I've been reading this forum for a while, and now it's time to post. I have a very rare kind of progressive Muscular Dystrophy (MD), which I've struggled with since my teens. I'm now in my late 30s and can no longer walk, but I'm functioning enough to hold down a job and a have a pretty full life. There's no cure, and over the years I've tried just about every therapy you can imagine.
In recent years, I've become very interested in the potential of anabolic therapies. I first discovered this potential when I got my TRT properly tuned up (thank you KSman et al. for your incredibly informative discussions!) and experienced a significant increase in scapular strength. Further research led me to promising studies on oxandrolone and MD. Fortunately, I have an intelligent and open-minded doctor who is willing to learn with me and monitor my therapy.
It's no cure, but low-dose oxandrolone combined with TRT (T+hCG+AI) gives me a slight increase in strength in some muscles, helps me recover more quickly from physically demanding days, and gives me a slight boost in overall energy and QOL. Currently, I am prescribed 11.25 mg of oxandrolone per day in divided doses, and I take it in cycles of 3 weeks on/1 week off, repeat.
I've been cycling for about a year and a half, and since this is a long-term therapy, I'm concerned about the potential risks of taking an oral anabolic long term. As you know, oxandrolone can elevate liver enzymes and have undesirable effects on the lipid profile. Here are some labs comparing values after a one-month washout period (no oxandrolone) and values taken after several months of 3 weeks on/1 week off (labs drawn while on oxandrolone):
My ALT/SGPT jumped from 72 off the ox to 173 on it (range of 2-60).
My AST/SGOT jumped from 42 off the ox to 95 on it (range of 10-50).
My total cholesterol and LDL stay within range on the ox, but my HDL dropped from 45 to 25 (range >39).
Chol/HDL ratio goes from 2.8 to 5.8 (range of <5) when on the ox.
My SHBG is normally low at around 7 (range of 8-48), and on the ox it drops down to around 2.
Albumin stays normal, total T stays mid-range, and bioavailable and free T stay at the top of the "normal" range.
On or off the ox, estradiol stays in low-normal range with anastrozole.
I know from experience that my labs, specifically liver profile and lipid panel, return to normal after only one month off of the oxandrolone, but currently, I'm never off more than a week. I start feeling weak and tired after about a week off, and I worry about irreversible muscle loss during the time off. My doctor says that my liver enzymes are not alarmingly high, yet, and we know that muscular dystrophy can elevate them.
She suggests keeping my regimen the same for now, with the exception of reducing my Niacin (which I take for heart health) dose from 1500 mg to 500 mg because it can elevate liver enzymes. Meanwhile I'll keep taking my liver supplements, EFAs, etc., and see what the next lab report says in a month or so.
Oxandrolone improves my QOL, but I really don't want to endanger my liver and heart health. It always comes down to weighing the benefits and risks, and I'm trying to strike the right balance. Not too many people in my world know about anabolics, so this treatment option can be a lonely one. I'm posting here because I know there are a lot of intelligent people with first-hand AAS experience on this forum.
My questions for you all: Would a switch to a 2 week on/1 week off cycling plan be a reasonable option for maintaining strength but giving the liver profile and lipid panel more frequent chances to regain some normality? Can anyone offer any insights based on your own experience with 2-week oxandrolone cycles or oxandrolone use in general? Thank you in advance for any thoughts you're willing to share with me.