Dianabol is the most-talked about and used steroid in the world. It’s benefits are clear: build huge mass and gain a tonne of strength. But, what are the side effects and how do they compare to other steroids’ side effects?
I’ve taken dianabol for almost 3 decades and will list the most common side effects I’ve experienced from taking this steroid in oral and injectable form.
In short, taking dianabol may cause:
- Male pattern baldness
- High blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Shut down testosterone levels
Note: Users will be more susceptible to these dianabol side effects if they are new to anabolic steroids.
Dianabol Side Effects
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.
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.
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.
Dianabol can also cause liver toxicity (more so oral dbol) However this isn’t too worrying as your liver is an incredibly tough organ and its values restore back to normal post-cycle.
Dianabol Side Effects: Safe or Dangerous?
It’s naive to think you won’t experience ANY dianabol side effects, because it’s a powerful steroid. However, I and others have used dianabol (in moderate doses) without experiencing any major long-term side effects.
However, everyone is different and thus dianabol may be fine for one person, but then dangerous to another. However, the side effects can be somewhat controlled by the dose and cycle length.
If you’re a beginner and worried about dianabol’s side effects, you can take a milder steroid like testosterone or anavar for your first cycle (which is safer). However, a dianabol-only cycle (oral) is standard for a newbie cycle.
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 O'Connor's the author of the book: America on Steroids - A Time to Heal, and has worked with many elite bodybuilders. He's also been featured in Muscle & Fitness, Muscular Development, whilst appearing in the bodybuilding film documentary Generation Iron 3.