easy bruising and bleeding, brain and kidney toxicity due to the metabolites released by the damaged tissues, and ultimately coma and death.

The patient can also develop muscle cachexia which is a condition of complete muscle loss and weakness.

This is why we strongly advise against using any anabolic steroid and choosing legal alternatives with natural extracts such as D-Bal.

Dianabol Review and D-bal Tablets (Alternative)

dianabol alternative

Dianabol remains one of the most commonly used AAS for bulking up, building lean muscle, and getting super strong. However, it is illegal and can lead to serious health problems or even death.

This is why we strongly advise choosing legal and safe alternatives instead such as the ones below:

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O’Connor M.D, Thomas (2018), America on Steroids: A Time to Heal. Cheshire, CT: Metabolic Promotion LLC. pp. 57-77.

Llewellyn, William (2011), Anabolics. Jupiter, FL: Molecular Nutrition. pp. 478-488.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7018798

(2) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/01485018108987350

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10589853

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1859222/

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10506840?dopt=Abstract

(6) https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/methandrostenolone


O’Connor M.D, Thomas (2018), America on Steroids: A Time to Heal. Cheshire, CT: Metabolic Promotion LLC. pp. 57-77.

Llewellyn, William (2011), Anabolics. Jupiter, FL: Molecular Nutrition. pp. 478-488.

Dianabol Side Effects and Dangers

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1859222/

(2) https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/methandrostenolone

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10506840?dopt=Abstract

(4) https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/methandrostenolone


Llewellyn, William (2011), Anabolics. Jupiter, FL: Molecular Nutrition. pp. 478-488.

O’Connor M.D, Thomas (2018), America on Steroids: A Time to Heal. Cheshire, CT: Metabolic Promotion LLC. pp. 57-77, 103-106.


Dr Thomas O'Connor MD

Dr Thomas O'Connor MD | Writer

After many years of caring for thousands of men on testosterone and anabolic steroids Dr. Thomas O'Connor created Testosteronology®, a sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. No other medical specialty offers comprehensive and personalized medical services for men on androgens; Testosteronology is distinct from Endocrinology and Urology. Testosteronology is more specific than Endocrinology, which deals with all hormones in men and women. And it is different from Urology, a surgical specialty that does not focus on the common medical aspects of how androgens effect men.

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corrie Leonard
corrie Leonard
2 years ago

best steroid combination to cut for woman she is 40

Chemical Structure

Mechanism of Action

Dianabol is an agonist of Androgen Receptors (AR). After binding to AR on muscles cells, it stimulates protein synthesis and increases muscle mass and improves recovery.

Class of Compound


Street Names

Methandienone, Methandrostenolone, Methandrolone


  • Increases muscle mass
  • Increases recovery rate
  • Improves vasculatiry

Side Effects and Dangers

  • Testicle atrophy
  • Hair loss
  • Liver toxicity

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