Over-The-Counter Steroid Products Part II
The Clear Chemist
By Patrick Arnold
Over-The-Counter Steroid Products
This month I continue my review of the over-the-counter (OTC) steroid products. So without wasting any more time, I will commence finishing the list.
This steroid is most commonly referred to as DMT, which is an acronym for Desoxymethyltestosterone. This was the name given to it by Don Catlin, who is the chief drug-testing chemist for the U.S. Anti-Doping agency (USADA). DMT was originally synthesized back in the mid-1960s at Searle Pharmaceuticals, but it never made it to the market. The stuff next appeared when yours truly made some in his lab back in 2002 as a potential replacement for the infamous “THG.” Anyway, the feds found it back in the 2003 BALCO raid because Victor Conte gave them a sample of it that I had sent to him.
The feds kept it a secret for a while but then a couple of months later the same material showed up in a Canadian athlete’s possession when he was stopped at the United Sates/Canadian border. The Canadian Olympic drug-testing people, led by Christiane Ayotte, deciphered its structure and then they went on to analyze a bunch of urine samples from random athletes with the hope of catching them in the act of taking the stuff. When they failed to find any positives for the drug, they figured they would just announce their findings to the press in 2005. They heralded their excellent detective work and played up the incident as a warning to the world that designer drugs continue to be a big problem in sports.
Well, I don’t know if I could call what happened excellent detective work— seeing how a pristine sample of the stuff just happened to fall into their laps. Seems more like a stroke of luck akin to the fortune they had when Trevor Graham sent in the syringe of THG back in 2002. Anyway, don’t ask me how the sample of my DMT ended up in the hands of a Canadian sprinter that I have never heard of, because I haven’t a clue.
But that’s not the end of DMT. A year later or so, a company decided to start to market the stuff to bodybuilders as a supplement. When I first heard this I thought it was insane, because of the immense controversy behind the product and its connection to the BALCO scandal. But apparently no authorities really noticed or cared. So I guess when a steroid is packaged in a few small hand-labeled bottles and passed on to a tiny handful of very knowledgeable and conscientious people, it is considered a scourge to society— but when it’s packaged in neat bottles with supplement labels and sold to thousands of everyday folks of all ages, it is hardly noteworthy. Or something…
But that’s enough background about the stuff. As for the actual steroid itself, I have to say that it’s definitely the best stuff out there (that is, if it’s even still out there now). The product is non-aromatizing and its toxicity appears to be lower than that of some other methylated orals. It has a very high anabolic potency that has been measured as anywhere from two to 12 times that of methyltestosterone.
If I were to compare this product to something well-known, then I would say it gives dianabol-like gains. In other words, fullness without too much water retention, good strength gains and a feeling of well-being. It’s too bad the stuff never made it to the market as a pharmaceutical back in the ‘60s because I think it would have held its own against the big boys.
OK, well, I really don’t know what to say about this stuff. It is not an androgen at all and in fact is a derivative of a progestin drug called megestrol. Megestrol is normally sold as its acetate and this form is known more commonly as Megace. Megace is often used to increase appetite in patients with cancer and AIDS. It works, however Megace has substantial glucocorticoid activity which leads to any weight gain being fat and water at the expense of muscle.
Of course this stuff is not Megace per se, but rather a metabolite of Megace. From what I know of steroid pharmacology, I would not expect this stuff to have any of the activity of Megace. But then again, I would not expect it to have any activity of any kind at all, and from perusing the literature I have found that to be just the case.
So why did anyone get the idea to sell this stuff? I haven’t a clue. My advice would be to save your money.
This is a direct metabolic precursor to methyl-1-testosterone. It should work almost as well as methyl-1-test but then again, it should also be almost as toxic. Methyl-1-test was perhaps the nastiest drug I have tested— it had me feeling like I could die. The water retention was severe as were the headaches, fatigue and chest pains. Of course, some were able to use methyl-1-test while avoiding many of the negatives but many more could not. So like I suggest with the regular methyl-1-test, I say avoid this prohormone version.
