What is Proviron (Mesterolone)?
Proviron is an oral steroid, which is derived from male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It has relatively weak androgenic activity.
Why use Proviron (Mesterolone)?
Proviron was used as a treatment for depression in men in the 70s and 80s. Clinical trials showed some success in the treatment of unipolar and bipolar depression, and dysthymia. Proviron lowers the amount of a protein called sex homone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds testosterone and prevents it from being active, so Proviron can increase the amount of free, active testosterone by this method. In spite of this, Proviron actually decreases the overall levels of both testosterone and luteinizing hormone, which promotes testosterone production, so it is not used in androgen replacement therapies (1).
Although it has no anabolic effect itself, some people abuse Proviron as part of a steroid cycle because the DHT can prevent the aromatisation of testosterone and other derivatives to oestrogen compounds.
Proviron (Mesterolone) Side Effects
Like other synthetic steroids, Proviron can have some very serious side effects when introduced into the body. These may be permanent and even fatal.
Proviron can play havoc with normal hormone levels. The drug is metabolised to DHT within the body. DHT has often been called the "bad" form of testosterone for its suite of very undesirable side effects, which can include hair loss and prostate enlargement.
Introducing testosterone into the body can supress the body's own ability to produce androgen hormones like testosterone in the long term, which can lead to impotence, gynaecomastia, testicular atrophy, and infertility (2). Use of this supplement by women can lead to masculinisation, the effects of which can include deepened voice, growth of body hair, breast shrinkage and infertility (3).
Proviron is known for causing high blood pressure, which can lead to a number of serious conditions like aneurysm, and kidney and vascular disease. Use of steroids can cause damaging changes to the cardiac tissue and increase cholesterol levels, which may lead to the development of atherosclerosis. Steroids are well known for damaging internal organs, particularly the liver (3).
Androgenic steroids can cause serious changes to the mood and behaviour. Roid rage, or uncontrollable anger, is a well known and dangerous side effect of steroid abuse which can cause harm not just to the user, but to others. Steroid use is also associated with depression and anxiety, and steroids are known to have addictive properties, which can lead to physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when the cycle is stopped (4).
Finally, steroid sales are illegal and unregulated, so there is no guarantee of quality or purity. A recent study found that one third of steroids sold were counterfeit, therefore the likelihood of purchasing something that is ineffective, contaminated, or containing an unknown substance with unpredictable effects, is very high (5).
Alternatives to Proviron (Mesterolone)
Proviron is most often used by steroid abusers to prevent the formation of oestrogen from testosterone. There are a number of products on the market that block oestrogen and enhance testosterone safely and legally, without the devastating side effects of steroid abuse.
DIM – This naturally occurring compound promotes healthy hormone metabolism within the body, and is taken by many men to optimise the effects of testosterone on muscle building and body conditioning, while minimising the effects of oestrogen.
Oestrogen Blockers – Products such as BPI's A-HD contain a mixture of ingredinets that block the aromatisation of testosterone into oestrogen. An oestrogen blocker is an excellent addtion to a test stack.
Tribulus – This all natural plant extract conveys all the testosterone boosting effects, like enhanced muscle growth, raised libido, fat loss, and focus, without any of the devastating side effects of steroids. Massive Muscle Fuel 2.0 by Elemental Nutrition is one of the most potent sources of tribulus available.
(1) Itil TM, Michael ST, Shapiro DM, Itil KZ (June 1984). "The effects of mesterolone, a male sex hormone in depressed patients (a double blind controlled study)".Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 6 (6): 331–7.
(2) Alén M, Häkkinen K.Physical health and fitness of an elite bodybuilder during 1 year of self-administration of testosterone and anabolic steroids: a case study. Int J Sports Med. 1985 Feb;6(1):24-9.
(3) Hartgens F, Kuipers H. Effects of androgenic-anabolic steroids in athletes. Sports Med. 2004;34(8):513-54.
(4) Brower KJ, Eliopulos GA, Blow FC, Catlin DH, Beresford TP. Evidence for physical and psychological dependence on anabolic androgenic steroids in eight weight lifters. Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Apr;147(4):510-2.
(5) Da Justa Neves DB, Marcheti RG, Caldas ED. Incidence of anabolic steroid counterfeiting in Brazil. Forensic Sci Int 2013; 228(1-3): e81-3