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Stanozolol, commonly sold under the name Winstrol (oral) and Winstrol Depot (intramuscular), is a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from dihydrotestosterone. It was developed by Winthrop Laboratories (Sterling Drug) in 1962, and has been approved by the FDA for human use.
Unlike most injectable anabolic steroids, stanozolol is not esterified and is sold as an aqueous suspension, or in oral tablet form. The drug has a high oral bioavailability, due to a C17 α-alkylation which allows the hormone to survive first-pass liver metabolism when ingested. It is because of this that stanozolol is also sold in tablet form.
Stanozolol has been used in both animal and human patients for a number of conditions. In humans, it has been demonstrated to be successful in treating anaemia and hereditary angioedema. Veterinarians may prescribe the drug to improve muscle growth, red blood cell production, increase bone density and stimulate the appetite of debilitated or weakened animals.
Stanozolol is one of the anabolic steroids commonly used as a performance enhancing drug and is banned from use in sports competition under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and many other sporting bodies. Additionally, stanozolol has been used in US horse racing.
Use in bodybuilding
Stanozolol is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders alike to lose fat while retaining lean body mass. It is usually used in a "cutting cycle", to help preserve lean body mass while metabolizing adipose, although it has not been proven conclusively that it has any special fat-burning properties.
It is presented most commonly as a 50 mg/mL injection or a 5 mg tablet. However, recently 100 mg/mL versions have become available. A common dosage can be 10–25 mg/day orally and 25–50 mg daily injected, with optimal results usually seen at 50 mg/day. It is reduced to micrometer particles in aqueous suspension and does not have a typical elimination half-life. Authentic stanozolol can easily be seen, because it will separate in its container if left undisturbed for a number of hours (the micronized crystal will fall to the bottom, and the water suspension will rise to the top). It has a white, milky color.
Detection of use
Stanozolol is subject to extensive hepatic biotransformation by a variety of enzymatic pathways. The primary metabolites are unique to stanozolol and are detectable in the urine for up to 10 days after a single 5-10 mg oral dose. Methods for detection in urine specimens usually involve gas chromatography-mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.