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Generic name: oxymetholone (OKS ee METH oh lone)
Brand name: Anadrol-50
Drug class: Androgens and anabolic steroids

Medically reviewed by on Apr 26, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Anadrol-50?

Anadrol-50 is an anabolic steroid, which is a man-made form of a hormone similar to testosterone.

Anadrol-50 is used to treat certain types of anemia (lack of red blood cells), including anemia caused by chemotherapy.

Anadrol-50 will not enhance athletic performance and should not be used for that purpose.

Anadrol-50 may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use Anadrol-50 if you have severe liver or kidney disease, prostate cancer, male breast cancer, or female breast cancer with high levels of calcium in the blood.

Do not use Anadrol-50 if you are pregnant.

Long-term use of oxymetholone can cause liver tumors or blood-filled cysts in your liver or spleen. Call your doctor at once if you have upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), or rapid weight gain (especially in your face and midsection).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Anadrol-50 if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • prostate cancer;

  • male breast cancer;

  • female breast cancer with high levels of calcium in the blood;

  • severe liver disease;

  • severe kidney disease; or

  • if you are pregnant.

To make sure Anadrol-50 is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

FDA pregnancy category X. This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use Anadrol-50 if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.

It is not known whether oxymetholone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Do not give this medicine to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice. A child using Anadrol-50 may need x-rays every 6 months to make sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects on bone growth.

Do not share this medicine with another person.

How should I take Anadrol-50?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take Anadrol-50 in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, you may need frequent blood tests. You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but your blood work will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with Anadrol-50.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Anadrol-50 doses are based on weight, and any changes may affect the dose.

It may take 3 to 6 months before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Anadrol-50.

Anadrol-50 is only part of a treatment program that may also include blood transfusions and/or using other medicines. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Once your condition is under control, you may be able to stop taking Anadrol-50. Some people must continue taking a small amount of oxymetholone to keep their red blood cells from getting too low. You may need to take this medicine for the rest of your life. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Do not share this medicine with another person. Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Anadrol-50 is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

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What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Anadrol-50?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Anadrol-50 side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Long-term use of oxymetholone can cause liver tumors or blood-filled cysts in your liver or spleen. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • nausea, upper stomach pain;

  • rapid weight gain, especially in your face and midsection;

  • loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • increased interest in sex, painful or ongoing erection of the penis;

  • loss of interest in sex, impotence, trouble having an orgasm, decreased amount of semen when you ejaculate;

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), any bleeding that will not stop;

  • painful swelling in your breasts;

  • changes in skin color; or

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling in your hands or feet.

Women receiving Anadrol-50 may develop male features, which could be irreversible if treatment is continued. If you are a woman taking this medicine, tell your doctor right away if you have:

  • hoarse or deepened voice;

  • increased facial hair, hair growth on the chest;

  • male pattern baldness;

  • enlarged clitoris;

  • changes in your menstrual periods; or

  • increased or decreased interest in sex.

Common side effects in both men and women may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Anadrol-50?

Other drugs may interact with oxymetholone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.