You may have heard of norbolethone. It was the first version of “the clear” and was a drug once developed by Wyeth as an anabolic steroid, but was either never marketed or only marketed for a very brief period. Anyway, this compound here is chemically related to norbolethone. In fact, it can be used to make norbolethone by a pretty straightforward series of two chemical reactions that can be done in one pot.
Now, just because you can make norbolethone from the stuff in the lab does not mean your body can make norbolethone from the stuff after you ingest it. And just because it has chemical similarities to norbolethone does not mean it has pharmacological similarities either. It certainly does not— norbolethone was a potent drug and this stuff is pretty lame.
When you ingest this compound, the first thing it would do is convert to a 3-oxo derivative in the acid of your stomach. After that you would have a dione, and then that dione would partially convert into an active compound known as 13b-ethyl-4-gonen-17b-ol-3-one. This active compound is listed in Vida as being a bit less potent than testosterone anabolically, and given the fact that it is a dione that it is converting from makes me conclude that the stuff is going to be less than impressive. Now that’s not to say it will be worthless, just that it probably is not worth the money (it’s not a cheap compound).
As far as side effects go, it’s hard to say. It may convert to an estrogen, which could give water retention and gyno risk. The stuff also may have progestational activity. And as far as suppression goes, my guess is that it is more suppressive than a typical testosterone precursor.
This chemical is the 17alpha-methyl analog of an anabolic steroid called Stenbolone. It is sort of a chemical hybrid of methyl-1-testosterone and “superdrol.” But just because it’s a chemical hybrid does not mean its pharmacological effects represent an amalgamation of the effects of those two steroids at all. However, in this case there is some consistency between the hybrid and its two potent “parent” compounds as this stuff is listed as being quite potent (6.6 times as anabolic as methyltestosterone).
Of course, the other question is whether this stuff also shares the enormous toxicity of the other two compounds, and this is something I can’t answer. I don’t really know anyone who has taken this compound in any quantifiable dose. The problem with this stuff is it is usually hidden in blends and the labels never specify how much of the steroid is actually in each dose. Hell, I don’t know if there is even any real methylstenbolone (that’s what I call the stuff) out there.
Bottom line is that this is an interesting compound but kind of scary, too.
This is another compound that is a mystery to me. It is very closely related to trenbolone— the only difference being it has a methoxyl group at 17beta instead of a hydroxyl group. As minor as this sounds, it has major implications for receptor binding affinity and in-vivo activity.
A 17beta-hydroxyl group is perhaps the single-most important structural characteristic of an active androgen. Without it you simply won’t have substantial binding to the androgen receptor and therefore you won’t have any pharmacological potency. Of course, not all steroids that we know are effective have a 17beta-hydroxyl group, but they at least have a functional group at C17 that will break down in the body to a free 17beta-hydroxyl (such as an ester or enyl ether).
The problem with this 17beta-methoxyl is that it will not convert in the body to the 17beta-hydroxyl form. Yes, it’s an ether but it’s not a hydrolyzable ether such as an enyl ether (an ether with an alpha, beta double bond). This compound will instead circulate throughout the body, helplessly unable to bind to any androgen receptors until finally, it’s mercifully pissed out. At least that’s my expectation for the stuff, as I know of nothing in the literature or from my experience that would lead me to believe this chemical will do much of anything. OK, perhaps there is minute ability to bind which may give it marginal activity, but that’s hardly worth even mentioning.
So my consensus is that this chemical is a mistake, and buying it would be even more of a mistake.
Here is another East German steroid. Like Oral Turinabol, it is a 4-chloro steroid but this one also has an 11-oxo group. The Vida values are simply too good to believe— 7.3 times Dianabol for anabolic and only 0.04 times for androgenic. I have to believe that these numbers are skewed, either that or they are only true within a very narrow dosage range that is inapplicable to normal bodybuilder usage.
This substance will not aromatize and therefore will give dry gains. The presence of an 11-oxo group may also impart some tissue-specific cortisol modulation which may lead to greater visceral fat loss and increased glycogen deposition.
How well this stuff works in the world is not yet clear, nor is the appropriate dosage for maximal gains yet known. Some commercial samples have been seen to contain substantial amounts of what appears to be unreacted chemical precursor material in addition to the active ingredient. So I do not know if there is any actual, pure material being sold currently.
This stuff is a weak anabolic that was originally marketed as an anti-aromatase (with no mention being made of its male hormone activity). Vida has it listed as having 0.65 times the anabolic action and 0.25 times the androgenic activity of methyltestosterone.
This stuff is sort of weak but it’s probably pretty decent stuff if you take enough of it. And by enough, I am guessing 50mg-100mg a day. I have no idea if it aromatizes but its chemical structure suggests it does not (unless the delta-6 double bond somehow can be reduced in-vivo).
The stuff may be worth a try since the material is likely not too expensive. However, formulas I have seen do not list the amount of milligrams per dose so you will be sort of flying blind.
This last compound has an interesting story behind it. Back in 2005 when everyone was selling methylated stuff and making a killing, I started to get really envious and was very tempted to enter into the market with a methylated product of my own. Of course this was foolish, as I had yet to be indicted for my role as the manufacturer of the clear and was certainly being watched by the feds like a hawk. But I knew of the coolest compound and I had a nifty idea on how to synthesize it cost effectively, and I just could not resist.
So my lab chemist Matt and I went about the process of developing the manufacturing procedure. We had ample amounts of the starting material epiandrosterone sitting around (left over from the 1-AD days) so we were already a step ahead. After some trial and error, we were successful and we made 100 grams or so to try out on people.
I dissolved it in oil to save the effort of putting it into caps (encapsulating small amounts of material is a bitch cause you kind of have to do it by hand). I had some people try it out, one guy in particular who was an old friend in town and was my guinea pig for stuff since back when I first was making 4-AD and its nor analog. Anyway, this guy comes back after six weeks or so and says, “What the hell WAS that stuff?” I asked him what he meant and he said it’s the best stuff he has ever taken. He had clean gains and felt great and his strength was through the roof. Well, this made me happy and I was eager to get going on selling this stuff. I even dropped some hints on bodybuilding.com about the future product.
Well, dropping those hints was a dumb move. Seems that the feds were reading everything I wrote and they interpreted it (conveniently so) as me getting ready to come out with a new version of the clear (as if I would announce such a thing, jeez). A month or two after my friend talked to me, the feds come crashing in and they went right for the 20 vials of this stuff as if they knew they were there. Then they started harassing Matt, demanding that he tell them where we kept the DMT. Seems they thought that I made this stuff from DMT, but in fact I made it by a different pathway (although it very easily could be made from DMT). Well, nothing came of them taking the stuff since I had never sold it, but in retrospect it seems very likely that my manufacture of the small amounts of the stuff and my blabbering about it on the net was what finally enabled the feds to persuade the judge to issue a search warrant. And that search warrant was what put in motion the chain of events that led to my indictment, sentencing and finally imprisonment.
So you probably want to know what is so cool about this steroid. Well, probably the coolest thing about it is that although it is methylated and has considerable anabolic/androgenic activity, it does not cause any liver toxicity (as measured by bromosulphothalein retention). There is no other similar steroid that is known to behave like this. It has 1.8 times the anabolic activity of methyltestosterone (a pretty decent value) and 1.0 times the androgenic activity.
So this stuff never came to be and I have never bothered to make any more, even just for fun. I don’t know if anyone else will try to market this stuff— it’s unlikely they would, I suppose, since these days China has pretty much closed shop to making new steroids.
Well, that concludes my OTC steroid review. I hope you got something useful from it or maybe learned something new. And I hope I did not completely lose everyone with the technospeak. Maybe my next article will be more reader- friendly. Till then, stay safe